The inspiration behind this post stemmed from a cartoon, Steven Universe, where Garnet, a character voiced by Estelle, sang a song titled Stronger than you. Yes, I watch cartoons even though I’m in college. I also watch Adventure Time, but I find that Steven Universe‘s themes are a lot more relatable to me. The song itself talks specifically about how Garnet is the metaphorical and literal representation of a same-sex relationship and how she is more than just a gimmick or a phase. Garnet is a “fusion” of two female characters, Ruby and Sapphire. Typically, fusion is temporary, and it happens between characters with that are named after the same type of Gem; Garnet is usually fused together at almost all times, and she was made of two different Gems. Because of this, many characters are initially uncomfortable with her controversial existence. Regardless, in the song, Garnet speaks about being like a feeling, therefore never-ending; regardless of our own life spans, every human being is entitled to feeling sad, happy, excited, angry, and more analogous to Garnet herself, love.
A lot of the song actually dealt with Garnet fighting the villainous Jasper, who looked down on Garnet for being a fusion; Jasper saw fusing as a cheap trick to become stronger. Specifically, Garnet speaks about how Jasper will always be alone compared to her, because Jasper refused to combine forces with anybody else. Then Garnet speaks about how since she was made of the love between Ruby and Sapphire, and how through it, she will always be stronger than Jasper, who has no love in her heart. That’s why the song is called “Stronger than you”, simply because Garnet’s love will always help her overcome any obstacle or challenge that it presented to her. My personal favorite part of the song was when Garnet stated that she was more than just Ruby and Sapphire. She also stood for everything they cared about, and that she was Ruby’s fury, Sapphire’s patience, and ultimately, she was a conversation between the two of them. She is symbolizes synergy between these two lovers, which is why she will always be more than just the sum of the two.
The song itself just helped me get through a really rough time in my life. Coming back to college after almost trying to kill myself, I was extremely nervous. I was afraid that other people would judge me or look down on me for having that period of darkness and weakness. But this song reminded me that I can be strong. If I fill myself with love, specifically for myself and what I personally represent, then I can overcome any misconceptions people have about me. Love is more than just romantic. It can be platonic, it can be symbolic. In this situation, the love I feel for myself is supportive. I want to be my own biggest cheerleader, just because I want to drown out the noise from the surrounding world, and just focus on me. Even now, I know that I face judgement from certain people, who think I am better off dead, but I just ignore them. While they are busy looking down on me and writing off my potential, I will be busy realizing it, starting by standing behind what I represent.
Garnet stands for Ruby’s fury, Sapphire’s patience, and both’s love. I stand for determination, hope, and love. Through this song, I was able to realize how I have every right to be fearless and that no matter how bad things get, so long as I love and support myself, nobody can stop me from achieving my dreams of opening that bakery. People might see me as somebody to be ashamed of, but as Garnet herself has proven, strength comes not from what other people think, but what we see in ourselves. So when I close my eyes, and think about who I am, I know that those people who act condescendingly towards me are mistaken. They do not know what I am capable of. For me, I have just the faintest idea of that too. But I know that if I push myself hard enough, I will be able to achieve my dreams. I will be stronger than them. In a world of my feather-light dreams, everyone will naturally find that strength from within, and live life loving themselves.