Treasure Hunt

Monday, December 5, 2011

This Damsel Is Definitely Not In Distress (Women & Media Blog Post #7)

Okay, first of all, I need everyone to look at this picture for a good long while. 

Yeah, that's a Black princess with a sword on the front of a comic book. If that wasn't good enough, the entire story is about how this WoC princess is sick and tired of the "damsel in distress->gets rescued->marries Prince Charming" route in life and decides that she should go on adventures and rescue other people all on her own. A better run-down of the story itself and some wonderfully scanned pages and panels can be seen here
To me, Princeless, is a direct successor to the throne that Buffy the Vampire Slayer had so many moons ago. There is no doubt in my mind that this comic wouldn't exist without Buffy, but Princeless also succeeds in places where Buffy falls very, very short: race representation. Adrienne is a sassy, self-sufficient girl of the highest social standing and guess what? She's a Woman of Color. Even better? She has natural hair. It's not straightened but rather bushy and curly while pulled back in to a reasonable-length ponytail. Princeless could easily be viewed as a work of Third Wave Feminism and most definitely works within the framework Irene Karras uses to explain Buffy and its Third Wave appeal: "The program also exemplifies the third wave's commitment to girl power by turning the victim role typical of the action and horror genres on its head with the character of Buffy herself." (pg. 1) Adrienne, our Not-So-Distressed Damsel is doing the same as Buffy did before her: she is taking the generally passive role of being a storybook princess and making it active by leaving the castle and going adventuring on her own.

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