Sorry, but I just don’t get Effy Stonem
She’s got nothing on Jal
Most people, if asked to name the first Skins character that came into their heads, would blurt out Effy Stonem. More than that – if people had to pick the one character that epitomised the whole series, I’m certain that most, again, would name Effy Stonem. People wanted to – and still do want to, even though Skins and the character of Effy turned 10 this month – dress like Effy; talk like Effy; be like Effy. And I’m sorry, but I don’t get why.
I suppose it’s kind of neat that she’s the only character to properly tie Generation 1 and 2 together (and no one seems to care about Generation 3 anyway), initially appearing as Tony’s rebellious sister before blossoming into a (slightly) more complex character. Kaya Scodelario is a great actress too, there’s no denying it, and of course she’s beautiful on top of that: but I don’t understand how every man, woman, and child seems to fawn over such a two-dimensional character.
Especially when compared to characters like Michelle and Jal – Cassie’s romanticising of anorexia and depression is problematic to say the least – Effy just falls flat. Michelle and Jal are believable: yeah, Michelle’s a bitch sometimes, and yeah, maybe Jal’s a bit dull, but you get to see them develop. Skins is great because it takes imperfect people and beats them into better people – not necessarily perfect, but better. Effy has no such development.
Okay, yeah, she goes from arbitrarily being a selective mute to being the life and soul of the party, but that’s not even focused on. How did Effy go from talking to no one but Tony to the confident girl of seasons 3 and 4? What was the point of her even being selectively mute? How did she have so many guys after her when she didn’t even speak a damn word? I’m painfully shy and I can assure you that in the real world, silence is nowhere near as enticing.
I don’t even get why people want to dress like her. What’s so endearing about day-old eyeliner? To quote Katie Fitch: ‘babe, I’m not being funny but you look like microwaved shit’. She does look like ‘microwaved shit’: from start to finish. I’m not sure what came first – cringeworthy Tumblr ‘hipsters’ or Effy’s wardrobe – but they’re both as tragic as each other. The laddered tights; the oversized tees; the Doc Martens: it all just screams ‘try-hard’.
People hate Generation 3’s Mini for being a ‘bitch’, but can we please remember that Effy literally tried to kill Katie Fitch over Freddie? She took a rock to the girl’s head in the middle of the woods. Because, you know, it’s great to have a strong female lead that tries to kill another girl over a man. It’s excusable anyway because she was on shrooms at the time, right? ‘Sorry, I was so out of it!’ is a good excuse for chundering on your friend’s shoes, not bludgeoning them with a bloody rock.
I’m probably bitter because I was never as cool as Effy; never had a best friend like Pandora; never had a boyfriend like Freddie or Cook. But I’m fine with being one of the Jals or Michelles of the world: flawed enough to be human, boring enough to be believable, and I’m fairly certain my dull but safe life will mean my boyfriend will never get beaten to death in a dodgy basement somewhere.
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