02.21.14 // A More Realistic Fictional Role Model for Women
A More Realistic Fictional Role Model for Women
Written by Meg Humphrey, GeekGirlCon Programming Project Manager
Originally posted at Have You Nerd
I’m all for strong, independent, awesome fictional women. I think that, though, when we think about fandom role models we too quickly jump to butt-kicking beauties like Buffy Summers, River Tam, or Aeryn Sun. We think of sassy, outspoken ladies like Hermione Granger or Donna Noble. I like all of these women. I think they set a good example of refusing to be hushed or held back by men. But I also think there is a CRUCIAL diva of pop culture we keep overlooking that has been around for over 40 years: the one and only, Miss Piggy.
HONEST TO GOD, I think she’s the most REALISTIC portrayal of a modern every day woman. Yeah, she’s made of felt and is hollow (don’t forget she’s a pig), but I swear that she’s a go-to gal on living day-to-day life happily and confidently.
1. “There is no one on the planet to compare with moi:” confidence is key! Miss Piggy doesn’t think she’s overweight, nay, she KNOWS she’s not overweight. Other characters (human and Muppet alike) may point out the fact that she’s bigger, chubby, plus sized, or a pig (in the derogatory way, not in the factual way), but she doesn’t give them a second thought. As a person who deals with self esteem issues, I found a Miss Piggy quote that always makes me smile: “In a word, beauty is being yourself. Start with what you are – not what you wish you were or what those silly magazines tell you you oughta be.”
2. You can have your cake and eat it too: doing something “feminine” doesn’t mean you have to give up anything “masculine.” In Muppets Take Manhattan, Miss Piggy flashbacks to the Muppet nursery for a musical number entitled “I’ll Always Love You.” In this song, she sings about how Kermit will always be the love of her life despite all the great many tasks she wants to accomplish throughout her life – including being a neurosurgeon and a pilot. My favorite line goes “I’m gonna climb the Matterhorn / but only after all my children are born / because I want to be a good mommy too / and I’m gonna always love you.” There’s none of this well-I-can’t-have-a-career-if-I-get-married or my-life-is-not-mine-after-I-have-children nonsense.
3. It’s a Frog-eat-Pig world: being a woman surrounded by men. If you haven’t noticed, Miss Piggy is the only female Muppet lead outside of Janice’s (the bassist of Electric Mayhem) semi-regular appearances. Does that get her down? Nope! She carves herself a unique place wherever she is.
4. Miss Piggy is the opposite of shy. She has a large ego, endless confidence, and a voice that cuts through a crowded hall. I know that some folks see these traits and think that she’s selfish and a loudmouth, but I don’t see anything wrong in a woman sticking up for herself and sticking up for her loved ones. In The Muppets Christmas Carol, when Scrooge comes calling on Bob Cratchett (Kermit) on Christmas day, demanding to know why he wasn’t at work, it is Emily Cratchett (Miss Piggy) who jumps in to defend her husband and her home.
Whether you enjoy Muppet shenanigans or not, it’s pretty clear that Miss Piggy should be touted as an inspiration for all girls and women out there. There is room for a lady pig with our other favorite fictional heroines.