2017 is an exciting year for FanGirls (of which, yes, I am most certainly one). It has seen the release of a kick-ass Wonder Woman film (after years in developmental limbo). We just had the announcement that the next incarnation of Doctor Who will be a woman. And several current science fiction tv programs boast strong female leads (Killjoys, Dark Matter, Orphan Black- to name a few). Pushing the boundaries of groundbreaking to ground-demolishing is Wynonna Earp. Wynonna doesn’t have superpowers other than a magic gun that only she can wield, which she uses to send demons back to hell. But Wynonna Earp is a superhero in the most literal sense of the word. She is super, and she is most certainly a modern day hero.
Wynonna Earp is a flawed woman. She is a socially uncouth and she uses alcohol and sex to cope with her problems. But she is unapologetic about her flaws. She doesn’t try to hide them or make excuses for them or justify them. She takes on this “What you see is what you get” air that has women worldwide feeling inspired.
Baring witness to the phenomenon that is Wonder Woman was a treat, seeing a female superhero grace the silver screen and inspire women young and old to be strong and brave. But Wonder Woman herself seemed little more than a symbol. While she represented powerful women and was one herself, other than her naivete about the nature of mankind, she didn’t have any flaws. This sort of fearless, idealistic hero, while inspiring in the big picture, does less to reach us mortal women that have social dysfunction and struggle with emotional strife.
Wynonna Earp, on the other hand, takes on that emotional strife with a lack of grace that is awe-inspiring. Most of us can relate to Wynonna because we have all been there. We have been challenged, and we have handled things in ways we aren’t proud of and nevertheless come out on the other side. Wynonna is a reminder to us that perfection doesn’t make us great. What makes us great is staying true to ourselves and our families (and in typical Wynonna Earp fashion, we do not define family with blood but connection). Wyonna reminds us that it is ok that we are flawed. It’s how we handle it that matters.
Season 2 of Wynonna Earp is a little past its halfway point in airing. Fans were recently treated to a surprise when they discovered, along with Wynonna herself, that she was pregnant. Showrunner Emily Andras opted to write actress Melanie Scrofano’s real-life pregnancy into the show. Women are now being introduced to a superhero the likes of which have yet to grace the screen: a pregnant superhero. And we see Wynonna go through all of the fears and changes that impending motherhood can bring all while slinging her fancy gun and kicking the butts of that which goes bump in the night. Wynonna Earp is challenging us to see pregnancy as a superpower, not a disability. She may be dealing with yogurt cravings and cankles, but she isn’t backing down.
Wyonna Earp is the female superhero of our age, not just because she kicks ass but because she does it all while being imperfectly human. She is what we all could be. We don’t necessarily overcome our dysfunctions but rather, we push on despite them. We accept who we are, where we are. We cry when things aren’t fair, and then we move on. This is what Wynonna Earp teaches us and why she is not just a superhero but our superhero.