Out of curiosity, who are the television/film role models for teen and tween girls? Are there young characters out there that are smart and honorable… and clothed?
When I was quite young, I wanted to be Nancy Drew. Grant it, she did seem to have some very cute Hardy boy friends, but it was the sleuthing that I admired. Not only was she savvy, but she was also unfailingly polite. What’s not to like about that? She had my priorities—school, righting great injustice and solid friendships. You know what else she had in the later years? A boyfriend named Ned who admired her for her intelligence and her persistence. He never once said (at least out loud), “damn, I want to hit that”.
As I neared the training bra years, I’ll admit that I wanted to be one of Charlie’s Angels. Guess which one? Sabrina. I wanted to be Sabrina. My hair may have been feathered, but I wanted to be Sabrina. She was smart and kind, and always managed to save the day. She was extremely capable and admired for her intellect—pretty much the only qualities I aspired to have. Also, she very rarely had to do any of it in a bikini (although to be fair, I do wish I looked like Jaclyn Smith).
My mid-teen years were spent with dreams of becoming Laura Holt. She had a wild side (tales of live-in boyfriend kept Steele guessing), but also an unwavering moral center. She was a strong, opinionated, inventive woman with a penchant for the tall, dark and mysterious. She was a crusader with a weakness for chocolate. While often dismissed by male colleagues, she made the world safe for all of us rebels. Plus, she looked great in hats.
And then there is Scully. While I’d like to avoid her abductions and health problems, no one can deny the character was as smart and tenacious as they come. Again, her intelligence was admired. You never felt like Scully thought, “hmmm, maybe something with a higher slit, more cleavage—and today, when I know the right answer, I wont speak up… I’ll just tilt my head winningly and let Mulder think he’s right.” Hell, no! People noticed Scully—all 5’2” of her. Not because she was beautiful (although she was), but because she was astonishingly clever, tirelessly dedicated and loyal. If anything, Scully (and Mulder) proved that smart is sexy and that insightful debate can make for some arousing foreplay. How could he help but be fascinated? How could anyone?
Who do young girls/women have now? Bratz dolls? Reality shows full of girls who are becoming famous for sex tapes, vapidity and breast implants? I hope against hope that they are looking to Hermione Granger rather than the current crop of panty-less rehab girls. Where are the crusaders? Are they being held hostage by the sex kittens (and have I inadvertently given Fox its next sitcom)?
Or am I just old?
Kate, who has suddenly realized that she was destined to become a detective and went radically wrong somewhere