Why Thor: Ragnarok's Valkyrie is important for women of colour and the LGBTQ community
- By LeratoEnchanted
- On 06/11/2017
- 0 comments
Tessa Thompson coming on screen as Valkyrie is more important than we give it credit for. We're talking about a black bisexual woman serving some serious finesse on a movie by a studio as big as Marvel. Thompson realises the advantageous position she's in and she's unashamedly using it to push the "agenda" of putting more women, especially of colour, on. Needless to say, she's a queen with a purpose, muchlike her on-screen persona, Valkyrie- who debuted on the third Thor movie titled Thor: Ragnarok.
Valkyrie was part of a women-only warrior group who were set apart as the protectors of Asgard. She's the only surviving member of the army, and eventually moves on to stand side-by-side with Thor himself as one of his trusted allies.
Representation being a big subject matter right now, Valkyrie's strong, independent and downright awesome presence comes highly. She has given women of colour a hero to look up to that looks just like them. While Black Panther has every person of colour very excited, women of colour get to have Valkyrie all to themselves.
The warrior is openly bisexual in the comics, and although her sexuality hasn't been touched upon yet in the cinematic universe, this is already a big step forward. I can't wait until the character is developed more in upcoming movies, and eventually her own movie. I can already imagine all the little girls who are going to look at her and say "you know what? I am as awesome as Valkyrie, there's nothing wrong with me".
I know what shows like Pretty Little Liars, where they had an openly lesbian girl as one of the leads, can do for little girls, and teenage girls. Seeing someone who feels the same way is you, is the same way as you, can do a lot for self-love and self-acceptance. I've read confessions online about how Emily Fields (the lesbian girl in Pretty Little Liars) has helped a lot of girls, and even adult women, accept themselves and not be afraid to be who they are no matter how the world treats them. I predict this same impact from Valkyrie as a character in the Marvel cinematic universe. It's very comforting to know that her character has the room to grow as a symbol for change and self-awareness.
Thompson herself seems to be enjoying being a part of a big revolution. In one of her recent interviews she excitedly reveals that she has went up to Kevin Fiege (Marvel's big boss) and demanded that there be an all-woman superhero movie already; to which he himself confessed that he had no choice but to agree to. Although Marvel executives might duck developing that idea for a pretty long time, as they have done to the Black Widow movie (huffs hot air), it's admirable that she's empowered and aware enough to want that for women.
Valkyrie in the movie Thor: Ragnarok shows the same free-spiritedness and self-awareness as Thompson herself. Regardless of how many times Thor announces that he is her leader, she refuses to abide by him and instead insists that he plays by her rules. She's tough, she's smart and tactical, and she's charming as hell. I, as a black woman, was very impressed by how unremorsefully she was depicted.
It's not everyday that you see a black woman on screen kicking ass, putting herself first and being unapologetic about it. Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie is someone to celebrate, to be excited about. She's an undeniable win for women and with Thompson behind the character, we're up to witness quite a significant change in terms of the representation of women of colour on screen.