Inspiration From: Petra Solano

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Image from CW

My blog is my blog. The url is my name. So I get to write about what I want to write about. However, I feel like lately the focus has been almost entirely on mental health and while advocating for open discussions about mental health and general awareness about mental illness are things I care very deeply about, I want to try and change the mood here a little bit. This somehow turned into the idea for a series on fictional characters that have shaped me into who I am now, especially throughout my recovery from my time at St. Vincent’s and coming forward with my story in a public way.

Because it’s my blog, and I’m going to do what I want.

I had recently made a post on my Facebook about identifying with Jane from Jane the Virgin but sometimes feeling like a Petra, but a friend pointed out that after a quick Google search and without even watching the show, I was Petra without a doubt. I thought about this for awhile because it confused me quite a bit at first. No, I’m Jane. I’m awkward, I wear sundresses all the time, I’m a writer and I’m even Catholic! We have the same personality! But as I watched Petra’s character development under a closer eye, especially in the final season, the lightbulb went off and I realized that I was indeed Petra Solano, HBIC, Bisexual Badass of the Marbella.

Petra
Image from CW

The source of my confusion when compared to her at first is the fact that she starts as a villain—you very clearly are not rooting for her when the show begins. The more you learn about her, though, you learn she has faced some serious trauma (her abusive relationship with Milos, and don’t even get me started on her mother) and she’s had to survive a rough upbringing. While that does not in any way excuse her unkind behavior in the beginning of the series it explains why she so desperately wanted to cling to Rafael and the life he could provide for her, because she knew the things she needed to do to survive.

I’m just beginning to rewatch Jane The Virgin again, and even seeing how she acts in the beginning when she is very clearly a villain is something I can identify with. No, I’m not saying I’m a villain, but she’s motivated by money, status and love, which admittedly are all things that drive me (oh don’t act surprised about money and status, I’ve got double Taurus in my birth chart). She wants to cling to her marriage to keep her money and her power, but also because she still loves Rafael.

As time goes on, though, she learns her worth. Not only does she make it clear that she won’t be anyone’s second choice, when she’s pregnant with the twins, she makes it clear to Rafael that her and the twins won’t be playing second fiddle to Jane and Mateo. She knows she and her girls are worth the effort and she isn’t afraid to voice that. Also, the fact that she names her daughters Elsa and Anna without getting the Frozen reference is pure gold, and later has Elsa go by Ellie.

This isn’t something I talk about a lot on my blog (or publicly anymore, because I’m 24 and it’s still a part of my identity I struggle with) but Petra coming to terms with her bisexuality is something I strongly related to. The confusion with her feelings for JR from the start later turning into her looking Milos in the eye and declaring, “And I’m bisexual, by the way,” after he tried to claim the only reason she didn’t love him is because she was a lesbian. That was a kickass moment for bisexual representation on television. Also how can I not relate to anyone attracted to both Justin Baldoni and Rosario Dawson, because, same.

PetraFashion
Images from CW

All in all, I know I’d like to spend more time channeling my inner Petra. Not only would I love to base my wardrobe on hers, but I know I could be more of a boss like she is in times where I want to cower. So this time around watching Jane The Virgin, I’ll be doing so through Petra’s eyes, while only wishing I could rock a pastel blazer and shorts combo the way she does.