There is not one self-pitying, self-doubting bone in Cordelia’s entire gorgeous body. Someone shits on her *coughXandercough* and she simply turns it around on them, striking harder and deeper. She will not forgive him because he thinks she should. I envy that kind of self assurance and strength. I wish I had it. She never blames herself for everything that goes wrong, or feels needless guilt. She does not wallow. A vampire tries to bite her, she bites it back. Bad things happen to her teachers and friends and she does not fall apart. She goes for help. She didn’t take on the guilt of Marcie’s disappearance because it is not her fault Marcie was bonkers. It wasn’t her responsibility to make every insecure girl in school feel good about themselves. (I always find it interesting that the subtext of Out of Mind, Out of Sight is that it’s Cordy and her minions who drove Marcie into invisibility, at least in part, and that it was wrong to reject her for not being ‘one of them’. But the audience laughs indulgently when Buffy rejects Giles’ suggestion to take Jonathon to the Prom because of something as superficial as his height.)
Cordelia lives her life full press, she plans for her future. And when life shits on her, she doesn’t lie down and whine. She goes to work. Literally. She goes into her Prom alone, head high and ready to party. How many eighteen year olds who’ve just lost everything could do that?
I couldn’t have.
That’s why she’s hands-down my most favorite person in fiction land.
Yup. I like two women for much the same reasons. Buffy has a core strength in her that sees her through when she doubts herself, when she’s tempted by self-pity and when she’s plain afraid.
I love Buffy because Buffy keeps fighting. No matter what. The monsters and life itself knock that girl down and she just gets right back up again. But she’s not a paragon. She can be ugly, she can be petty, and insecure and scared. She’s not some Sue heroically thinking of the world and others at all times. But at her core, she is Buffy Summers and Buffy Summers is a fighter. I think her Slayerness enhanced it but I think that spirit has always been a part of her; it wasn’t part of the Slayer package. The Slayer package actually comes with a lot of SUCKINESS but it’s the Summers part of her that enables her to carry that suckiness with strength and resilience and a sense of (dark) humor.
It’s just too bad that these two awesome women couldn’t have been awesome together more often without the damned universe exploding.