Inspiration From: Olivia Pope

Do I really need to do spoiler warnings for these anymore? Fine, potential Scandal spoilers ahead.

Scandal -- Screengrab from exclusive EW.com clip.
Image from ABC

I remember seeing previews for Scandal right before it premiered in 2012 and thinking it looked intriguing, but it wasn’t until I was a public relations major that I really felt the strong urge to watch it—it’s a show about a tough woman who works as a self-proclaimed fixer for high-powered clients with biiiiiiig problems. Olivia Pope, portrayed by the outstanding Kerry Washington, is independent, glamorous absolute badass with so much depth and a close group of friends who are just as incredible.

Olivia Pope is the epitome of “never let them see you sweat.” In the pilot, you see her negotiate with literal criminals without showing even an ounce of concern or fear. One of my favorite quotes of Olivia’s is, “I am very good at what I do. I am better at it than anyone else. And that is not arrogance, that is a fact,” because I feel that it truly demonstrates the amount of confidence that she has in her abilities.

One of the central plots of Scandal is the love story between Olivia and Fitz and while I love Fitz (and Tony Goldwyn–why do these blogs keep turning into me thirsting over my subjects and their costars?) my favorite thing about their story is that 90% of the time, she’s the one calling the shots. They don’t have the best beginnings (infidelity is not good) but they are two problematic people in love that can’t quite seem to overcome their obstacles. When he wants to try and just use her for sex while they aren’t on good terms, she sets the boundaries and turns her attention toward work.

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Image from ABC

This one’s a little more personal for me, but watching her evolve as a trauma survivor was incredibly empowering for me. While our traumas are different, the storyline where she’s kidnapped was almost like watching a metaphor for what it’s like to feel like you’re being kept from speaking up about what happened to you–like her finally being set free was a parallel telling me I could share about the abuse I experienced as a child. I’ve often felt like some of my random, strong reactions that come with my PTSD are out-of-line, but seeing a character that’s so put together struggle with them too (and even act on a couple… the chair, anyone?) made me feel less alone.

Of course, there are about a million other things in Olivia’s life to be a little envious of. Her amazing coworkers and friends, her kick-ass wardrobe and her beautiful apartment but when I think of Scandal, it’s Olivia’s altogether makeup that makes me admire her. And yes, while I always eat up the on-again off-again drama of her relationship with Fitz (and I wholeheartedly blame this show for the fact I want to name a future son Fitzgerald and have him go by Fitz), watching her independence has helped me become who I am today.

And to that I say, it’s handled.

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