Teenage Witches in Pop Culture | Something Wicked Pt. 3

haters Road and today on something wicked I am going to be talking about teenage witches so I'm gonna describe for you a book series set in the 90s about magic and think about what you think that series might be it's set in a magical school in a castle which is surrounded by forests where lots of evil deeds happen there are school houses people can make themselves invisible there's a big Halloween celebration people could turn into animals and our hero gets into a spot of bother involving bucking broomsticks actually it wasn't Harry Potter it was another book series called the worst witch by Jill Murphy this series was all the rage when I was younger I think we read it when we were around 7 or 8 and that year everybody came into school dressed as the main character Mildred Hubbell for National Book Day when you had to dress up as your favorite book character maybe because it was a very easy costume it was just a school uniform with a pointed hat made out of like black sugar paper but whatever I would use back then were just popular in fiction but in the real world too there was a boom in the 90s and early noughties of paganism in the u.s. scholar Helen a burger actually pinpoints characters like Sabrina Spellman from Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a catalyst for interest in real world Wiccan practices the popularity of witchcraft in pop culture texts and in real life spiritual practices are linked not necessarily in a causal relationship but in the way they're both so popular with teenage girls I actually think that the internet played a huge role in this as well the idea that girls could talk to each other on these kind of chat rooms quite freely the idea that the information was available to them online and they wouldn't have to you know go into a bookstore and buy the books and they weren't hampered by the fact that they would have to travel far distances and things like that which kind of had kept them out of the more adult areas of witchcraft and wicker have been going on since the 70s surveys of teens who practice witchcraft and those who watched on-screen talked about the importance of nature of empowerment and of rituals girls as Verger has said came for the magic but then stayed for the spirituality the idea of magic being an independent power innate to you as an individual is hugely important especially when taking into account how far WIC emphasizes personal determination of belief systems and personal freedom over extensive rules Amira's so clearly the process of adolescents of finding your identity and challenging external power structures so often Mildred Hubble the worst witch I came onto Sabrina the Teenage Witch who was very aptly named and this was a little bit different to Mildred because motored exist in this world that were similar to ours but very different because magic was known where as Sabrina was very much existing in our world where magic was a secret she existed in and parallel to our world the fact that magic was secret even from her for most of her life meant that it wasn't just a fictional impossibility Sabrina's worries revolve around school and family she's worried about looking weird in front of her crush Harvey and about being bullied the same way team girls in our world are worried about the same thing but for more muggle reasons and speaking of muggles my next interaction with witches happened with Hama Lenny Granger and Willow Rosenberg magic for these two was about knowledge and became a way for shy introverted bookworms everywhere to feel powerful willows knowledge set her apart from her fellow Scoobies and although everyone in the pot of us have access to magic Hermione often had a higher knowledge of mythology literature and spells that even people raised around the practice it gave them a purpose within their groups they have to study in research but it's self-directed this is also an aspect of their identity that allows them to exist in a way outside of their parents the magic makes them different from their parents there's an episode of Buffy called gingerbread where widows mother actually tries to burn her at the stake because of this this then furthers the parallel with teen girls and our world this kind of relationship between the independence that you want and the dependence that you still have on your parents the kind of gap that you have between you and your parents but the fact that you rely so heavily on them Amani willow also have some different aspects which link them to witchcraft in the real world willows magic and her sexuality become increasingly linked through the series I talked about this in my last video on queer witches which are linked below but her romantic relationship with other women is fostered through their shared interest in this female communal power her money on the other hand links magic together with activism with a boundary of Sciences blurred by magic surely the boundary of an unjust society can be blurred by activism whereas the character of Luna provides this idea of spirituality which so many girls said they craved in the idea of witches of witchcraft of this sort of whimsy of something which is unknowable when that's totally fine schoolgirl narratives were and continue to be popular through the 20th and into the 21st centuries in these texts the girls often victims of circumstances and cruelty at the hands of bullies teachers social class even wicked family members and in witchcraft to the mix is often a way of empowering teen girls against this onslaught while raising the stakes by taking us out of realistic levels of suffering so moving into a bit more of an adult text the 1996 film the craft this had a group of girls who were suffering in this kind of way through things which are external to them through racism through disfigurement through suicidal ideation and then it showed them coming together and had these montages of them within this type friendship group and expressing their desires openly their smells were personal often around outward appearance and revolves around small vengeance and changing that appearance for example they wish to revenge on a racist bully but not the way of fighting the white supremacist system as a whole they wish for beauty for themselves but not to be accepted for who they are this feeds into the short-sighted self obsessed teen girl stereotype in a lot of ways their desires for beauty and romantic love are positioned within the social framework of our current society of course this is what girls want it's a society which encourages girls to want these things and then demonize them for wanting them at the same time this kind of plays out in the film when you have the idea of the girl who wants to get rid of her scars becomes this massive narcissist and the girl who wants to be wanted by a boy is threatened with attempted rape because he wants her just so much that he can't stop American Horror Story coven gives us a similar view of real world issues for a magical metaphor and statement this nun a girl with Down syndrome who is others thoughts I direct contrast to the stereotypes around people with the syndrome as unable to communicate properly Queenie an african-american girl cannot feel pain in a similar way to indestructible black characters across comic books such as Luke Cage seen as a reference to violence against black people to wear protecting themselves the Gargan bonding in the crafting coven is then seeped in negativity when they turn on each other painting female friendship is mob mentality using Seiden sup harm so closely associated with young women so is this a damming of magic and women well the end of the craft maybe suggests otherwise Sarah the girl they all turned on is the only one to retain her powers maybe it's a road for not being corrupted I think there were just so many things that linked this idea of witchcraft and the idea of growing up as a teenager the idea that a lot of these stories magic is something there has to be learned it's something that they discover about themselves and has to be honed it's very similar to this process of becoming who you are and fostering an identity for yourself like I talked about in the very first video of this series the idea of magic is this idea of this internal power and that's something that can be extremely powerful at a time in your life where you feel particularly powerless so what do you think about teenage witches and you have any examples that I haven't mentioned let me know in the comments below and then tell us see you next time bye