An illustration of Scorpia from Netflix’ She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, referencing Season 8, episode 7, ‘Perils of Peekablue.”
SPOILER: Scorpia is good now. The most important lesson we can take from She-Ra is that compassion for our enemies is never weakness. Scorpia embodies this – she has strength and power in abundance. She could keep it, but she chooses the other thing. Here she gets a moment to enjoy the other thing – to gaze with love at someone she once thought of as an enemy and once saw her the same way.
‘Good’ isn’t something a person can just be. It takes introspection, recognition and courage. Good is what you do, not who you are. Scorpia is not a scorpion and would never sting a frog for the hell of it. It takes a while, but eventually she finds the courage to make that *ahem* transition and *ahem* come out of the dark and lonely fortress, into a bigger, freer world. It also takes courage to accept that in other people – the compassion the Princesses show in letting Scorpia into their alliance makes them all stronger. It is an act of solidarity. Compassion and acceptance are why SPOILER: they win in the end.
Originally this had a quote, “I’m just the muscle,” between the face & claw. It never looked or sat right with me and after much effort trying to improve it, I painted it out. If you’ve seen the episode, you know the line. No need for me to clutter up the picture with words you know, even if they are pure poetry. Those are the words of someone who profoundly doubts themself, who can’t allow themself to see past their own perceived limitations. While she might find it hard to admit it to herself, she knows it isn’t true, and the good friends around her give her the chance she needs to prove it.
Acrylic on greyboard, 162 x 228mm
W&N Galeria paints: Titanium White, Burgundy, Pale Violet (flower only).
Daler-Rowney FW inks: Black, Red Earth, Turquoise.
“But Keira, this is a cartoon. For kids.”
True enough. Now, I’m not (and will never be) a parent, but if a parent and child were watching this together, and I were in the parent’s position, I imagine the interaction would go something like this:
“Mummy, are you alright? Why are you crying?”
“I’m happy, dear. I love this programme.”
“I know mummy, you smile every time. But it seems like parts make you sad.”
“They do, sweetie. I’m glad you have good cartoons like She-Ra. When I was young, cartoons were different.”
“But… wasn’t She-Ra a cartoon from then?”
“Yes, but… we weren’t really supposed to watch those. Kids like me. And… we had Section 28.”
“Was Section 28 a cartoon? It sounds scary.”
“It was scary. But it wasn’t a cartoon. It was a horrible law that meant we weren’t allowed to be ourselves, and people who should help us, like our teachers, weren’t allowed to. I didn’t even know about it at the time. I… I’m a bit scared things will slide back. Kids need to be themselves.”
“That sounds awful. I’m glad you can be yourself now. Even if happy things make you cry.”
“Thank you, sweetie.”
“And I like how you’ve done your nails, mummy. That’s a really nice red.”