First off, let it be known that the content of my posts will inevitably drift more toward mainstream media in the weeks and months to come. This isn’t simply because I am personally inclined toward this particular subject area; this is also because my mind will inevitably need breaks from the academic obligations of school.
Despite it being the first two weeks of school, there has been plenty more going on than just my classes. For those of you who follow my Facebook in any way, you will have undoubtedly seen me create a small deluge of posts every so often regarding one particular Spoon University at Berkeley. But I’ll cut this off before I get into the laundry list of minor errands I’ve had to pen into weird corners of my agenda in various colors.
However, my first two weeks back have not simply consisted of a hodgepodge of stress. (Yes, I am faithfully endeavoring to keep to my New Year’s resolution.) These past two weeks have also been peppered with lots of new food, plenty of lovely company, and a handful of attempts to wear red lipstick.
Before you ask – I’ve decided that I’d like to look like I’ve stepped out of the 1940’s. I completely attribute this new goal to ABC’s new show Marvel’s Agent Carter.
I’m generally not one to keep up with TV shows that constantly air new episodes each week. Agent Carter is one of the few exceptions I’ve made, especially considering it’s releasing during the school year.
So why Agent Carter?
No, I am not simply watching Agent Carter because the protagonist, Peggy Carter, is Captain America’s “best girl” and my partner is a massive Captain America fan. This fact just happens to be a happy correlation. Because while he is indeed a massive fan of Captain America, I have become just as big of a fan of Agent Peggy Carter by watching this show for four weeks.
Just so we’re all on the same page: Agent Peggy Carter has returned to New York City after the end of WWII and now works in the SSR – the Strategic Scientific Reserve. Despite her accomplishments and reputation built up from the war years while fighting alongside Captain America, Peggy is now working beneath all the men at her office and gets delegated tasks like filing and mundane paperwork as opposed to actual fieldwork. When her friend, Howard Stark, comes under government fire for allegedly selling his weapons to enemy forces, Peggy takes it upon herself to prove Stark’s innocence while attempting to assert herself and her ability as an agent in the field.
The premise of Agent Carter, despite being set in an era approximately 60 years prior, finds itself very relevant in today’s contemporary debates on feminism (ie. Emma Watson’s HeForShe), which is precisely why I have become and continue to be so fond of this show.
Show writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, have successfully written Peggy Carter into a beautifully complex character. Peggy stands her ground among her male colleagues and bosses and, quite literally, kicks ass in every single episode. She assumes a leadership role while working with Mr. Jarvis (Stark’s butler) to prove Stark’s innocence, but is very willing to hear his opinions and take his advice in times of need. At the same time, she fosters close friendships with the women around her; visibly mourns over the death of loved ones; and aims to protect those around her, all while maintaining a classically feminine, beautiful look (stunningly captured in a very classy scene of her pulling on stockings and by her trademark red lipstick that I’d kill to get my hands on).
Watching Agent Carter brings me great joy not only because it’s a well-written and well-made show, but also because I greatly admire Peggy for her strength, her independence, her beauty, and her ability to love. I may have said this same exact thing about Taylor Swift a few weeks ago, but genuinely, if there’s anyone I truly want to be, it’s Peggy Carter.
I’ve spent the vast majority of my life striding purposefully around various school campuses pretending to be
a superhero someone much cooler than myself. Having her – a woman who is strong but simultaneously nurturing – as a model of inspiration and aspiration as I inevitably grow into adulthood (even if that’s simply due to my age) is something for which I’m grateful.
(For those of you who know enough to ask: Thus far, she has emoted and has been far more willing to show her emotions than Black Widow, hence my preference of Peggy over Widow.)
Some of you may call it silly of me to admire a fictional character in this manner. To which I’ll respond, “Then perhaps I’ve been silly my entire life – but at least now I’ll look classy while doing so.”