When I was a kid I found lots of heroes who were women on tv. Most of my life lessons occurred on the small screen while I was desperately attempting to ignore the chaos around me created by my siblings. It was the only escape as I fantasized about being a “grown up”.
There wasn’t a more obvious option than Wonder Woman with her truth lasso. Charlie’s Angels had skills I admired and it seemed to me that if you were to combine these three women you would have the perfect human. They were what I envisioned as the “Modern Woman” – able to take care of themselves yet still be beautiful and loving. women
The Bionic Woman was my ultimate goal since I didn’t like the idea of being a secretary like Diana Prince but it concerned me as a child that she was never allowed to be true to herself.
I always thought Marianne from Gilligan’s Island was underestimated and if they had just listened to her they’d have gotten home a lot sooner. Wilma Flintstone was incredibly patient but I never wanted to have her “gift” of patience if it meant being stuck with an inconsiderate husband like Fred. women
Mrs. Brady was admired for her ability to deal with a household of so many kids and more importantly, her wisdom in hiring the amazing Alice. As the oldest child of four, I felt an affinity to Marcia – the oldest daughter. Being able to relate to many of her woes, I also admired the episode where she proves to be a better driver than her step brother Greg. Then there are the Partridge Family women who were the epitome of glamorous while also being real and accommodating to their fans as well. women
Today’s fictional tv heroes are perhaps more realistic and certainly also reflect society’s attitudes as accurately today as the trailblazers from my childhood. The braver writers pull surprises out of their characters allowing us to still have hope that there is more to the human condition than meets the eye.
When I was thinking of strong woman role models for my daughter on women’s day this year, I considered many characters from shows we have watched together including Gilmore Girls for audacity and independence; Buffy for bravery; Once Upon A Time for leadership and strategic thinking; Bones for intelligence and the ability to separate work from feelings; Frequency for out of the box problem solving; The Crown for loyalty and work ethic; iZombie for making the best of a situation; and Frankie and Grace for aging gracefully, with dignity and a whole lot of humour.
I even came up with this snazzy word search puzzle in honour of one of my favourite ways of passing time from my childhood – retro and pre-internet of course. Feel free to print and enjoy it. It features some of the current Netflix shows I think have awesome and strong female leads. Each character has a lesson for us and can be held up as examples of one or more important qualities.
How about you? Who are some unique fictional female characters you admire?
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