Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Remembering Princess Leia

When I was a very little girl one of my very first special interests was Star Wars. While I no longer have any interest at all in the movies, today's news of the passing of Carrie Fisher has awakened a depth of sadness within me that reaches well into my childhood.

She was in particular what held my interest about Star Wars. As a 4 year old (and older) little girl her character as Princess Leia resonated within me. I was never into Disney type princesses. I still have a disdain for almost all Disney films to this day. This was a princess that was strong, capable, and opinionated, but attractive, and mysterious. She broke stereotypes with that character, and changed a lot of ways that young girls thought about themselves, and their roles within society, whether she realized it, or not.

Myself, and my cousins would play Star Wars all the time. I was always Princess Leia. It was a shame that 30 years ago the toys were all marketed as for boys only, and I'd never get any of my own. I only got to play with them when I visited my male cousins, or my uncle who was a few years older than me.

I remember one time in particular when I was at my grandmother's house. I didn't want to leave, so I wasn't putting my shoes on as my mother asked me to do. She was getting frustrated with me. My uncle told me that my shoes looked just like Princess Leia's shoes. I was in shock. Why didn't I know before?!? I ran as fast as I could to find them downstairs. I ran so fast that that I missed the last few stairs, but no
matter. I was too excited to notice. I picked myself up off the floor in a shuffling hurry to find those shoes! I had to have them on! That's how much 5 year old me wanted to be like Princess Leia.

I haven't followed Carrie's career as I grew older, but I know that she has had a lot of ups, and downs of her own. Her resilience, and humor has always shone through. She has done so much for women's rights, and mental health awareness. She deserves to be commended, and remembered for her amazing life. I will be forever grateful for her influence.

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