There are so many women I admired in movies (and TV) I watched as a kid (in this case the word “kid” spans all the way from kindergarten to high school). I hope that I’m turning out to be at least a little bit like each and every one. Here are some of my favorites…
Sonora from Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken – I wrote a little bit about this movie in my Very Inspiring Blogger post because it’s my all time favorite. Sonora’s parents died and her aunt is a real close-minded bitch, so she runs away to a travelling circus. This brings one of the best scenes in the entire movie (yes, right off the bat at the beginning). Sonora finds the owner of the circus, sits in his office, and refuses to leave until she gets a job. He tries to throw her off her chair and there’s this great close up of her feet slyly wrapping themselves around the legs of the chair, so that she can’t be thrown off. It’s this incredible willpower, strength and defiance that I admire. Oh yeah, and Jake from Sixteen Candles is in it AND it’s about horse diving, so obviously THE BEST.
Mary Poppins – Didn’t every kid dream of having a nanny like Mary Poppins? I dreamed of being Mary Poppins. She was confident (practically perfect in every way), fun, effective, in charge. She had Bert and Mr. Banks wrapped around her little finger. She was also beautiful and could sing and dance, but those are just bonuses.
Kat Stratford from 10 Things I Hate About You – Okay, so yes, a little cliche. She was hurt before and built up a wall that Heath Ledger had to tear down with he beautiful face and singing antics. Then she opened up and was vulnerable and got hurt again. Oi. Nevertheless, you couldn’t help but be impressed by her badassery (yep, it’s a word…because I say so) and her loyalty and her taste in music. She was independent and had a devil may care attitude (oh god that sentence sounded like something from my mother’s generation. I’m leaving it there, because you should all probably know what a weirdo I am. who says devil-may-care anymore???).
Roberta from Now and Then – The girl was such a tomboy that she duck taped her breasts. At the age of 11 I could not imagine anything more insane. I was hoping, praying, wishing, begging for boobs to come in and here was this character completely despising all things related to womanhood because she knew what a handicap it would be. She would no longer be respected for her athletic talent on the softball field. She would instead be the object of teasing and flirting. It’s hard to be a woman. We are treated differently. Just today some stranger passing me in the street says, “Jesus, you must be freezing.” I’m wearing a dress with thick nylons and a long coat. I’m not freezing. But I bet the guy walking around in cargo shorts with running sneakers is. I don’t see you commenting on his outfit. UGH. Roberta knew what was up.
Vivian from Pretty Woman – I know this is an odd choice given that the entire movie was about a rich man buying her gifts. Yes, I know it was true love and she had a good heart, blah blah blah, but she was still bought and paid for by a cold, heartless man. The part of the movie when she was my hero was the shopping excursion when she rubs it in the face of the women who basically kicked her out of the store when she looked like the prostitute she was. Best revenge EVER. This actually happened to my dad once in a jewelry store. He works construction and looks like a hot mess half the time. He was shopping for an expensive watch for his 3rd wife (don’t get me started!) and they tried to suggest something more “in his price range or from a different retailer.” I still get sick to my stomach thinking about it. People are disgusting, horrible beings sometimes.
Icebox from The Little Giants – She was a girl. Who played FOOTBALL! When her asshole uncle wouldn’t let her on his “good” football team, her nerdy dad started his own built around her and she fuckin rocked it. She did try to be cheerleader to impress a boy for a hot second (and don’t we all do stupid things to impress boys? I pretended I liked bugs…blech), but she came to her senses at half time of the big game. She didn’t have time to full change out of the cheerleader uniform, so she wore a cheerleader skirt and football pads and won the game (obvi). AND (also obvi) the boy (AKA heartthrob Devon Sawa) liked her better as a football player than a cheerleader. Because junior high boys are about gender equity. Swoon.