Beauty and Brains.

Scandal’s Olivia Pope is exquisite. Sexy and smart all mixed into one powerful woman. Here is a list of why I love her:

  1. Olivia Pope does not use her appearance as a weapon. Kerry Washington plays the beautiful Olivia Pope.  But Olivia is not just her looks. She is always professionally clad.  Only a sliver of her skin ever shows, but she doesn’t need to use her body to command attention. As a politically-savy lawyer, she rubs shoulders with some of the most powerful people in the US government. Dictators, senators, reverends and CEOs seek her crisis management skills.
  1. Olivia Pope is no Meredith Grey (Grey’s Anatomy). They both have romantic relationships with their bosses. However, Olivia Pope doesn’t choose the man: she chooses herself, her integrity and her career. After her breakup, she doesn’t medicate herself by spending countless nights hanging around a bar waiting for some man to pick her up. instead, she focuses all her energy into her career.
  1. Olivia Pope is at the center of the narrative. Currently, there aren’t any  shows on a major network like ABC  featuring a black woman as the lead of a drama. Kerry Washington’s portrayal of Olivia Pope is compelling. Her character is complex. She is a crisis management guru struggling with her feelings for the most powerful man in America. Olivia manages  a band of employees with colourful pasts which forces the viewer to question whether  Olivia is charitable or simply the ring leader of a band of criminals.
  1. Olivia Pope does not play into any of the stereotypes that float around about black women. Olivia is not a black American she is an American. She doesn’t speak Ebonics, she is not loud, her name is normal, she’s not overweight, nor is she overly religious and she does not play into the hypersexual stereotype of black women. And she is wanted and lusted after by the most powerful man in America. Olivia Pope leaves the stereotypes in the dust.
  1. Olivia Pope is not just a black woman, she is a woman. Shonda Rhimes does an excellent job of leveling the playing field for shows that have black women as the lead. As the lead, Olivia is relatable. Every woman can relate to Olivia Pope. She is vulnerable, funny, rational,emotional, and ambitious.. This is how I want to be perceived: not as a black woman but as a woman.  Before I am black, I am a woman. I give Scandal’s Olivia Pope the 3 B’s of approval: black, brains and beauty.

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