The television series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", derived from an early 1990's film by the same name, has given birth to the new figure in popular teen culture: The Slayer. Joss Whedon's teen vampire slayer, Buffy, and her band of accomplices are appealing because they operate within the boundaries of our own culture, albeit with our anxieties taking the form of demons. The slayer has become a metaphor for taking control in the all-too-confusing world of Teenage Youth. This essay will explore this theme and how it contributes to the show's popularity on television. In doing so, it will also examine the "Girl Power" wave of the mid-nineties, and its impact on the character of Buffy as part of its larger media impact, as well as Buffy's impact on the portrayal of young women on television and beyond. Added to this girl power, is the popular eternal theme used to obvious effect is good conquering evil.
In the past women have been restricted to roles that are considered "traditional". Roles associated with traits including emotionality, prudence and compliance, where the males were portrayed through their rationality, efficiency, individualism and ruthlessness. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" has changed this, Buffy sharing those characteristics and displaying them dominantly and powerfully.
Buffy occupies a position, which invites us to both identify with and to desire. Strong, sexy, and fashionably clad Buffy has the ability to impact both sexes and a wide span of ages, from young teenagers to adults reaching their forties. It is the fact that in battle, whether it be physical or emotional, Buffy always manages to end up on top, which is appealing to both genders.