We confess, we love Olivia Pope. We want to be Olivia Pope. We want Olivia Pope to be the president. But, most of all, we want her clothes. Why? She’s been labeled an unrepentant home wrecker, a lawbreaker and a win-at-all cost, cold-hearted manipulator. So why do American women label her hero and worship at her feet?
It’s no mystery. There are top ten reasons why we love Olivia Pope.
Her Clothes. Call us superficial, silly and superfluous. Who cares? Olivia’s clothes are a study in fabulous. Previously unaware, the perfect date was on the steps of the Lincoln memorial wearing elbow length leather gloves; we’ve now been schooled. The coats. The collection makes us gasp. They are elegant, sophisticated, swoon worthy. Modern feminism touts we toss out love of clothing to be taken seriously. Olivia turns the notion on its head.
Non-fussy suits, a collection of leisure wear with nary a Target yoga pant in sight, stunning handbags paint a picture of how we envision ourselves when success makes it way to our pocketbooks; when we no longer have to buy shoes for the kids, new tires, or juice boxes. Successful men for centuries have claimed designer suits, handmade shirts with monograms and stunning brogues as proof of hard work. Why on earth would we expect less from women at the table?
The wine. She confessed she didn’t care for the taste. “That’s because you’ve never had good wine,” her father chided. We don’t care for him, but we are down for his wine lessons. He turned her on to a top sommelier and she took note, as is her habit. Now after a long day, she dons gorgeous oversize sweaters and silk pants to pour a glass of something that costs more than we make in a week. Heaven.
Her Apartment. You just know it’s in Georgetown or Dupont Circle or somewhere that fabulous. From its’ deep wood trims to its’ traditional, yet updated style, it is cozy, comfy and a welcoming place for either Fitz or Jake to lay their weary heads. It features architectural detail from intricately beveled ceilings with carved buttresses to arched doorways. A gold dining room chandelier mysteriously disappeared around season two (mistake). A baby grand piano graces a corner niche though we have yet to see our goddess play. Then there are the mirror inlaid closet doors in the bedroom and the black tile in the kitchen. It spells warm, happy home for a chick that kicks ass every day and needs somewhere to ruminate. We are, indeed, jealous.
The Office. No cubicles here. Windows bathe hard work in sunlight and city views. It is hard to decide if the building’s inside or outside is more breathtaking. Deep wood accents, broad desks to spread things about and solve problems big and small, along with enough technology to keep Huck and Quinn spying on the world. There are also couches in case you worked so hard you had to sleep over or hide from a stalker.
The multi-hued hardwood conference room table plays host to new caseloads and using windows as bulletin boards makes the heart sing. If only our offices or cubicles boasted a window, we could try the same.
She Takes In The Broken. A more broken cast of characters would be hard to find. Olivia gathered them carefully and gave them a place to call home and a group to call family. Herself included. She is as damaged as Huck and Quinn, but aren’t we all? We bring our battle scars to the workplace. Olivia welcomes them and turns them into strengths, creating gladiators from empty hearts. We’re damaged too. Can we go work in DC?
No Time for That. Our girl does not suffer fools. She ain’t got time for that. Is it not refreshing to find a woman on television that neither gossips nor whines, manipulates her husband and children, or becomes such a bitch we cannot stand the sight of her? Most women are somewhere in between and that’s why we worship Olivia. Like most of us, she’s got no time to be silly, snarky or idiotic. She is far too busy saving the world and taking down bad guys.
She’s a Real Person. No, really. Olivia Pope is based on real life Judy Smith, a DC and LA based fixer and she knows her stuff. This woman maneuvered the country through the Monica Lewinsky affair. Can you say scandal?
Of Olivia, Smith commented, “I think for a crisis manager, it is very interesting — instead of handling the crisis, now she is the crisis.” Smith also noted one thing she did not have to deal with is social media. “It is so different — social media has really changed the landscape for crisis management,” she added. Not a problem for our Liv.
She Owns It. Don’t for one-minute think Miss Olivia cares what you think. She owns who she is, what she does and she is unapologetic. Even in the face of Mellie’s wrath, Olivia scolds, “Don’t call me a slut.” She also owns her methods. A situation needs fixing and that’s the task at hand, whatever it takes. It is this intrigue that draws us in. We believe this is the behind-the-scenes modus operandi in Washington. Even those in the know are pulled along. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd questioned last week whether the president could not be a bit more Pope-like in his current crisis ridden administration.
“Why hadn’t President Obama used a pretext to lure John Boehner, Ted Cruz and Harry Reid to the White House, locked them in a bunker and kept them there until they hammered out a deal to save America’s reputation?” She wrote in commentary about Olivia’s strength in crisis.
Of her detractors, and there are many, she appears oblivious. Guardian.com columnist David Dennis devoted an entire column to his hatred of Olivia Pope. “Olivia Pope is a home-wrecker. She’s a mistress with no regard for a standing marriage where three children are involved. Sure, the president is just as, if not more, despicable than Olivia – but I don’t get called a self-hating womanizer for voicing my disdain for him.”
Dennis, we guarantee Olivia doesn’t care. And, neither do we.
She’s a Badass. Your father threatens your life and livelihood? Get off that plane, tell him to go scratch, straighten the collar of your lululemon workout wear and walk away like a boss. The first lady calls you a slut? So what. Some of your friends want you dead? Who cares? Men try to intimidate you? Pull out your file of indiscretion and crush them like a bug under your Manolo. You want the president to win? Fix the election. Figure out your former lover is being held in an underground hole? Demand the president of the United States get him out. Now.
She’s Who We Want to Be. The number one reason women across America love Olivia Pope is she is who we want to be. She says what we long to say. She lives her life without regard to others’ judgment. She is stellar at her work. She does what she loves. She loves whomever she loves without apology. She is in charge of her own destiny. She is a force with which to be reckoned. She makes mistakes and owns them. She is loyal. Above all, she is a gladiator.
All any woman wants, is to be a gladiator of her own definition.
Written by Linda Torkelson