On Buffy the Vampire Slayer

A Reflection of Ugliness

By Charlaine Harris

If you’ve watched as many episodes of Buffy as I have, you’ve probably noticed an interesting phenomenon.

The monsters are all ugly. The good guys are all pretty.

Oh, I’ve had moments of disgruntlement with the Buffyverse.

For example, I’m a round person myself, and I’ve noticed Sunnydale doesn’t exactly cater to the overweight. Well, okay. Probably living over the Hellmouth would make you so nervous you wouldn’t eat much. And I’ve noticed that most of the Sunnydale populace is hardly what you would call racially diverse. Dawn has an African-American friend, and the villainous Mr. Trick is black. Mr. Wood, the last season’s ambiguous principal, is black, and does finally emerge (mostly) on the side of good. But with those few exceptions, and the rare black vampire, the population of the town is pretty bleached. Okay . . . maybe the Hispanics and African-Americans were smarter than the WASPs, and got the hell out of Sunnydale. In a way, that absence of color is almost complimentary.

But ugliness is a different issue. If you’re ugly, you’re evil.

Think of it, if you haven’t already. Buffy herself is lovely, of course. Her clothes are always cute. Her shoes never have scuff marks. Buffy’s hair and makeup are perfection. That’s understandable. She’s the hero!

Willow, Xander, Giles, Cordelia, Oz, Dawn, Angel, Riley, Spike–all variations on hotness.

You’d think that Buffy the Vampire Slayer, of all shows–the only television show to ever acknowledge openly that high school is Hell and dating can be fatal–would show a little more sophistication  …

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