Friday, October 7, 2016

Gillian Anderson and The Scully Effect

via Gillian Anderson's website
Let’s talk about Gillian Anderson and her character Dana Scully from The X-Files.

I had always appreciated the fact that Dana Scully was never your “normal” main female character. Dana fought for what she believed was right, didn’t let people push her around, and certainly did not fit your basic “damsel in distress” picture. Sure, sometimes she needed help, but there were also times where she had to roll up her sleeves and get Mulder out of some difficult situations. If anything, Fox Mulder is definitely more of a damsel in distress.

Don't worry, Mulder, we love you anyway. (via GIPHY)

Then I started reading about Gillian Anderson and completely fell in love with her and Scully. Especially once I learned about The Scully Effect.

So what is The Scully Effect?

“It was a surprise to me, when I was told that. We got a lot of letters all the time, and I was told quite frequently by girls who were going into the medical world or the science world or the FBI world or other worlds that I reigned, that they were pursuing those pursuits because of the character of Scully. And I said, ‘Yay!’” - Gillian Anderson, when asked about The Scully Effect

Essentially, The Scully Effect is what happened when girls grew up watching Dana Scully and viewed the young doctor and FBI agent as a role model. They pursued careers in S.T.E.M fields (S.T.E.M: science, technology, engineering and medicine), inspired by the courageous and unflappable redhead.

Dana Scully was the complete opposite of what people expected the female sidekick to be back then. She was not considered sexy, she didn’t have big boobs or fine legs, she often wore baggy pantsuits, and when not working was usually found with messy hair and loose shirts. Although later in the series, a relationship between her and Mulder was hinted at, that was absolutely not the focus (although Mulder flirted off and on with her which, frankly, I’ve mostly found adorable).

What was the focus? The fact that Dana was a hardworking woman in a field not usually open to women and she was there to talk sense into Mulder and kick butt, not provide eye candy and sexual tension.

Just like Uhura from Star Trek was a revolutionary role model for young black women, Dana Scully made young women realize they could be like her (sans aliens...probably).

Did you know?
  • Gillian told the producers of The X-Files that she was 27 when she auditioned, even though she was actually only 24.
  • She’s an avid art collector and used her first check from The X-Files to purchase a piece of artwork by David Blackburn.
  • Quite the activist, Gillian supports Women’s Rights, Children’s Rights, and Indigenous Rights, among others.
  • Not a fan of The X-Files? Gillian also appears in the BBC miniseries Bleak House and the NBC show Hannibal.
  • Gillian is actually a blonde, but they decided to make her a redhead for The X-Files. As a result, Dana Scully is one of the most famous redheads on TV.
Interested in reading more about The Scully Effect? Check out these articles:
What do you think about The Scully Effect? Think about some of your role models, or even just favorite characters, from movies or shows. How have they affected you?


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