A love letter to Aimee Gibbs: the ultimate angry girl

Content Advisory TW: This blog includes references to sexual assault

Blog by Young Artist, Kerry Lindeque.

When I finished watching the final season of Netflix’s series Sex Education, all I could think about was how much I loved the story of Aimee Gibbs. In season one, she is the loveable and cheery best friend of headstrong Maeve Wiley with dreams of becoming a baker. But in season two, she experiences something horrible: she is sexually assaulted on a public bus. As a viewer, it was a shock to watch a joyful, bubbly character suddenly struggle with trauma, push people away as a result and find herself unable to revisit the same bus route where the assault happened.

Aimee’s healing journey is a long one, which spans the entirety of the TV show. From getting back on the bus with her friends, to going to therapy, to discovering feminism, Aimee’s storyline is one which has brought me to tears multiple times. It feels so precious to see the experience of so many marginalised genders reflected on screen, especially in such a warm and genuine character.

But my favourite part of Aimee’s arc was in season four. This is because, for the last year, I have been involved in the Chol project, angry girls. Created in February 2023 out of frustration at the media’s portrayal of women’s anger – as hysterical and irrational – the project aims to create safe and inclusive local opportunities for young women and gender diverse people to share experiences and express their anger through creativity and activism. I became involved in the project because I loved the idea of transforming the pain we experience living in a misogynistic society into powerful art, creating strong bonds in our community and the fire to create positive change. 

This is where Aimee Gibbs comes in. In the earlier seasons of Sex Education, it was clear that Aimee, like many of us, didn’t have the tools to advocate for herself, not even realising that she had been assaulted until speaking to her friend Maeve. But in season four she gains those tools when a classmate introduces her to photography. As she starts to capture the world around her, she realises that she can use her art to express the anger she has suppressed for so long. This climaxes in a beautiful scene where she takes a series of portraits in front of the bus stop and cathartically burns the pair of jeans she was assaulted in. As she dances joyfully around the burning pile, it is clear that she has begun to find some peace. 

To see storylines like Aimee’s, one where she uses art to reclaim her joy that was stolen from her by the stranger on the bus, can be so inspiring for others processing trauma. But with arts opportunities dwindling in the UK, we must work harder than ever to ensure that others can have that transformational experience like Aimee did.

Enter, angry girls. By offering free Sheffield based creative workshops and paid opportunities for young people, I believe that the project will facilitate creative journeys, like Aimee’s, nurturing in others the power to transform their anger into art. 

So long live Aimee Gibbs, the ultimate angry girl.


If you want to get involved with the angry girls project, check out our project page at https://wearechol.co.uk/angry-girls/, follow our Instragram @angrygirlsyorkshire, or email carly@wearechol.co.uk.

Support

We know the issues explored in this blog are sensitive and may bring about raw and difficult emotions. We would always advise you to talk to experts if you need any support. Here are some organisations that can help you in Sheffield and general UK helplines

Rape Crisis England and Wales

https://rapecrisis.org.uk/

Instagram: @rapecrisisew

X: @rapecrisiseandw

Facebook: @rapecrisiseandw

Sheffield Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (SRASAC)

https://www.srasac.org.uk

Instagram: @srasac
X: SRASAC_Team
Facebook: @srasac

Sheffield Mind
https://www.sheffieldmind.co.uk
Instagram: @sheffield_mind
X: @SheffieldMind
Facebook: @Sheffield Mind

Saffron Sheffield
https://www.saffronsheffield.org.uk/
Instagram: @saffronsheff
X: @saffronsheff
Facebook: @Saffron Sheffield

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

Thank you for subscribing!