Starfire is a sweet and spunky young superhero from the 2003 hit television show Teen Titans. Within the show, Starfire is introduced to be the second in line and princess of her home planet of “Tamaran.” Due to this fact, she can be seen feeling ostracized from her fellow teammates during some the the episodes throughout the series progression. As you watch the show you can see what a positive example Starfire’s character provides for young women not only within the United States, but around the world as well.
Starfire serves the quintessential role model for young girls worldwide. She defies our societies overwhelming apprehension towards individuals who are different. I find that people who deviate from the norm are often ostracized because the people who would consider becoming friends with that person fear that people will pass judgement upon them as well. However, this show also provides a great example of camaraderie for young teens to follow. It sends the message that true friends will accept, love, and value you wholeheartedly regardless of societal expectations. Starfire’s team (the Teen Titans) consist of: Robin, Beast Boy, Raven, and Cyborg who treasure her for what she uniquely brings to the table.
Within the text, A Beginning Theory written by Peter Barry he introduces the theoretical frameworks of “Feminism and feminist criticism.” I thought that this was relevant to Starfire’s character because he talks about what was acceptable for the females around the time of the 1970’s and how we as a society continue to press the issues of equality for both genders. Starfire could be seen as a figurehead for the reinvented idea of what it means to be a woman. She strives to be the best asset to her team that she can possibly be. She is incredibly strong and at times tougher and/or more powerful than her male teammates. She has numerous superhuman abilities including: flight, superhuman strength, endurance, reflexes, and ultraviolet energy projection which help her to fight villains. She is very humble, sweet, and compassionate yet she is opinionated, strong-minded, and would never be used as a doormat. I can relate to all of these characteristics that Starfire portrays because I share and internalize these characteristics as a woman as well.
Despite the fact that she is from a different planet, Starfire brings many assets to her team that are crucial for their overall success. As an individual Starfire exudes grace, power, elegance, confidence, and focus. During the episode entitled Betrothed Starfire exemplifies each of these characteristics. In synopsis of this episode’s plot, Starfire returns home to marry the revolting beast named “Gruddlesletch” who the grand ruler of her planet has arranged for her to marry. However, upon Starfire’s return to her home planet she discovers that her evil sister Blackfire has assumed the throne and has taken the esteemed title of “Grand Ruler of Tamaran.” Starfire learns that if she does not accept the marriage proposal from Gruddlesletch, Tamaran will be destroyed by the army of Gruddlesletch’s home planet of “Dreanthax Four.”
Towards the end of the episode Starfire learns that Blackfire has less than noble intentions for the future of Tamaran. We learn that Blackfire has arranged to have Starfire marry Gruddlesletch as payment for her to receive the “Jewel of Charta” which has been held in the possession of Dreanthax Four. The jewel is revealed be to incredibly powerful– with the ability to enhance the user’s pre-existing power exponentially. The rest of the Teen Titans learn about this trickery and Robin breaks into the wedding ceremony to tell Starfire the truth. Starfire challenges Blackfire to a duel for the crown and ultimately wins the title of Grand Ruler by destroying the jewel. She proceeds to give her crown over to Galfore (her adoptive father) and choses to go back to Earth with her teammates to continue to fight injustice.
Starfire serves as a kickass role model that I think every young girl could benefit from watching on television because of the many characteristics that she exemplifies. As a closing sentiment here is one of my favorite quotes from this episode: “There will always be people who say mean words because you are different. And sometimes their minds cannot be changed. But there are many more people that do not judge people based on how they look, or where they came from. Those are the people whose words truly matter.” (Starfire, ep. Betrothed)