I grew up in a small, very white, very conservative town in Illinois. Most kids in my class had parents who were farmers and for whatever reason would proudly wave the confederate flag in their yards or on their vehicles. Not many of my friends were interested in the same things I was while growing up. Luckily, I had parents who encouraged my interests and tried to understand me. While most of the girls in my class had heroes of the Olsen Twins, Disney Princesses, and the Spice Girls (which don’t get me wrong, I also loved), but my heroes were Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena: Warrior Princess.
There was something so empowering about being 7 years old and watching a grown woman fight her own battles. I’m sure at the time my little brain couldn’t comprehend the message this was teaching me, but I am thankful for it now. These women were beautiful and strong but also would show their weaknesses now and then. Both Xena: Warrior Princess and Buffy the Vampire Slayer showed me that while women are strong and can do anything, there will be times where the battle might be too tough and that it is okay to ask for help if you need it, solid lessons that now as a woman, I am glad to know. Not only did Buffy and Xena teach me characteristics on how to be kick-ass, but they also began my love for nerd culture, horror, and science fiction.
While neither show is on anymore and haven’t been for a long time, it’s fun to look back and think of these heroines. I often wander what young girls today have to look up to. I’m currently 6 months pregnant with my first child, a daughter. I can’t help but think about who her heroes will be, and if I can convince her one day to sit down and watch these shows with me.