Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. This not only includes fictional female characters in geeky media but creators as well. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for young girls to have said example to follow.
DISCLAIMER: The following contains spoilers galore for Netflix’s mega hit Stranger Things. If you’re not up to speed regarding the adventures of the Hawkins gang, you may want to remedy that now. Preferably before the Mind Flayer kills us all.
Robin Buckley (portrayed by Maya Hawke) attended Hawkins High School in Hawkins, Indiana with Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) and Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer). She shared a class with Steve, although the latter paid her no mind. Robin snagged a job at Scoops Ahoy in the Starcourt Mall in the summer of 1985. She ended up working alongside Steve, and the two formed a convoluted relationship. Initially, what started out as Robin putting Steve in his place at every turn evolved into a solid friendship. Robin aided Steve and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) in cracking a code overheard on Dustin’s invention “Cerebro.” Not only did she successfully translate its origin language, Russian, but she cracked said code herself. Huzzah!
Now, Robin spent the majority of her Season 3 run on the run from Russians in tandem with Steve, Dustin and Erica Sinclair (Priah Ferguson). Our Scoop Troopers discovered that the Russians were up to something in Hawkins, and their base was located in the underbelly of the Starcourt Mall. Robin and Steve were captured and tortured by the Russians, but Dustin and Erica came to their rescue.
Later, Steve revealed that he had feelings for Robin. Primarily, we were led to believe that said feelings were reciprocated. However, Robin confessed that she saw Steve as a friend. She was only obsessed with him in high school because he had the undivided attention of her crush – Tammy Thompson. Thankfully, Steve took the rejection in stride.
Lastly, by Season 3’s end, we saw Robin and Steve attempting to get a job at Family Video. Robin was employed on the spot, but she had to convince the manager to take on Steve as well.
The Real Deal:
Now, Robin is the real deal. The realest of the deals. First of all, she’s immensely intelligent. She’s fluent in French, Italian and Spanish, which is quite a feat for someone that young. Not to mention, she’s musically gifted, so we know she’s creative. Robin cracked a secret code in a foreign language, once again proving that she’s got a heaping helping of brains. She’s a snarky quip machine, doling out cutting one-liners to bring Steve down to size. You know, because his hair grows when his ego inflates.
However, underneath all the snark and sass, Robin has a heart of gold. She may harbor a small tribe, but she’s incredibly loyal to every single member. And, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how true Robin is to herself. She loves who she loves without compromise or shame. That’s the very definition of bravery, especially during a time when the LGBTQIA+ community wasn’t as widely accepted as it is now.
Why She Matters:
Alright, why does she matter? Robin is an LGBTQIA+ character in one of the most popular shows of all time. Stranger Things Season 3 raked in the most viewers of any Netflix series in one go. Robin’s visibility worldwide is immensely vital to the LGBTQIA+ community. Normalize love, people. My hope is folks will watch Robin and feel more empowered to be themselves, in whatever form that takes. That viewers will stand tall and live their lives proudly and loudly. Love is love is love is love.
Not to mention, Robin isn’t your typical “girly girl.” There’s nothing wrong with femininity by any stretch, but it’s refreshing to see a woman exist in a time when Barbie was the beauty standard. Yes, Robin is conventionally beautiful (Exhibit A: see Hawke’s famous parents), but she has a brain. She believes in the power of knowledge. Robin isn’t gullible and is fully aware of the world around her. She’s also incredibly adept at reading people i.e. Steve Harrington. Robin knows that jocks like him think they run the world, so she strives to put him in his place. Robin is proof positive that “pretty girls” can be multi-faceted, flawed characters. They can harbor hopes and dreams lingering beneath their aesthetically pleasing surfaces.
So, be like Robin. Be bold. Never be afraid to take the snarky route. Know that knowledge is power, and your intellect is your weapon. Always keep the pretty boy jocks in check. Oh, and never be afraid to tell Steve Harrington that he sucks.