HerstoryBound Educators: Clara Oswald

I’m celebrating Women’s History Month with new bounds, or everyday cosplays, every week in March. This week’s theme is Educators.

Clara Oswald

Clara was a Companion for the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors in series 7-9 of the revived Doctor Who. We meet a few different “fragments” of her consciousness interacting with the Doctor throughout his history. But Clara Prime is an English teacher at a high school in London.

Because of her time-stream shenanigans, Clara is given the title “Impossible Girl”. But I prefer her name. Clara is the protagonist of The Nutcracker, a ballet adaptation of the story Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffman. The Nutcracker is the most famous dance work in history and a perennial part of the Christmas season. As is Doctor Who, and Clara Oswald’s second appearance was in the 2012 Christmas special.

She was introduced in my favorite episode of the entire run of Doctor Who, “Asylum of the Daleks”. That first Clara was an echo and called ‘Oswin’, a name that means ‘God’s friend’. But she was in reality a Dalek exiled to “a planet where you lock up all the Daleks that go wrong: the battle-scarred, the insane, the ones even you can’t control.” One of the other exiled Daleks has the soul of a young girl, a tiny ballerina.

Clara is introduced as the Doctor’s friend trapped inside the Doctor’s enemy. She appears as a doll (Dalek) and a nanny and finally a teacher. Her three introductions include references to ballet, holidays, traditions, rhetoric, morals, and impossible things. Throughout her arc she implores the Doctor to listen and to remember. She treats him like one of her students, with respect but expectation. She’s not impossible, she’s self-possessed.

With her final goodbye, Clara finally accepts her situation – and above all accepts herself, recognising her carelessness and recklessness we’ve watched her ignore all series… and in the most triumphant way, despite recognising it she doesn’t condemn it, because that’s just who she is.

The Reckless Endangerment of Clara Oswald

Oswin’s final words are “And remember.” Clara’s final words are “Let me be brave.” She is in control of her story, and that is her legacy.

To honor Clara and Jenna Coleman, the actress who brings her to life with such sass and grace, please consider making a donation to Book Aid International, the UK’s leading international book donation and library development charity, or One to One Children’s Fund, to help improve the well-being and life chances of children, young people and families affected by dislocation, poverty and chronic illness.

About My Look

I chose the outfit Clara wears in her final regular appearance, “Face the Raven”. It’s meaningful and adorable— and pretty easy to put together.

I used the same jeggings from my Beverly Crusher look, paired with a lace top and a blue sweater, both purchased secondhand. The kicks are my daughter’s and the props are all things I own. River Song’s Diary was a birthday gift and I inherited the Red Dalek from someone thinning their plush collection. Her name is Oswin, obviously.

Here’s a shot of the lace top alone. Unlike the one worn in the series, it’s sleeveless and collarless. I added a faux collar from my daughter’s cosplay collection to mimic it closer.

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