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There were funny, smart and thought provoking shows in the late 80s, early 90s that introduced girls to iconic feminist characters, and what it meant to be a teenager/woman in America almost twenty years ago.

Pepper Ann Pearson in Pepper Ann, too cool to be twelve.pepperannlogo

How do I even begin? Pepper Ann was a feminist ahead of her time. She was never afraid to speak her mind, had a badass single mother, and a little sister who wasn’t afraid to defy female gender stereotypes. More importantly, Pepper Ann imagined herself a very tough warrior and was in real life while facing moral dilemmas.

Helga G. Pataki in Hey Arnold!

tumblr_myke36otds1sieiueo1_500 Helga was classified as tough, bossy and cynical. However, she’s also a genius when it comes to academics. More importantly she is very ambitious despite her almost obsessive love for Arnold. There’s even a dream sequence where she imagines herself the president of the United States with Arnold at her side as first gentleman. If this isn’t #GirlBoss then what are we to aspire to?

Miss Grotke in Recess

 3If there was ever a badass teacher in the classroom that was certainly Miss Grotke every time she called out white misogyny in History. Class assignments were close to something you find at a college level rather than a 4th grade classroom. She also never failed to recognize women who contributed to our society.

Buffy Summers in Buffy The Vampire Slayer

buffy-the-vampire-slayerBuffy Summers showed us that even pint sized girls can be strong in the face of adversity. More importantly she wasn’t afraid of being vulnerable, and she was the Chosen One. You could also argue that Buffy’s greatest quality was in sharing power with others. She proved many times that nobody will ever be too powerful to subdue others for their selfish whims. It’s almost political if you think about it. In the end she gives the biggest speech of her life surrounded by other girls soon to be Chosen One(s) as well to fight against evil.  Thank you Buffy for letting us ladies know what it means to be a real leader.

Xena in Xena: Warrior Princess

Lucy Lawless as Xena was epic. She exhibited qualities that inspired women (and men) to fight against the forces of evil, and do what is morally right. She taught us to rely less on our sexual appeal, and focus more intellectually. More importantly she empowered other women along to realize their own strength as well accept their imperfections.

Moesha in Moesha 

Finally, a black girl we could all relate to at some level.  She wore braids and attended high school in a good neighborhood located in Los Angeles. It was also one of the first shows that really showed what teenage minorities go through at home, school and work. It even health with darker elements such as death of a parent and discovering secrets within a close niche family. More importantly, the protagonist, is not afraid to say ‘no’ when she’s being pressured to do something she doesn’t like.

 

 

Do you miss TV programs with strong female leads? 

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. Born and raised in Houston, TX. 
  2. Graduated from Loyola Maryland in Baltimore.
  3. Favorite drink is LaCroix water.
  4. Favorite food is Asparagus. 
  5. Feminist is my favorite F word.
  6. Never fails to watch The Life Aquatic by Wes Anderson.
  7. Seeking new job opportunities in Advertising/PR and Marketing. 
  8. Listens to music by  Marina + Diamonds, The Killers, Beethoven and Miguel Bose.
  9. Black cats are my spirit animal.
  10. Seriously in love with Tina Fey, and all her TV/Film projects.
  11. Does a lot of volunteer work in promoting health, science and medicine.
  12. Wants to decorate personal space  with everything Kawaii.
  13. Roommates with a 1 year old chihuahua.
  14. Likes everything British except the whole colonization thing.
  15. Has a lot of crushes on guys who’ve been dead for over 200 years.
  16. Ran into actor Kevin Spacey once while filming House of Cards.
  17. Favorite thing to do is go horseback riding. 
  18. Has had artwork displayed at galleries, and on the streets of Houston.
  19. Currently reading dystopian novels by women of color. Check out Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor.
  20. Trying to write a successful blog!