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  • Writer's picturezandaleeindigo

Protect Jules Vaughn

Anyone who knows me knows that despite its flaws, and I will admit there are flaws, I am an avid fan of Euphoria. I'm a sucker for a good coming of age narrative and since I was 12 I've indulged in my fair share of teen drama shows. But what really drew me to the show was the cast of characters and the style of it. The expressive clothing and makeup worn by the diverse and familiar cast of girls left me infatuated with it, and it's impacted me in the most positive way.

Recently though because of Covid, filming of season two of the show had to be put on the back burner and the director, Sam Levinson, decided to make up for the lack of content by releasing smaller "special" episodes that focus on a handful of characters. The first special "Trouble Don't Last Always" was released on Dec. 4 and was one of the best written episodes of the show to date. It was essentially a therapy session between Rue and Ali on Christmas and the small scale of the cast and simplicity of the episode really gave us as an audience a look into the characters we likely wouldn't have gotten if we'd gone right on to season 2. So of course, there was much excitement when we learned Jules would be getting her own episode and that Hunter Schafer would have a hand in writing the script. So is it any surprise when "F*ck Anyone Who's Not A Sea Blob" came out nearly two weeks ago it quickly became my favorite Euphoria episode to date, unseating the infamous carnival episode.

The episode is akin to Rue's, a therapy session in which Jules unpacks the happenings of season one from her character's perspective. What was amazing about this episode though was it filled in a lot of gaps we had in Jules' character, who was getting a lot of hate from what I think was a misunderstanding about the weight she was under as the events of the first season unfolded. So I'm super thankful to the special episode for not only letting us know how much Jules was affected by everything but also for giving us insight into things that happened off screen to flesh out her character fully.

Hunter's pen is definitely also the reason for my overwhelming love for the episode. I mean, it begins with a montage in Jules eye of things that happened last season as Lorde's "Liability" plays in the background----and that's when I knew I'd love it. Jules begins speaking to her therapist about possibly going off some of her hormones because she's decided she's living too much of her life trying to please men; even though what men want is boring and uninteresting." Her therapist takes in this information and remarks that Jules is being extremely critical of herself, and maybe she should relax a bit. Jules then responds with one of my favorite lines from this episode, "without self criticism I'd be lost." Something extremely poignant and relatable to me because I am notorious for taking a step back from myself and analyzing everything I see, constantly adjusting and evolving. Sometimes it's hard to give yourself breaks, let yourself just be.

The conversation continues and Jules starts to talk about her transition and her relationship with femininity. She rehashes a line we heard in season one, "femininity conquered me" and she expounds upon it by describing how she felt like she had to be this perfectly put together dainty thing to be feminine. I think this segment of the episode ties in to a link between two marginalized groups that I've been struggling to articulate for a while now. This idea of consistently trying to be seen as feminine, even though you are just by being you, is a universal experience for Black women and trans women specifically and I think it's a struggle that is unique to us.

Obviously gender is a spectrum and everyone has masculine and feminine energy, but I don't know how often as a cisgender Black woman I've looked in the mirror and felt like I wasn't feminine. Until recently, when I began to gain self confidence and really love myself I didn't think I'd ever be cute or dainty like white women or women who don't look like me are, because Black women are so masculinized in society. This is of course worse for women with darker complexions than me, and doubly so for Black trans women, which is why it's so important that we protect them and lift them up.

But I've been wondering for years how to convey the feeling I have when I hear my favorite transgender YouTubers speak about their relationships with womanhood and how even though our experiences are different I can always relate somehow. And I realized it's the constant uphill battle to "achieve femininity" that really unites us. And I love that Hunter included it in this episode because I felt so seen by it, and I'm sure it impacted so many other young people just as much as it did me, if not more.

Another thing I really loved about this episode was the deepening of Rue and Jules relationship. We knew exactly how Rue felt about Jules because she was one of the focal characters of season 1, but the way Jules felt about Rue was a bit open ended. The special not only solidified Jules' feelings by having her verbally express them to her therapist but also by showing us vignettes of moments between them to establish their connection. And it's especially sweet because they're things that are exclusively intimate between them. Like Jules taking Rue's makeup off and Rue giving Jules her hormones. Just very creative ways to show their love and it's extremely heartwarming to see.

This post was really just me loving on Euphoria and relating to Jules for 5 minutes, but if the show continues to keep this same energy in season 2 I have no doubt I'll love it as much as the first. And just like most people, I'm crossing my fingers that we get more cast members like Hunter taking a stab at writing. And yeah. Jules deserves all the love in the world.

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Feb 06, 2021

“without self criticism I'd be lost." Something extremely poignant and relatable to me because I am notorious for taking a step back from myself and analyzing everything I see, constantly adjusting and evolving. Sometimes it's hard to give yourself breaks, let yourself just be.“ — These are my favorite lines of this piece. The language is at once descriptive, analytical, and poetic.

No, I have never actually SEEN Euphoria, but I can feel you through your description of better

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