I watch a lot of TV and movies for the purest reason for their existence – escapism. Though it wasn’t until recently that I realised the impact these fictional characters have on my life, as sad as that sounds. I watch these films and shows to escape into fictional lands and be – to mis-quote The Little Mermaid – part of their world.
The heartbreakingly sudden passing of Carrie Fisher hit me like a tonne of bricks. I was going through a tough time when it happened, but it felt like someone close to me was now gone. That person was Princess Leia.
I mean this in absolutely no disrespect to Carrie. She was a hugely talented actress, and beautiful spirit, and that’s why a character she so brilliantly portrayed has had such an impact on my life. Carrie Fisher is Princess Leia to me, just like all the other actors and actresses are the characters I adore them for, because they depict them so convincingly.
All this made me think about the other characters that shape my character. So here’s a few of them, with my attempt to justify why a made-up person makes a good role model.
5) Ashley Spinelli (Recess)
Let’s start way back when I was a little nipper. Spinelli tomboy role model I needed. I was always a shy and quiet kid and I looked up to Spinelli for having bigger (and metaphorical) balls than most of the boys. It’s a shame really that I didn’t start acting like her until my adult life.
4) Lisa Simpson (The Simpsons)
A pretty much polar opposite to Spinelli. Lisa is my book-smarts side, has been since childhood and will be forever. She doesn’t let silly things like getting bullied and having no friends stop her from doing what she loves. So much respect little Lis’!
3) Tina Belcher (Bob’s Burgers)
I wish I could say Tina reflects my awkward teen phase, but really she is my awkward, occasionally overly confident, spirit animal in anxiety-ridden adult life. Also, she has a similar fashion sense to me. Also also, I like butts.
2) Sweet Dee Reynolds (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)
Okay you’re gonna have to hear me out on this one because I am fully aware Dee isn’t the most saintly of individuals. BUT Sweet Dee has helped me to give way less fucks in life. She doesn’t let the rest of the gang ripping on her 24/7 phase her (FYI Charlie, Mac, Dennis & Frank she looks NOTHING like a bird!), and she will never give up on dreams of becoming an actress. In unnecessarily stressful situations I often find myself thinking WWSDD? (What would Sweet Dee do?) and the answer is usually say ‘later boners’ and bail.
1) Princess Leia (Star Wars)
Obvs. She taught me its okay to be a girl and speak your mind. She taught me girls don’t just have to be pretty or badass, they can be pretty AND just a badass as the guys. Even though she hated wearing the Slave Leia costume, she taught me that even when a woman is at her most vulnerable, being treat like a piece of meat, she can still reign supreme and kick some ass. RIP Carrie Fisher, you will always be my favourite Disney Princess.