There needs to be more totally excellent, tubular, and various other '80s synonyms for awesomely bodacious female characters. I mean, we all had Buffy, but as much as it pains me to say it, the show's over. It's gone. Let it die rabid fans, let it die. No, not like when Buffy died and then came back and then died and then came back again. Did she die again? I never watched the second half of the last season. So technically, the show never ended for me. BUT DON'T TELL ME ANYTHING.
Ah Buffy. I was in 7th grade when the intrepid vampire slayer burst on the TV scene and I remember quite clearly telling my best friend that it sounded like the dumbest thing ever and I would never watch it.
Why so serious Joss?
We watched it the way dedicated fans growing outside of the US watch everything; pleading various family members to tape episodes and send them to us. Then we did it with Angel too. I think we rewound and watched the Angel dancing scene perhaps a million billion times. I do not exaggerate in the least, ever, in my entire life.
Buffy was different from all those other supernatural/sci-fi shows. It was more than a pair of boobs fighting vampires. I mean, that was the gist of it but it had humor and lovable characters and a demon that made Buffy able to read minds which lead her to the amazing discovery that the principal had, "Walk Like An Egyptian," stuck in his head all day! It was brilliant touches like this that made that show the owner of my lonely heart. Move yourself, you always live your life, never thinking of the future. Owner of a lonely heart, much better than a broken heart.
True, the romance shit got old but I never have patience for drawn-out love games. They were never fun, the beat was never sick, and I certainly did not want to take a ride on their disco stick. Ross and Rachel? Probably the most boring two characters on Friends. I don't need to watch two bimbos (can guys be called bimbos? I am making it okay from now on to call guys bimbos too) whine about stuff they should've grown out of in high school. Gonzo and Camilla? Just take that chicken and make her yours, you damn weirdo! Bella and Edward? OH DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON TWILIGHT.
When it came to girls I looked up to, I really didn't have any growing up in terms of pop culture. I'm lucky I had The Muppet Show and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because at least they taught me how to be a smart, funny, ass-kicking anthropomorphic... thing. But I worry about the youth of today. They're not as smart as I was. Or am. I'm sorry but it's true. I am smart. Pit me, as a child, against any child now and I'm practically a prodigy, a fire-starter, twisted fire-starter. Hannah Montana is not a role model. I'm not even talking about her risque clothes or her trashy family, I don't care about that. She just doesn't DO anything. The day she fights an oozing fungus demon after performing a sold out show, well then I might pay attention but until then, no. She has nothing to offer me or the young girls of today.
But thinking back, I did have girls to emulate. I had My Little Pony. Oh sue me, I like animals. They were colorful and kind and occasionally dealt with crises and didn't wear assless chaps and date 20-year-olds. In fact they taught me a bunch of stuff. A) Being colorful is good. Which, in the broader sense, equals tolerance and acceptance . They taught me that tossing your mane and flicking your tail are good ways to show emotion i.e. don't keep things in, express yourself! You've got to express yourself, hey, hey, hey. Or hay, hay, hay? Yes! Eating is good! Don't have body issues!
I feel like an old granny but the youth of today are just too slutty and dumb. They need to be more like She-Ra! She had cool outfits AND fought evil. They need to be more like Jem and her Holograms. They had cool outfits AND... well, I really don't remember anything except the outfits but it was a show in the '80s, for girls. I'm sure it had a deeper message because all those shows did.
Cartoons were where I learned everything I needed to know. LISA SIMPSON.
She was smart and she wasn't afraid to show it. Plus, she played the sax. Lisa Simpson is amazing. She had to deal with an average family of average intelligence and still remain sane. She threw in barbs here and there and unless you were on her wavelength, you wouldn't even get them.
There was Daria from the eponymous show as well.
I always got called Daria which was unfair because I had glasses and dark hair but I was not as cynical and dry as she was. She's also another girl that was displayed as, "not the norm." She had a brain and looked down at her brainless, cheerleader sister. But though I quite liked the show, I never aspired to be like her because I never thought you had to be one or the other; a peppy retard or a smart outcast. My school was too small for cliques. We had guys on the basketball team doing drama. I guess I was on the Daria side of the spectrum because I had my three (then she left and I had two) close friends and we were pretty smug about ourselves in relation to everyone else, but I had other friends and people I got along fine with as well. And yes I did drama. Shut up. Did you have the lead in the school musical? I didn't think so.
