Awkward Childhood Misogyny and 80’s Pop Culture

Recently, a co-worker and I were discussing re-watching movies that you loved as a child.  I recalled my fondness for Splash, Mannequin, and Date With an Angel.  I was pretty smitten with the women in these movies–all of whom are somehow not quite human and often silent.  Can that be a good thing? Probably not.  I was attracted to characters that were valued for a superficial and predictable physical beauty.  They are also docile and in need of saving…what the darn was I thinking?  I remember liking the magical elements of them and that part I’m cool with owning.  It seems like a normal enough thing to like a little supernatural fun.  However, as a small girl child who would grow up to be a woman and to love women, the concept that I idealized these particular ones doesn’t make me feel so swell.

Did I want to be like them?  Yes.  I wanted Darryl Hannah’s hair, but my mom vetoed the needed dye and perm job.  Did I have a crush on them?  Yes, that too.  They epitomized something for me at that age, some media fed misogynist dream of a perfect woman.  The rigidity of my thoughts astounds me now and is also rather embarrassing.  However, nothing changes the fact that at that age it was true.  I can’t take it back.  That was me, then.

Guess I’m glad enough to be me now.


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