Her daring type represented a revolutionary shift in on-screen depictions of confidence. Till it didn’t.
In all its fascinating chaos, the second season of Euphoria left us with extra questions than solutions. From graphic drug abuse to messy love triangles, the HBO present constantly discovered new, artistic and disturbing methods to painting teenagers getting as much as no good. However for many followers, nothing proved more durable to look at than the premature decline of Kat Hernandez, performed by Barbie Ferreira.
For eight weeks, viewers witnessed her descent from a bourgeoning star to a careless sidekick. And now, it’s been confirmed that she’s going to disappear from the present utterly.
“After 4 years of attending to embody essentially the most particular and enigmatic character Kat, I’m having to say a really teary-eyed goodbye,” Ferreira wrote through Instagram on August 24. “I hope a lot of you may see your self in her like I did and that [it] introduced you pleasure to see her journey into the character she is as we speak.”
However “the character she is as we speak” — and the best way she’ll be remembered after Ferreira’s exit — is just not what followers noticed coming. For months, rumours have alleged behind-the-scenes stress between Ferreira and showrunner Sam Levinson, after the actor reportedly expressed disappointment in Kat’s journey. And it’s not arduous to see why. In season two, Euphoria missed out on making Kat the principle character she ought to have been.
From her costuming alone, it’s clear Kat was initially set as much as be entrance and centre of the collection. As the one plus-size character, her stylistic transformation by costume designer Heidi Bivens was arguably essentially the most vital.
She begins off season one with a modest teen wardrobe comprising skinny denims, collared shirts and spherical glasses. Because of the fatphobia she skilled rising up, she’s shy and insecure — nearly as if she’s hiding behind her garments.
However after a traumatizing sexual expertise, Kat undergoes a metamorphosis. She leans into her hypersexualization and begins working as an underage cam lady. Her outlook hardens, and so does her type. As such, she adopts a gothic grunge aesthetic with leather-based harnesses, fishnet stockings, thick chokers and daring pink lipstick.
Her rebellious change in type is just not solely a defence mechanism however a approach of channelling her newfound fake-it-till-you-make-it confidence. Kat learns to take up house, get up for herself, and costume in a approach that makes her really feel good. As she eloquently places it, “There’s nothing extra highly effective than a fats lady who doesn’t give a f*ck.”
Makeovers in movie and TV often see ladies rework into the archetypal great thing about the skinny lady subsequent door. By adopting a subversive punk type and unapologetically embracing her physique, Kat’s transformation flipped the script on this trope. Unsurprisingly, she gained a cult following of followers who had been wanting to see her develop and mature. And Levinson was praised for writing a three-dimensional plus-size character who wasn’t a villain, a punchline or a boring background fixture. However then, with out rationalization, Kat Hernandez turned all three.
In season two, Ferreira’s character is diminished to a well-dressed further within the Euphoria visible panorama. Her type shifts from bondage-inspired to ’90s cool lady. She trades her suspenders and latex for cropped cardigans, busy patterns and midi skirts. Whereas this type change might have represented her maturing, Kat loses her rebellious edge and reverts to being insecure and inauthentic.
In a single significantly hard-to-watch scene, she coldly breaks up together with her boyfriend, Ethan, by claiming to have a (non-existent) terminal mind dysfunction. It’s clear she’s going by means of one thing, however her feelings are left unexplored, which simply makes her look callous.
Confidence and self-love should not linear. However Kat’s regression feels much less like a considerate commentary on teen existentialism and extra like sloppy TV writing. In an interview with The Reduce, Ferreira remarked on her character’s invisibility, saying, “Kat’s journey this season is a bit more inside and a bit mysterious to the viewers. She is secretly going by means of a variety of existential crises.” Sadly, we’ll by no means know what they had been.
No matter her flaws, Kat was vital. In any case, Euphoria is a present of It Ladies, and for thus lengthy in media, plus-size ladies haven’t had a seat on the proverbial well-liked desk. Kat Hernandez, together with her fast wit, experimental type and assured quirks, was altering that. And she or he deserved a lot extra.
Henry Davidson has been the senior editor at Wahu Times since 2018. A two-decade veteran of journalism, Henry’s work has appeared in the NPR, Examiner, The Sun and numerous other publications. He is a member of the United Media Guild.