How 90s Pop Culture Taught Me To Be a Kick-Ass Woman

Well hello there my darlings.. let's just launch straight in shall we?

Despite appearances, my childhood wasn't all Barbie dolls and doily bib dresses. Rather, my sister and I used to club our My Little Ponies together with my brother's transformers and goblin toys in one unholy mega universe where Hopscotch reigned as Evil Queen.

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Aside from having an awesome big brother who let us play with his toys, we grew up in a household where knowledge was power and us girls were made to feel as though the possibilities were endless. We were always exposed to so many strong female role models as children and (outside of books and school) even the films, television, and music I encountered always carried strong currents of powerful women kicking ass and taking names.
So thank you 90s, and here's what you taught me:


1. Never be afraid to fly in and take charge of a situation


Ok, so I know this film was made in the 60s but I grew up watching it in the 80s/90s and couldn't bear to leave it off the list.
Ah, Mary Poppins.. who else could walk into a London banker's home and give him what for? In fact, she seems to rule the roost with every man she meets. Couple this with the fact that she's, well, magical and the not so subtle nod to the Suffragettes and you've got yourself a rather powerful message about female independence and autonomy.


2. Be tenacious: Never give up, never surrender


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I don't know if it was Ripley's unfaltering determination to survive or just the fact that she tried to make that perm work with nothing but sheer will. But she was always the woman you wanted by your side, or better, telling you what to do. In fact, almost every man in the Alien franchise movies was either a fool, died horribly, or deferred to her in a crisis. Except for that sexy Corporal Hicks tag team management thing in the second film.. that was excellent.
Let's face it, questionable hairdo or not, Ripley is always ready, faces danger head on and, Goddamn it, this woman just will not die (technically).
I don't know about you but that's my kind of lady.

Now here she is holding a big gun:

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And now, a child:
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See? Adept with heavy artillery and maternal.. what more could you want?


3. Indulge the angsty teen within

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It's ok to be a dreamy little teenager sometimes. I know I love a good day of wallowing and introspective indulgence. Just make sure you don't go full Angela Chase... trust me, there is no coming back from the flannel shirts and incessant inner monologuing that will ensue.


4. Never, ever settle for anything less than:

The twirly, whirly romance...




The big, sweeping, drama,

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The, all consuming, "I would die for you" love.


Somewhere along the way, I realised; if I don't want to die for you, then I just don't want you. There's a power in this that I didn't even fully understand until after I got married. A visceral rumbling that makes my skin hum for the person I love; something that takes the mundane day to day and makes it feel like the most exciting, thrilling times of your life. Love just isn't worth it unless it is all consuming.
Also, if you haven't seen Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, do it. Do it now. It's worth it just to see Maid Marian as a sword wielding ninja... who also makes tapestries.


5. We all have magical powers, find yours and use it

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There is something about everyone that is extraordinary, even if it's just that you give a damn good foot rub. Everything matters. Find your superpower and use it.

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But only for good, cursing people and eating children is frowned upon these days.


6. Be the frontwoman

In a world before the internet and feeling connected to something, we were all just despondent, misanthropic youth dreaming alone in our bedrooms. I was so happy to see women like Shirely Manson and Gwen Stefani in my male dominated music magazines. I'd look at them, unapologetic and outspoken, offbeat yet beautiful, with their band of boys behind them and think, "Yes, that'll do me nicely, thank you".

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And let's not forget about Skin from Skunk Anansie. This woman was my hero when I was 15. Booming operatic voice, body of an athlete, shaved head (oh my), baggy pants, done. Everything about her exuded strength and power and, to be perfectly honest, it was nice to see a minority female centre stage.

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7. Never underestimate the value of good friends

The ones who will go into battle with you.. or make sure you flee together

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The ones who can make you laugh

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The ones you can really geek out with

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And the ones who just get you

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8. There ain't nothing wrong with being strong


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Whether you're the slayer born in every generation, or you just have to work at it yourself like the rest of us, be strong inside and out. Being fabulous is all well and good but not when it's coupled with being precious. Learn to do things you've never done before, push your boundaries and, most importantly, learn how to take care of yourself.


Because in life,

There are no second chances


And there's always another motherfucking robot from the future around the corner, trying to bring you down.



Congratulations, you are now a badass mamba-jahamba. 
Go forth and conquer.



My Life As An Imposter
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4 comments

  1. Replies
    1. Haha thanks darling. Have you seen, that bit in My So Called Life when Ricky is dancing to "What is Love"? It's brilliant and now, always reminds me of you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj-uOYGn20Y

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  2. We were definitely inspired by Gwen Stefani, Skunk Anansie etc... if we could've danced on the stage at you-know-where we would have. In fact, we probably tried a few times. When I saw Gwen Stafani live she climbed up these scaffolding structures on each side of the stage and was singing from there... a very fearless woman!

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    Replies
    1. Haha I'm sure we tried.. or at least made our man bitches do it xxx

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