If you look at any list of most hated characters on television, Dawn Summers will be on that list nine out of 10 times. I hate Dawn. I hate every time she screams, whether out of fear or just downright brattiness. I hate when she unwittingly blabs a secret Buffy is trying to keep. And I still stand by my theory that, if Dawn hadn't shown up on the scene, Joyce wouldn't have died. But as much as I hate Dawn, I am completely aware that I am Dawn. In fact, if you really sit down and think about your life, you'll realize that we are all Dawn from Buffy the Vampire Slayer .
She has the unfortunate tendency of reminding me of all the worst parts of myself circa 2004-2010. On occasion, I see myself in each character of Buffy. When I'm feeling confident in my work, I'm the Buff. When I'm being a goofball who drops things a lot, I'm Xander. When I'm trying to be earthy and make sure my succulents don't die, I'm Willow. The best thing about the Scooby Gang is that they are such real characters we can all identify with, even if we aren't teenaged demon-fighters. And that includes Dawn Summers.
So, as much as it may hurt us, we are all Dawn. We need to accept that about ourselves. May the one without sin cast the first stake. The following are seven examples to prove my point, because who among us hasn't...
1. ...Unknowingly Ruined Someone's Romantic Moment
Who among you hasn't walked in on a roommate when their scrunchy fell off the doorknob? Or broken up a sibling's date by insisting on using the basement TV to watch Cribs?
2. ...Written Nonsense In Our Diary
Maybe you didn't write in your diary daily. Maybe it was just a writing-when-Auntie-Beth-bought-you-a-diary-kinda-deal. But you still had one. And what you wrote in it was nonsense.
3. ...Fallen For The Bad Boy
First, Dawn fell for Spike, which of course I totally get. Spike is the cutest bleach-blonde man with black nail polish I have ever seen in all my days. Then, she goes after this football player guy who is actually a vampire. The bad guys I've obsessed over were in bands, but, hey. Maybe if they'd given me the time of day, I would have discovered they were actually undead.
4. ...Screamed With Bratty Rage
Oh, the many years of slammed doors and screams of "I hate you! I wish you weren't my mom!" Those were the days.
5. ...Felt Like We Didn't Belong
So, I mean, technically Dawn doesn't really belong in this world. Like, literally. She's a weird ball of energy squeezed into a human body, not a real human. But whatever. We've all been there.
6. ...Thought Sleeveless Turtlenecks Were OK
I had a yellow and white striped one that my mother told me really showed off the strength in my arms. Thanks, Mom.
7. ...Felt Overshadowed By A Sibling
It's tough for anyone to be the younger sibling. It's probably even tougher to be the younger sibling when your sister is 10 times stronger than you. Those wedgies must be serious.
So, you see? Dawn may be the most unpopular characters of all the unpopular characters on Buffy, but you can't deny that she is you and you are her. I'm definitely her, and I'm trying to come to terms with that. Slowly. Mostly by re-watching Buffy.