Disney girls were pretty good examples I guess. I never wanted to be exactly like any of them though.
I liked Belle from Beauty and the Beast (Note: I wrote Beatty and the Beats. Warren Beatty, should you ever need a band, I got the name. You're welcome) because she liked books and she was never part of any crowd, head up on some cloud and I related to that.
I got called weird occasionally because I was a bookworm but hey guess what? MY VOCABULARY IS MUCH BETTER THAN YOURS NOW, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT ASS-BUTT. Ariel was a little whiny and baffling to me for wanting to get married at 16. Snow White didn't really do much of anything except play housekeeper to tiny men. Cinderella, okay she had animals as friends and as embarrassing as this is, I was pretty jealous. Come on, they sewed a dress for her and kept her company! I was pretty lonely when I was little because I went to an international school that no one stayed at for longer than three years so I didn't get a good core of friends until later on. I always thought a pet would help with the not feeling lonely all the goddamn time but I never had a real pet either. Yes, I know I had my turtle who is 15, I think, this year and I love him dearly and I had a bunny for a week that died and a veritable cornucopia of other turtles and goldfish and even a couple chicks but never a pet, pet. One that would keep you company and that you could hug tight, tight, tight. Like Elmyra does in Tiny Toons except a touch less sadistic. Which is why I have an almost unhealthy relationship with my cat now. What am I saying, we're perfectly normal. I love my Egg. She is my soulmate.
But all the Disney girls wanted something more from their lives. They wanted to be themselves but the very best version they could be. I have no complaints about that. There are barely any animated movies coming out these days with that repetitive, yet sensible, message. The girl in How To Train Your Dragon, Astrid, was pretty cool but even she was a minor character. I saw Princess and the Frog and it was just really meh. It sort of had the same air as classic Disney but it didn't have the inspiration, the quirk, the pure heart that Disney used to be so good at. Like Jasmine addressing the camel as the Sultan in Aladdin when they're trying to talk their way out of trouble. That's freaking brilliant. I'm kind of excited for Tangled because the prince is voiced by Zachary Levi from Chuck and we looooove him. We love him so much we switch to the royal we.
But even with Disney, they make the smart girl seem like an outsider. It's just a shame that smart has to be separate from popular or girly or ass-kicking. Why can't someone be all those things? Would it be too unbelievable, too much? Bullshit, it's what everyone should strive for. I am smart, I have a fair number of friends and am relatively charming and personable when I want to be and if given the proper motivation, I could probably beat you up. I also have a relatively large ego (some days, we all have off days) which is quite healthy considering half the girls in this world, and probably several others, hate themselves.
My other role models growing up were my mom, my older cousin Beril who gave me the gift of Bon Jovi (which I wrote about at great length here), and various other ladies in my family. They're all strong female presences in my life then and now. In fact they're so strong, they read these entries and correct my typos. These are my THOUGHTS mother, I can't be held responsible for occasional mistakes when the brain works at the speed it is.
We also had Madonna but that goes without saying. Youngsters these days actually call her a hag! CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS SHIT BECAUSE I CAN'T. Just because the woman is over fifty is no reason why she can't wear leotards that call attention to her crotch. She's a star! She's fabulous! She's directing a movie! I hope it's better than Swept Away! Which I own! It's worse than you can possibly imagine! But we still love her because we are loyal and she taught us that life is a mystery and that everyone must stand alone.
Oh, I also had The Cosby Show. I wouldn't eat a meal without Rudy with me. But not the later episodes with Olivia, she was awful. But there's a nice TV family. Some people sneered that they weren't "believable," but dude, you have to realize it's TV. It's fiction. Things are allowed to stray from the norm. That's what makes them interesting to watch and so fun to emulate. I even met Bill Cosby when I was little. He scared me, I started crying.
I don't think most kids are as lucky as I was and without family, they don't even have the second most important thing; TV role models! We need better shows! We need our cartoons back! Your average young girl likes who? Justin Bieber? A castrato with a stylish lesbian haircut? NO. WRONG. I HATE LIFE.
Except mine. Mine was pretty good. Pity the children of tomorrow. I don't believe they are the future. I decided long ago never to walk in anyone's shadow but I doubt they can distinguish between their shadow and... something clever and witty that I can't think of right now. God, they're killing my brain cells too.