Monday, January 9, 2012

Female Role Models on The Tube

My Heroes
I've been watching a lot of Remington Steele lately, which means I've been doing a lot of self reflecting. I didn't realize it, but growing up I had two heroes; Wonder Woman, who stayed in my conscience brain and Laura Holt, who became so much a part of me I didn't even realize that aspects of me are, in fact, her.

When I was a kid I watched Wonder Woman every day after school (I must have watched it in some sort of syndication because I am not that old). And, from Lynda Carter's depiction of the Amazon Princess, I learned:

1. How you dress does not determine how you are perceived Although many today think of Wonder Woman as the sexy superhero (in writing this post I found severally Playboyesque pics of my hero), she doesn't for once let you forget that in tiny spangled spankies and high-heeled red go-go boots she can, and will, kick your heine.

2. Nice girls finish first Diana Prince, Princess Diana, Wonder Woman...always, always, always, according to creator William Marston stands for "love, peace and sexual equality". She is honest and virtuous and because of these traits always gets the bad guy and always gets the man she loves. Even if she does have to wait...for...ever...hmmm, she is also patient, another lovely quality of any 'nice girl'.

3. Girls are powerful in body and mind Even when talking to a perp, Wonder Woman's voice is smooth and without edge. As Diana Prince she isn't like bumbling Clark Kent instead she works for military intelligence and saves lives. She's been a secretary, a nurse, and a Major in the Army. Without the costume she is still self-assured and strong. In the costume she is all this and a powerful ally in the Justice League.
The Source is My Very Own Wonder Woman Pinterest Board

In Laura Holt, I learned all those traits, and more, could exist in a real person.

In watching Remington Steele with adult eyes and a nostalgic mind set, here are the things I've been noticing:

1. Less is More Stephanie Zimbalist is just friggin' beautiful. Yes, this is the first thing I noticed while watching the show again. The first time around I noticed Pierce Brosnan's beauty (yes, a 10 year old can know when a 30 year old is H-O-T), heck, the whole world noticed Mr. Brosnan's beauty. Anyway, Stephanie Zimbalist is beautiful running after bad guys, dancing in a ballroom, figuring out that a crime has been committed, in a skirt, in a dress, in heels, in espadrilles (and, she wears many variations and colors--I'm jealous), in slacks and without makeup. I love that there's so little make-up on her pretty face, that you can see her freckles. I also love that, unless she's working out, you do not see Laura Holt in sneakers...I hate sneakers and feel like a dork when wearing them...I don't know if I got that from her (my mother also wears sneakers rarely), but it's nice to see.

2. Girls with Brains Rule While it may be the girl with the curls and the eyelashes who catches the eye of the guy, it is the girl with the brains, the girl with the standards who gets him in the end. I mean Laura tells Mr. Steele how it is often. She makes sure that he knows that it's her detective agency. She connects all the dots all of the time and still, in the end, gets carried up the stairs by the man who loves her brains and her beauty.

3. Strong, Smart Girls Don't Always Have to Win It is so cool to see a character who is a strong girl who is allowed to be strong and still be feminine. Remington Steele is always there for Laura Holt...she cries on his shoulder when her house gets blown up and she learns lessons from his Type B personality...lessons like, "Friends come first", and, "Just because I'm angry at you doesn't mean I don't love you", lessons like, "Sure, We've got a crime to solve, but let's drink this wine first". There's one episode in Season 3 (I believe it's Episode 1) where Steele really does get angry with her and yells at her about how she always has to have everything her way and on her terms and he says that at some point in time he'd like her to think of him and what he wants. I love the role reversal and I love that she does, through-out the season, take a step back and reflect on her relationship with him. I love that he does too.

You've got to admit, I have some pretty awesome TV heroes.

Who are/were your TV heroes growing up?


  1. you know it is funny I LOVED this show! and I knew that Stephanie Zimblist was Eprham Zimbalist Jr's daughter from that other show (which is escaping me at the moment!) - - but I had older brothers and I got stuck watching stuff like Wild, Wild, West, and Batman and junk like that. My hero had to be the dude from Wild, Wild, West --- you know West! Besides the fact that he was downright hot!!

  2. I love this sentence you wrote, "Laura Holt, who became so much a part of me I didn't even realize that aspects of me are, in fact, her."

    I had the same realization last year when I rediscovered the show, and appreciate learning about all the other women out there who had similar experiences. Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. Brenda, are you referring to Hotel?
    lynn, i was looking at your paper, very cool! i shall read it all, but i'm readin the laura holt part right now! :D



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