[CAUTION: This Post Contains Spoilers For Stargirl Season 1, Episode 4: Wildcat]
This week’s Stargirl reveals the ugly side of slut shaming and how it can ultimately ruin lives just to benefit someone else’s jealousy. We learn what lead to Yolanda’s popularity plummeting and her being cast out amongst her peers.
Popularity isn’t everything, but it matters when you’re running for student body president. We learn in this week’s episode of Stargirl which is entitled ‘Wildcat’ that Yolanda was once popular at Blue Valley High before Courtney showed up.
Cindy Burman, the cheerleader who attempts to recruit Courtney in the first episode was jealous that Yolanda was dating Henry King Junior. To get back at her, she sends every student the nude pictures that were sent to Brainwave’s son. She ended up with the guy and her rival ended up humiliated. It was because of her that the slut rumour started.
It’s also revealed in the episode that only a few months have passed since the incident as Yolanda is still grounded and doesn’t have her phone. Her parents don’t look at her in the same way anymore as it ruined their reputations around town.
Yolanda Learns The Truth About Henry King Snr
Despite her desire for revenge on her ex, Yolanda can’t bring herself to harm him when she enters Brainwave’s hospital room. Before this, Courtney tells her new friend that Henry Jr’s father is Brainwave.
The revelation of Henry’s father being Brainwave is a surprise to Yolanda, but we don’t really see much of her reaction to it. We also don’t know why she stopped herself in harming her ex.
Henry’s true colours are still up in the air. Whether he is genuinely an okay guy or an asshat is still to be seen, but when bumps into Yolanda in the hallway, he isn’t a total dick. Something tells us that there’s more to the story which we’ll get (hopefully) in a later episode.
Reputation Over Forgiveness
When Yolanda returns home from her first mission with Courtney, her family (sans her cousin) are far from thrilled that she was out. Thanks to the time she spent with her new friend, she tells her parents and grandmother that she wants to get her life back on track, but she can’t do that unless they forgive her. Her grandma says nothing but her mother and father can’t forget what happened.
Her parents’ rejection of her is soul crushing for her as she heads back to her room. It’s clear that Alex, her cousin is far from happy about the situation and he too leaves living space.
Yolanda’s parents clearly value people’s opinions of them more than forgiving their daughter for what happened. This goes to show why Yolanda is the perfect person to take on Wildcat. It will also help her regain her confidence.
Cindy Burman Equals Evil
It’s no secret that from the beginning, Cindy was going to be a massive adversary to Courtney, Yolanda, Beth, and Rick. We meet the cheerleader’s father in this episode, but he doesn’t state that the student body president is his child. He only mentions having a daughter. Though, anyone who has read the Stars and STRIPE comic series will know the connection.
We knew from the second we met Cindy in the first episode that she was going to be trouble. It wasn’t until last episode did we realise that she had a bigger connection to Yolanda than we thought.
This is also the second time Courtney has come up against Cindy in trying to protect Yolanda. In the comics, the two have a fierce rivalry which moves over into their rivalry as Stargirl and Shiv, respectively. We knew how manipulative Dragon King’s daughter can be, but we never suspected for a second that she became a bitch due to a boy she wanted but couldn’t have.
If we had to guess, she could’ve been spoilt by her father which lead her to be the popular girl she is. Jealousy was the last thing on our list. Though, we suspected something was off when she confronted Yolanda at her locker last episode.
What’s Next For Yolanda And Courtney?
Next week’s episode is ‘Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite’ which will see Beth and Rick take up their personas. It’s going to be so awesome to see these two take up their mantles.
Rick will take on his dad, Rex Tyler’s mantle of Hourman while Beth will take on Dr Mid-Nite. What makes this cool is the idea that we’ll see younger, more modern versions of the OG Justice Society. Since Courtney is allegedly Starman’s daughter, Yolanda is the next Ted Grant while Rick will be his dad’s successor. Beth, on the other hand will take over from Charles McNidler who was the original Dr. Mid-Nite.
We also hope that Courtney and Yolanda put Cindy in her place for being such a cow to them. Though, we suspect she’d kick their asses given the training her father has probably given her.
Does Cindy’s Bitterness Towards Yolanda Prove How Bad Slut Shaming Is?
We’ve all seen those movies or television shows where the protagonist or someone close to them is bullied by the popular person. Stargirl does an excellent job at showing how terrible slut shaming is. Cindy is not just the popular girl at school. She is also the Queen B bully who thinks she is entitled to everything including the resident jock.
While most stories have the jock and the head cheerleader always together in the beginning, Stargirl operates differently. The guy is with another girl who was popular and her rival wants him so she plots to steal him away. In the case of Yolanda, her life was ruined by Cindy all because she had the guy and her opponent did not.
We also need to wonder where Henry Junior stands in all this. Did he deliberately send the photos of Yolanda around? Did he cheat on his then-girlfriend with Cindy and they plotted to ruin her? We don’t know. All we do know is Henry violated Yolanda’s trust which is why she doesn’t want to talk to anyone.
When Courtney tells her she was the one who blew up Henry’s car, Yolanda begins to open up a little, but all this comes undone when she refuses to continue being Wildcat. However, she changes her mind after her family refuses to forgive her. Cindy and Henry really did a number on her.
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