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Heroes

April 5, 2010

Self as She-Ra, Princess of Power. Image via art-to-be-accessed.blogspot.com

Here’s what Lex had to say about this one:

So I was thinking not too long ago about heros and role models— there are far too few commendable ones, don’t you think? Specifically I was trying to remember who I wanted to be when I was little.

Of course Mom, she was the first and the greatest: always made the best dinners and gave the best hugs and was prettier than all the other moms… and uncanny with a glue gun.

But then there was She-Ra.

She was pretty and had a horse-cum-unicorn! And she could deliver a mean roundhouse kick for the vanquishing of evil. With sparkles. What more could a young person want? Except for a great outfit —although not as fitting on me as it was or her, I must confess.

[I personally think that Lex rocks the shit out of that outfit, but this is beside the point.]

Who was/is your hero?  And did you have fantasies of inhabiting their greatness for yourself, or were you content to admire it from afar?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2010 9:50 am

    lol. this is fantastic

  2. marybullstonecraft permalink*
    April 5, 2010 2:09 pm

    Thanks kseverny. No heroes to share?

    I was also a She-Ra fan, though Rainbow Brite was my favorite. The colo(u)rs , the horse, the fighting of evil, PLUS the fact that she was a girl, not yet a full-grown woman like She-Ra–it was all too perfect. I spent hours at home pretending to be her, trying to figure out how exactly to harness her power of summoning traverse-able rainbows, and imagining myself in her outfit.

    When I got a bit older, though (say 8-10 years old instead of 5-7), things got a bit more depressing. There were fewer and fewer available girl-heroes, and I distinctly remember arguing with my brother about whether I in fact had to be “April O’Neal” whenever we played “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” She was the most boring character ever, (and that yellow jumpsuit? Atrocious!) but she was the only girl in the series. Most of the time, I just refused, and strong-armed my way into the role of Splinter or Raphael.

    What about kids’ shows today? Are there any great girl-heroes to be found?

  3. ImTheMarigold permalink
    April 6, 2010 1:49 pm

    I wish I could remember more, but nothing is coming across my mind. There was a period of time when I was a kid, according to my parents, when I refused to wear any clothes that were not my matching Wonder Women undershirt and undies. So, I guess Wonder Women was my gal. I don’t have any children, so I couldn’t speak to any great girl-heroes out there right now. If Hannah Montana and Raven are any indication, yikes.

  4. April 6, 2010 6:18 pm

    @Mary B: I think at some point I might’ve held April in some regard, mostly because she was supposedly a “reporter,” something I think I might vaguely have wanted to be at one point. (Also, she had cool hair. I remember that I really really wanted my bangs to lie flat over one eye like hers did. In retrospect, this is not such a good reason to idolize someone. I mostly just idolized her hair. Also, the yellow jumpsuit was way dumb.)

    But I quickly lost interest in April when I realized that Raphael was deep and brooding. Which also brings me to the notion that I think a lot of my very early childhood crushes/infatuations were on male figures who mostly just represented what I thought I wanted to be like. I had a “crush” on Raphael, but somehow it never really occurred to me that I could BE him. Even though I wanted to. (Remember how “troubled” he was in the movie? He was deep! He thought about things! Those other guys were just “party dudes,” but Raphael had stuff on his mind.) Most of my heroes, now that I think about it, started as crushes or similar infatuations.

    As far as female role models, I don’t know that I can think of a damn one. Was there anybody we played games as, that you remember? (For readers who don’t know this: Mary B and I grew up together. So we would’ve experienced a lot of these things together.)

    The thing that really comes to my mind is the ladies of the late 80’s and early 90’s sitcom “Designing Women.” I ALWAYS wanted to be Julia Sugarbaker; she was smart and sassy, and she knew how to use her words to prove that she was powerful. I don’t know how the show would hold up to my feminist gaze today (I should get the DVD and find out!), but when I was young I thought that the ladies of the Sugarbaker Design Firm were the height of awesome. (Actual production of the show was decidedly less awesome. Star Delta Burke was one of the only women on tv at the time who didn’t fit the super-skinny mold, and she fought endlessly with the show’s producers over her size. Ultimately, though, I’ll always remember her as the winner; the show was never the same after she left.)

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