Note: Today’s guest article is by Lacy R. Burnett (who happens to be SpecFaith editor E. Stephen Burnett’s wife). On Feb. 1, Lacy and her sister, Beatrice Jones, launched ForGloryandBeauty.org. This new web ministry’s mission is to explore the glories of God in art, fashion and life — not that much different from SpecFaith’s mission.
And on Fridays the two sites’ missions will coincide even closer, such as today’s article Fandom Friday: Agent Carter that explores the heroic ideals and ideal-reflecting fashion style of the Marvel miniseries.
The article is cross-posted here with permission.
We here at 4GAB are mostly normal, sane human beings. But we have our crazy fangirl moments, and we like dressing up nearly as much as your four-year-old niece. So on Fandom Fridays we will celebrate the beauty, art and storytelling of our favorite stories—in novels, film and television shows—as well as fantastic cosplay and our own projects in that direction.
Lately one of my favorite shows has been the “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”/Captain America spinoff series “Agent Carter.” It airs Tuesday nights and follows Peggy Carter’s adventures as an agent of the Strategic Scientific Reserve after World War II.
Agent Carter could have gone so wrong in so many ways. It could have been a soap opera, a girls-are-awesome-boys-are-dumb travesty, or even just a run-of-the-mill costume mystery.
But somehow it has managed to avoid all of the above and become something really special.
“Agent Carter” was initially promoted as a show about a woman battling her way through the ranks of insensitive brutish men. But that’s not how it’s turned out. Yes, every day Peggy must fight nasty pervasive misogyny in her office. Her coworkers are serving their country, but their refusal to trust her abilities is their biggest weakness. But both Peggy and her male colleagues still display competency, loyalty, and intelligence, and that’s truly refreshing.
One thing that has impressed me most about this show is that Peggy is deeply practical about what she wears. Yet “practical” doesn’t necessarily mean “frumpy.”
You may have seen posters and promo shots that emphasize Peggy’s wardrobe. Heels and a pinstripe dress for the office? Oh yes! In fact, her flawless office style is one of her most efficient disguises. She knows her co-workers see her as “just a girl” and she flaunts it, all the while picking up information while pouring the coffee, filing papers, and taking lunch orders.
But she’s no fool. When she’s on mission she doesn’t mess around with eyeliner. Also, you’ll look in vain for sex-appealing black-leather catsuits. (We’re looking at you, Black Widow.) Instead, Peggy suits up in regulation tactical gear just like the boys, pulls her curls into a pony tail and goes in. Another favorite ensemble is the brown jumpsuit she uses for spelunking sewers and some light piracy in an earlier episode.
And she never, ever loses her class. So far the show has not included one moment where I had to worry about what my husband saw.
Her intentionality is inspiring. Peggy makes me want to be more purposeful about what healthy messages, life goals, and moral ideals my own clothes are reflecting. Sure, we may not be fighting misogyny at work or infiltrating enemy bases. But all of us can find plenty of situations in which what we wear makes statements about who we are and what we believe.
How do stories like “Agent Carter” inspire you?