First I want to give props to both Patricia and Brian for writing excellent things i love posts. Both their posts got me thinking about their topics, and it’s this energy we can all get from sharing that I’m most interested in. If you want to join in the fun, feel free to write your own post about something you love. If you pingback here or to the original things i love post I’ll mention you in future posts and on Twitter when I find you. And of course, I’ll be over at your blog reading away!
Now… as the BFF likes to say, “You only like movies where the girl is tough.” Which isn’t entirely true. I like movies about other things, but a girl who can hold her own definitely piques my interest.
That’s not to say I want women to be men. I like that each of the sexes have their unique strengths and traits and I like men to be men and women to be women. But that doesn’t mean a woman must be a frail, frightened thing to be a woman. On the contrary, a woman who is confident in herself and in what she believes, I think that’s what makes her strong. But I do like watching girls beat up the boys sometimes. Especially when the boys are villains.
I’ve been trying to think of where the love of tough girls started. There have been great women characters over the years, but probably one of the earliest renditions of a girl power character was honestly Rainbow Brite. Not only was she in charge of Rainbow Land, but she always went riding off on her horse to save the day, faced down bad guys and came out victorious. And she had super powers—always super cool. And let’s not forget her cool outfit. She was still quite feminine and powerful at the same time.
Someone else I really loved (and still do) was Ripley from Alien. Sigourney Weaver made us believe that not only can women save the day from scary aliens, but somehow that she’s the only one that could probably pull it off.
She kind of reminds me of the ’80s version of Katherine Hepburn, another great tough girl I should mention. It’s a lot thanks to Katherine Hepburn that girls aren’t whimpering, fainting rabbits all the time. She took on roles that broke conventions and changed the way we thought about women in film. One of my favorite films of hers is The Philadelphia Story where three beaus are vying for her attention. She’s got both the power of presence on film and still looks good and feminine to boot.
That’s a lot of the reason Buffy the Vampire Slayer appealed so much to me. She’s about as unlikely a heroine as they come in the beginning. Dumb blond cheerleader saves the world from vampires? Yep. She’s still concerned with the things teenage girls are concerned with, friends, boys, clothes, yet when trouble hits she’s first on the scene. If you really want some great strong Buffy entertainment, check out a YouTube video called Buffy vs. Edward. You can thank me later—and you will.
I disagree with a lot of feminists who seem to want to erase completely anything we’ve ever known that’s been associated with women. Again, I don’t want women to be men or vice versa. I wanted people to be judged by the content of their character, not their gender. Men and women can be equally capable at accomplishing a task in their own unique ways. We should celebrate differences, not erase them.
All right, so all of this is leading up to one of my favorite tough girls of all time, someone I wanted to be like for a long time and I probably still am trying. That, ladies and gentlemen, would be Lara Croft, best known from the series Tomb Raider.
Yeah, today I looked longingly at the upcoming video game pics on Amazon. March 5th can’t come soon enough. Oh wait, yes it can. I need to work on Shade first. So, I like video games, but I don’t play many. There’s a handful that include the Diablo series, Legend of Zelda, Batman (the recent PS3 ones), Uncharted (yeah, I could do a whole blog post on this, and I might), and of course Tomb Raider.
Most ladies probably love Indiana Jones, and a few of us love the idea of being Indiana Jones. Who better to be than Lara Croft? Rich, tough, beautiful, and adventurous? Yes please. But being her is extremely tough. Believe you me, you’ve got to be toned to the max and insanely brave. I’m working my way up to it… I hope to one day own a pair of HK USP Match Pistols. Maybe when I’m a little richer.
But do you know how difficult it is to shimmy along a wall? Forget all the ridiculous parkour skills you’ve got to have in addition to that. I guess when you’re rich you have the time to train in all that.
I did like the movie portrayals, in case anyone was wondering. I think Angelina Jolie made a decent Lara. It’s a shame in recent years Angelina looks too Hollywood anymore. Stay too long in Hollywood and they turn you into a wraith. Was it just me or when she came out onto stage during the Oscars that one time was your first thought, “Geez Angie, eat a sandwich!”
Not that I really watch the Oscars other than clips on YouTube if friends mention something funny happened. I’m just a little disgusted that we’re watching the self-congratulatory fest of a bunch of smug Hollywood-ites who think they’re oh so clever. What am I talking about? Oh, the Oscars are things they award each other, no audience going input considered. Why else are there some movies listed you’ve never heard of or thought sucked? Yep, don’t watch the Oscars.
Anyways, back to tough girls. They’re awesome, they’re strong, even better when they’re feminine and make it great to be feminine. In fact one of the best characters on Farscape, something I’ve talked about in earlier things i love posts, is Zhaan, an alien priestess who shows us how she can be soft, feminine, but far from weak.
Now that you know of my love of tough girls, tell me about more tough girls I should get to know, especially in books. I liked Katsa in Graceling, I love Violet from A Series of Unfortunate Events, who else should I get to know? My holiday book read is coming up so spill? And if you can only think of cool tough girl movie characters, feel free to share them as well.