Betty, you're not alone. At first I thought: "as she embraced the identity Pagan, she left her Jewish identity behind", but now that I think about it redefining/reinventing herself as gay-now, Pagan, sexy Earth-mama is actually closely connected.
She is no longer the girl who was rejected again and again by Xander and abruptly left by Oz - she's gay now! She's no longer the mousy girl with a childish fondness for primary colors - she's the sexy woman with the confidence to call attention to her body and personality with bright colors! She's no longer the Jew being marginalized even by her closest friends - she's the empowered Pagan who's edgy enough to choose her own minority faith, (which is by the way much more useful and cool than Wicca)!
I think it would be fair to say that as she embraced her new identity she left her old one behind, not only her religious and/or ethnic identity, but also her sexual identity and her identity as an uncool geek. As a fan of the show and the character I feel very conflicted about this.
On the one hand I think the psychology is realistic, and I'd like to think if Willow were a real person and not a character in a TV show, once she'd lived a little more and grown in maturity, she'd learn to be who she is, rather than define herself so much based on how other people perceive her and ignoring parts of herself in the process.
On the other hand, I feel the character development of Willow was not psychologically motivated, but a decision made by the writers of the show in order to appeal to a more desirable demographic (and to a lesser extent surprise the viewers who had picked up on the clues to Xander's being an in denial gay), and I feel let down. Willow's rejection of her own identity implies a rejection of other people sharing that identity not only by the character, but also by the show. Nora Charles 20:15, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
- Willow's character evolution and fannish reactions to such are definitely worth examining here. However, I'd like to point out that Willow is not canonically a pagan! She's a wicca/witch in the Hollywood/fantasy sense of the term and in fact makes fun of the actual pagans she meets when she unknowingly joins a "wicca group" in the fourth season episode "Hush." Of course, there was that "oh my goddess" line in the seventh season. I haven't followed fanon characterization of Willow, so I don't know how the canon was interpreted....--Aethel 23:35, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
- Yeah, that's what I meant by her faith "being cooler than Wicca". The show makes it very clear Willow is the cool kind of witch, definitely not like those lame, giggly air-head Wiccans. Charming. Well, okay, I laughed, but it's a bit like making it clear she's also one of those pretty femme male fantasy lesbians, definitely not a fat ugly butch dyke, you know? Whether or not she's a Pagan is an interesting discusssion. You might say that calling on the power of Christ to defend her from vampires in no way makes her a Christian, so calling on various gods in her rituals and magic does not make her a Pagan either. You might also say she acknowledges the existance and power of various gods, and makes sacrifices to them, so that makes her a Pagan. Nora Charles 09:04, 4 November 2008 (UTC)