Professions of Obsession
This is one of my all time favorite TV shows, and probably even one of my all time favorite stories.Before I get into the show itself, I feel inclined to mention some of the tokens of affection for the show that I’ve amassed since joining the fandom.
The first of these that I received was a nineteenth-birthday present from one of my best friends at Oberlin: a pair of earrings wherein each was an exact replica of Star’s original wand. They are some of my very favorite accessories— and I have a lot of accessories. I’m paranoid about losing them, which is a good indicator of how much they mean to me.
Also for my nineteenth birthday, my mom gave me two Star vs. the Forces of Evil-themed gifts when she came to visit me at school. One of these I had requested from her as my birthday present: a plush doll of the show’s heroine and title character, Star Butterfly. The other was a total surprise, a garment that I immediately changed into and refused to take off for the next twenty-four hours: a black T-shirt that featured an image of Star from the first episode, when she creates a fiery rainbow with her wand. Framing the image are the words MAGICAL PRINCESS FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION.
One of my gifts on my twentieth birthday was another SVTFOE-themed shirt, a sleek black one that featured an image of Star standing with her wand raised, as she’s seen at the end of the title sequence for seasons three and four. Additionally, back when I was still I think eighteen or nineteen and had only fairly recently started watching the show, I made myself what I refer to as Fandom Necklaces. By this, I mean I went to a general supply store in Oberlin and bought some string and alphabet beads, then threaded the beads into necklaces that either referenced or completely captured some of my favorite lines and characters from the series. (In fact, for anyone who’s interested, I’ll type up the contents of my two SVTFOE fandom necklaces at the end of this post. They’ll probably be total nonsense to anyone who’s never seen the show, but for any fellow members of the fandom, they might put you in mind of some moments from the show that you especially enjoyed, too.)
Furthermore, among the arsenal of books dominating my bedroom is the replica of Star’s spellbook, (which I flipped my lid over when I found it in the Oberlin College bookstore,) as well as Star & Marco’s Guide to Mastering Every Dimension.
You can probably see by now why this post belongs in the “Professions of Obsession” category.
Now, I’m determined to not give any spoilers for anybody who hasn’t already seen the show, so I’ll just talk generally about some of my favorite things about Star vs. the Forces of Evil.
Actually, you may be wondering how I got into it in the first place. Well, I didn’t start watching SVTFOE until my first year at Oberlin, but I’d seen promotions of it when I was younger on Disney XD. (That’s the station on which my twin and I would watch Gravity Falls.) I remember that back then, when I saw the commercials promoting new episodes of SVTFOE, I’d thought that Star and Marco were siblings, rather than friends. Also, I remember I’d thought that Star, rather than being a magical princess from another dimension, was a superhero who called herself The Star, and that Marco was her brother who got dragged into her escapades as she fought villains.
That last part was actually pretty accurate, it turns out.
Anyhow, I remembered the name of the show—out of the blue, I think—when I was on the bus to the airport when I was leaving Oberlin for Winter Break my first year there. I decided to look it up when I got home, and… before I knew what had happened, I was hooked.
And that’s how the fandom claimed me.
Funny story— I didn’t realize after getting into the show that it hadn’t finished airing. I learned this only after I finished watching season three and found that the site I’d been using to watch it didn’t have the next season. So I thought to myself, Oh, okay, let me look it up and find another site that DOES have it. After I did a few minutes of digging and still didn’t find a place I could watch season four, I started to get pretty irritated. Then, I accidentally came upon an episode list and found that it ended after the season three finale, with only a prediction of when season four would premiere
I remember so clearly the feeling I had as I made that discovery: It felt like I’d been running alongside a speeding train, entirely fixated on the train and not watching where I was going. Then I ran smack into a brick wall I hadn’t noticed was there as the train rushed on without me.
(Also, every time something like this happens—when I’m reading a book series or watching a TV show and I hit a roadblock because I’ve arrived at the end of what portion of the story has been accessible so far—I think of a line from a play I was in in high school, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead: “So. You’ve caught up.”)
Thereafter, I had to take in the story in smaller, healthier amounts, viewing each small cluster of episodes as they aired. I remember at some points when I was so overtired and stressed toward the end of my first year of college, one of the thoughts that helped me get through each day was knowing that as I did my work, people were preparing the next episodes of Star vs. the Forces of Evil. (Also, some good things came out of it, like how I got into Steven Universe while I waited for more of SVTFOE season four.)
I remember being basically overwhelmed and emotionally wrecked when I’d arrived at some of the last episodes of the story. In fact, I couldn’t even bring myself to watch the series finale after I saw that it was posted. I had to take some two days to emotionally brace myself before I felt ready to watch it.
Anyhow, I promise I won’t give anything away of what occurred in those episodes for anyone who has not yet watched the show. But, before I close out this post, I want to talk about some of my favorite things about the heroine, Star Butterfly— the reasons I came to like her so much that I asked for a doll of her for my nineteenth birthday.
There’s one reason in particular, I think, why I appreciate this heroine as much as I do:
She’s both tough and feminine. Star Butterfly wears her hair long, has a wardrobe brimming with vibrant dresses, and is a ferocious fighter fully capable of protecting herself and others from the numerous foes she faces throughout the story. There are so few heroines I’ve encountered who fully express both their toughness and their femininity. This lack of heroines who embody both these qualities teaches girls that in order to be tough, powerful, or formidable, they have to be masculine. As if girly-ness and heroism cannot coexist in a person.
That’s why I cherish heroines like Star Butterfly, who show that girly-girls can be fearsome and powerful heroes. That’s why I favor wearing those shirts I have that picture her on them, why I enjoy watching her adventures on the show that features her, why I find it empowering to have my doll of her adorning my bed:
Because Star Butterfly reminds me that girly-girls, like I am, can be heroes, too.
yours sincerely, Lady Evelyn
P.S.—As promised, here are the contents of the two SVTFOE fandom necklaces that I made:
BUT THEY HAVENT — SCRAPE THE SIDES — MARCO DIAZ — STAR BUTTERFLY — DID YOU FREE THE NECTAR FROM THE JUICE COCOON — TROUBLE — BELIEVE — NARWHAL BLAST
THEY ARE FOR ME — PHOTO BOOTH — BLOOD MOON BALL — CAKE — MAGICAL PRINCESSES ONLY — DO IT — MONEY — I KISSED STAR — LOINCLOTHS — I HAVE PLAN