In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx/WOC community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
Netflix’s She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is the feminist queer goodness that we need to see more of in our lives, especially in the holy year of 20GayTeen. The tale of Adora, the female lead who transforms into She-Ra, is a story grounded in friendship, honor, and love. And the war raging around Adora and her companions, loses ground and power, the more that our heroes work together.
She-Ra makes you forget about any hesitations that you might’ve have had when hearing about this reboot, in the first episode alone. And if Netflix knows what’s good for them (and if they remember the continued success of Voltron) they’d do well with renewing She-Ra and the Princesses of Power for season 2!
1. It’s full of powerful princesses & allies who save the day.
There’s something so awe inspiring about princesses being the force of good that WILL save the day in the face of the Horde. Too long have princesses been subjected to this narrative that they can only be saved from the circumstances they are in because of the men in their lives. That includes spouses, fathers, or brothers that have the honor of the young and fragile woman to take care of.
THERE’S NONE OF THAT GARBAGE HERE!
Princesses rule, care for, and protect their people. They have the strength, the power, and the fortitude to get shit done. They wait for no man! And on the off chance that there is a man in their life, he’s an ally like Bow or Sea Hawk, both good men who follow the lead of their powerful princesses. And not just that, these men also stand side to side with the princesses. They know how capable the princesses are and have no problem working together to take down the Horde!
And that right there, is the kind of diverse cartoon that my younger self would’ve done well having and that my little sisters and nieces will now have.
2. It’s unapologetically queer.
I would like to just leave the gif as evidence of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power‘s queer power, but alas I must explain. Many times while watching this show I found myself whispering, “Gayyyyyyy,” while sporting wide eyes and cupping my face with my hands because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. She-Ra and the Princess of Power has queer here, queer there, queer everywhere!
Better yet, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power isn’t afraid to put it’s characters in situations that could be seen as queer or LGBT friendly. Glimmer and Adora give each other eyes as much as Catra gives Adora eyes, when she’s not trying to bring her back home or destroy her chances of winning this war. But still, it stands that this show KNOWS how we would perceive and take in this queer content, AND THEY STILL WENT WITH IT!
It doesn’t feel like queer baiting or like I’m being misleaded. This world, full of magic, wonder, and a war raging between the forces of good and evil, doesn’t really care who you love or care about. It’s a non issue cuz they have other shit to do, so let’s move it along! And that right there is refreshing as hell. Queer people just are.
3. It’s got the kind of friendships that give you FEELS!
It wasn’t till Adora, our sweet summer child turned She-Ra, met Glimmer and Bow that she experienced what true friendship is all about. These two people lifted up Adora, had her back when she didn’t have the strength to do it herself, and showed her the joys of living a life outside of the manipulations of the Fright Zone aka the bad guys.
Glimmer and Bow never made her feel any less for not having the same knowledge or experiences that they. Instead, they included her in their lives and made room & time for her because they cared for her well being. They loved her and in no time, Adora returned that love 10 fold.
I’m a big sucker when it comes to found families and Adora, Glimmer, and Bow are that family. They’re the best friend squad and the kind of people you’d want your kids to be like or look up to. And it’s this friendship, this bond, that’s going to keep me coming back for more when this show gets season 2, because it will get season 2! My best friend squad feels demand it!
4. It’s got ALL the different kind of body types.
It’s not until you’re given variety and true representation, that you start to understand the garbage that you’ve grown up with or made to make due with. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power gave me all the body types. It gave me short, tall, thick thighed, scrawny, and muscular characters. No princess or ally was the same and there was no “standard” for what a character should look like in this show. AND I LOVE IT!
Growing up with the likes of Sailor Moon, I never ever saw myself on TV. Everyone was skinny, lean, and didn’t have the kind of thighs you would have if you were constantly working out or swimming in the sea because you’re a mermaid. (Talking about Princess Mermista here. GIRL HAS THICC THIGHS!)
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power gave me women who look like me, my sisters, and my sisters, and put them center stage. And if this blew me away at 30, if this made me appreciate my thick thighs and not stick thin arms, imagine what this could do to a 10 year old girl who is watching this and seeing herself for the first time. It’s game changing, eye opening, and the kind of thing that imprints itself on the minds of the young and impressionable.
It’s positive representation that we desperately need to see more of.
5. It’s just damn good storytelling!
It’s nearly impossible to not get attached to Adora, Glimmer, Bow, and the rest of the gang, after accompanying and watching them grow during season 1 of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. You fall in love with these characters strength in the face of the forces of evil. And you understand that not everything is black and white when it comes to the bond that Adora has with the bad guy (yes, she’s bad) known as Catra.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power also constantly gives you food for thought as the war unfolds between the Princesses and the Horde. Those who thought of themselves as weak, find an inner strength to stand up for themselves now that She-Ra is back. Those who kept silent as lands were destroyed, saw what their indifference did to the world. And those who thought they were in this by themselves, see that companionship, guidance, and friendship is readily available to them if they just reach out.
Basically, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is the complicated, friendship focused, tale of survival and perseverance that we need to see more of. And if this is what Netflix can do with one season, I can’t even imagine how much growth, storytelling, and dynamic changes they can make with a second season!
This transformation has a Sailor Moon kind of feel that we can’t help but loving! <3
She-Ra and The Princesses of Power is available on Netflix now!
Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)
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