So I am beginning to notice that a lot of my posts start off with a music reference. Again, this is not about Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias singing their 1984 cover of Albert Hammond’s song. This post is to look at the women I admire and what kind of woman I wish to become. It is something we all must do. Will we be the uber femme? The femme fatale? An overly girlie girl or a girl that can go the distance with any guy. A gamer? A Sci-Fi/ Comic Book lover? Which one? Which one will it be?
Being that I am a comic book geek (among many other forms of geekdom) I will start with a most obvious role model. WONDER WOMAN. Growing up, Wonder Woman was the epitome of everything a woman could be. She was everything that I wanted to be. She was created in 1941 (a bit before my time) by William Moulton Marston as a “distinctly feminist role model whose mission was to bring the Amazon ideals of love, peace, and sexual equality to a world torn by the hatred of men.” and is a Princess of the Amazons (based on the Amazons of Greek mythology) and was created Known in her homeland as Diana of Themyscira, her powers include superhuman strength, flight, super-speed, super-stamina, and super-agility. She is highly proficient in hand-to-hand combat and in the art of tactical warfare. She also possesses an animal-like cunning and a natural rapport with animals, which has in the past been presented as an actual ability to communicate with the animal kingdom. She uses her Lasso of Truth, which forces those bound by it to tell the truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara which serves as a projectile, and, in some stories, an invisible airplane. The fact that she was, not only a strong female character, but also had a secret identity, I knew she was a great role model.
Lynda Carter, portraying this amazing character on TV, had me hooked from episode one. She had brought over the strength of Wonder Woman as well as her beauty and charm. I found myself spinning in circles countless times, just waiting for that explosion and transformation. There was usually an explosion in my stomach and a transformation of steady feet to dizzy stuper, but that was not what I was aiming for. For the times I was not wishing to be her, which was quite rare, I loved the fact that her hero in distress was named Steve. Prior to Wonder Woman, I had a fascination with Catwoman, from the Batman television series. Both Julie Newmar and Ertha Kitt had me purring and sulking through the house. I loved and admired them, I just didn’t know why.
From Wonder Woman, my fancy turned to Science Fiction Fantasy and the strong female character of Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan. Star Wars hit the scene and she was my new idol. She was smart, beautiful, strong and steadfast. Who wouldn’t have fallen in love with becoming that kind of woman? Always level headed (ok, sometimes emotionally outspoken), she thought with logic (ok, I also really liked Mr. Spock) and would always see something through to completion, regardless of what might be at stake to accomplish this task. She put others before herself (again with Spock’s “Needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one”-hey, Leonard Nimoy wore eyeshadow for the role so perhaps I can keep mentioning him). I enjoyed watching the changing Carrie Fisher through the course of the films. By The Return Of The Jedi, I really wanted to be her. As with every young man, the Jabba’s Slave outfit (you know, the metal bikini) was a favorite. Of course, while many a young man was losing their virginity (at their own hands), my fascination was quite different. I studied the curves and accents of the costume, wishing that one day I could look just the same (kind of like Frank N Furter and Fay Wray).
So what is the count now? Wonder Woman, Catwoman and Princess Leia. All three of these women share another commonality. The very sexy outfits that they wear (except for Leia’s flowing white gown in A New Hope…until a fanboy re-created it a few years ago to give it some oomph). Wonder Woman and Catwoman with their dominatrix inspired attire and Leia with her very submissive role in Jedi). What would the psychiatrist have to say about that?
From comics, television and movies, we jump to Video Games. I know, old school reference. They are Computer Games (and a myriad of other names now), but can you guess the next strong female character? Of course, you got it, the tomb raider herself, Laura Croft. I loved playing these games from the start. I thought they were a pretty good story with a really kick ass female lead. There just wasn’t much of that going around, unless you found a game where you could customize your character, which I did as often as possible, but back to Laura. She really kind of had it all. An awesome look, strength, beauty, weapons and brains, unless you were really bad at the game, then she really only had weapons and beauty. When it came time for the movie adaptations, I was thrilled to see Angelina Jolie land the role. She was, in my opinion, perfect. The movies added an entirely new dimension to the character, even if the movies themselves were not the best. It’s escapism, right? The movies cemented Angelina (and by default, Laura) in my tops list of women I wouldn’t mind being.
From the make believe world of those listed above, I concentrated on the real world (not the MTV “reality” show). I had friends throughout college that I admired and would love to be like. I also happened to stumble upon love through all of that. My wife is a strong, independent woman. She can take any task and do it better than anyone else (unless it comes to tech…she has a struggle there….it is her Kryptonite). She is a glue that holds a sometimes fragile family together. She is the Yin to my Yang. In our relationship, I am way more girlie than her. I probably have way more estrogen in my system than her as well (and I don’t even take any). She is a rock of support to friends as well. After 20 years of marriage, I couldn’t help but be influenced by her and, therefore, incorporate part of her into my persona. I will probably never have the Kahunas that she does (especially if I transition, or maybe that would make mine bigger?), but to have some of that strength would be nice.
I have a very good friend, Rachel. We met several years ago when I heard she was looking for models to be in a fashion show. With all the courage I could muster, I emailed her to see if I might be able to be a part of this. To my amazement, she said yes! This was my first step into a much larger world. Rachel was immediately warm and caring, taking this shy creature under her wing. She is an amazing creator, seamstress, visionary, humanitarian….and she can sing! I admire her for all of that and her ability to stand up for what she feels, what she believes, what she knows to be true. She is unflinching and she has meant much to me over these past_____ years. 😉
Cheryl is another one of those friends who is everything you would like to see in a person, regardless of gender. She is sweet, thoughtful, caring, strong, bold, creative…..an amazing artist. We knew each other in college, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that our paths crossed and we connected in a huge way. I was moving my car because I did not want to walk a great distance that night. Out of an almost empty lot, I chose to pull into a spot right next to this girl getting supplies out of her vehicle. When she looked up, we instantly recognized each other, but we were not who we thought we were. I came through her workshop area a few days later and we hashed out how we knew one another. From there, the friendship grew and we are now an anchor of support for each other. She comes back into town a couple times a year and we consistently hook up for a nice evening of conversation (sometimes with food and drink involved as well).
Sarah is that friend that every person should have. If you read back to MY DEAREST FRIEND post, you will see all the reasons that Sarah is a fabulous example of character traits I would like to embody. Smart, goofy, rough, tender, geek, fun, serious, adorable, big hearted…she is all these things and more. She is a walking contradiction (in a good way). She is, simply put, the complete package. Seriously, as I posted in the blog mentioned a few short lines ago, if you do not know her, you should. She is fucking awesome.
All of these women, and many more, have influenced me so greatly that there is no way that their attributes won’t be part of who I am meant to be. They encompass the very traits that I find to be the best in the female wilderness. I have always had more female friends than male, and they have all taught me, whether they realize it or not, how to be the best woman I can be. I thank them all.