13 Life Lessons 'Jessica Jones' Has Taught Us
There is perhaps no greater anti-heroine on television right now than Netflix's Jessica Jones, the whiskey-swilling, door-kicking, grimacing superhero slash detective with a checkered past and a seemingly endless supply of one liners. As The New Yorker's television critic Emily Nussbaum wrote of the series in December 2015: "In the world of Marvel Comics, a female antihero — a female anything — is a step forward. But a rape survivor, struggling with P.T.S.D., is a genuine leap. [...] In a genre format that is often reflexively juvenile about sexuality, Jessica Jones is distinctly adult, an allegory that is unafraid of ugliness." There is no better way to put it, really: Jessica, as played by Krysten Ritter, is a truly revolutionary character. In fact, when you think about it, Jessica Jones can actually teach us all a lot about life.
From her trademark leather jacket and jeans getup to her perfectly acerbic retorts, Jessica Jones has proven time and time again that when it comes to getting exactly what you want, even when the odds are decidedly stacked against you, a little tenacity goes a long, long way. Here are 13 life lessons we can all learn from the Netflix hero (and the show at large).
1. Even Heroes Have Flaws
Although she has superhuman strength and can jump higher than an Olympian gold medalist, Jessica still struggles with alcoholism, emotional detachment, and the repercussions of PTSD stemming from experiences being held captive by the evil Kilgrave.
2. Powerful Women Can Be Friends Without Undermining Each Other
As Jessica's longtime bond with Trish Walker demonstrates, female friendship is one of the most powerful forces out there.
3. All Relationships Are Complicated
Jessica's powerful lawyer Jeri Hogarth's complicated romantic relationships are some of the most multi-layered ones on the show.
4. Survivors Of Abuse Don't Always Act As You'd Expect Them To...
While Jessica's return to Kilgrave may seem incomprehensible, she made the choice necessary for her own survival, and for those she cared about. The series, above all, paints an intricate portrait of survivorship.
5. ...And, Sadly, Sometimes Aren't Believed
The skepticism experienced by those who found themselves in Kilgrave's path could be shocking, and those who survived his control found themselves in need of a support group.
6. Evil Doesn't Always Present Itself As Such Up Front
While Kilgrave never seems like the larger-than-life villains presented in other Marvel features, he inevitably destroys everything in his path right after he's gotten his pleasantries out of the way.
7. Empowerment Begins Within
As Jessica proves, self-empowerment starts from within. Regardless of what others say or think, she always does what she believes is right, whether that means supporting Hope, an imprisoned teen with a seemingly lost case, or making sure Kilgrave is taken care of once and for all, despite the seeming impossibility of that scenario.
8. You Don't Need Men For Validation
As Jessica proves, it's perfectly fine to let dating take a backseat to your professional life, and put yourself first when the situation calls for it.
9. Asking For Help Isn't A Sign Of Weakness
Especially while saving the world. From Trish to Jeri, whenever Jessica needs a collaborator, she's not afraid to make herself vulnerable.
10. Sometimes Having An Unorthodox Approach Pays Off
Even if others might not understand where you're going right away. When Jessica usurps Trish's broadcast to bait Kilgrave into coming after her, for instance, the station (and public at large) aren't immediately receptive, but in the end, it brings her nemesis right where she wants him.
11. Always Have Back Ups
Or, for the non-superheroes among us, maybe just a rough idea of your goals will suffice. When Jessica takes off her leather jacket at the end of the day, not everything (or even most things) will have gone according to plan, but if you're a superhero detective, you know that having a solid plan b (and c, and d...) is very needed.
12. There's A Hero In All Of Us
Even the city's beloved talk show host, Trish, who has no "real" superhero qualities to speak of, has moments where she truly seems like she could take over the world. Every character in the series, both hero and civilian alike, has the potential to undertake their own acts of bravery. Or as Jessica jokes at their neighborhood bar, "You want to be a hero? Shots on Trish Walker, everyone!"
13. Also? Some Women Can Go Shot-For-Shot With The Best Of 'Em
Who says whiskey-drinking is a man's sport? Bottoms up.
You may not be a superhero like Jessica, but you can certainly take her lessons to heart.
Images: Netflix, Giphy (13)