Great TV Moments in #BlackGirlBadassery Vol. 8: Olivia Pope
March 04, 2016 at 3:19 am
Shonda Rhimes describes the fulfillment of feminist badassery and living by means of unapologetic fearlessness in her most talked about book, Year of Yes. Before she came to conceptualize her prowess, Shonda’s confidence became illuminated on Thursday nights through the fictional lives of her A-team. You know the TGIT crew Meredith, Olivia and Annalise. These powerful characters live because of Shonda’s insatiable appetite for lying. Her job is to make stuff up. Yes, this world renowned TV titan in all her greatness admits to recurring doubt. The talent was there, but it took her a little longer to unearth a life of courage. Shonda built her confidence through the authority of one word: yes. She said yes to not only everything that once scared her, but Shonda gave herself permission to live fully.
Her make-believe fixer also arrived at a similar awakening in an episode of Scandal.
NEXT UP: OLIVIA POPE
A custodian of public image in the lives of Washington’s elite. The clean up woman of sorts. Olivia Pope’s crème de la crème occupation, loosely based on Judy Smith’s real-life crisis management, is what we’ve become addicted to over the last five seasons. Outside of her mind blowing sex life, to-die-for wardrobe and a squad ready to catch a case at a moment’s notice, Olivia is pretty normal. She is just like any other woman overwhelmed by her day-to-day job duties, in addition to the unsettling pressures constantly applied by society. The days where you say “I can’t even”, yeah she has those too.
Liv always comes through with the meltdowns.
Type A personalities aren’t known to accept defeat.When the chips are down, she always manages to pull out a last minute victory.
Where there’s a will, Liv finds a way.
Although, a second of glory usually translates to some intertwined cliffhanger Shonda Rhimes keeps handy to send us into emotional distress.
Olivia’s tumultuous father-daughter relationship set the dysfunctional tone for her shattered love life, yet and still she works. Liv keeps busy as a worker bee. You know the person in your life who keeps busying doing everything else except for tending to her private matters? She is Olivia.
Tracking down career assassins and federal wolves in sheep’s clothing requires 100% attention. Olivia lives life at the disposal of others.
Fierce on the surface.
Only a split second away from losing it.
She keeps up appearances, rarely admitting to shortcomings. Winning is her only solution. After years of insanity and producing unhealthy results, Olivia Pope uttered three words ultimately catapulting her character into a new arena.
Season 4, Episode 9: “Where the Sun Don’t Shine”
Of all her iconic lines, the writers at Scandal sounded a siren in Liv’s life using three simple words; “I choose me.” Entangled in TV’s least promising love triangles, Olivia constantly felt the pressures of having to decide who she’ll ride off into the sunset with—killer boyfriend #1 (Jake) or married boyfriend #2 (Fitz). Decisions, decisions. Not to mention her other sexual rendezvous, Liv managed to duck and dodge this inevitable decision. Besides the threat of war in West Angola, Cyrus’ quickie wedding crisis and Olivia pulling the trigger of an unloaded gun at Daddy Pope, it’s just another day for Pope & Associates. In this climactic episode, Shonda Rhimes and company toy with our hearts in an usual fashion. Liv’s decision isn’t one that is expected.
Olivia: I want Vermont with Fitz.
Jake: Oh, okay.
Olivia: I also want the sun with you.
Olivia: I’m not choosing. I’m not choosing Jake. I’m not choosing Fitz. I choose me. I’m choosing Olivia. And right now, Olivia is dancing. I’m dancing, Jake. I’m free. Now, you can dance with me or you can get off my dance floor. I’m fine dancing alone.
Olivia is ultimately snatched by unknown kidnappers in the moments to follow, because Shonda Rhimes’ writing team plays too much, but you get the gist.
Women are often conditioned to believe their needs are to be shelved, taking a backseat to everyone else’s problems. In many areas in life, women have a full-time job as fixers. Often, we place our feelings at number two or three, and never where it belongs; in first place. Family, children, relationships and even spirituality, tend to trump our emotions. While we are a species designed for nurturing, we cannot fix our environment if our own house is not in order. In this episode, Olivia promoted herself to number one. For once, the job and the men took a backseat to her happiness. While she caved a few times in the episodes to follow, allowing her sex drive to steer her into unsafe emotional territory, verbalizing self-love is one of Olivia’s most notable deeds.
If you’re everything to everybody but yourself, then there will be nothing left of you to go around. When is the last time you chose you?
If you have a chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.
*Purchase your Black Girl Badassery tees here