Young brunettes and redheads the world over in the 70s owed a lot to Wonderwoman, a true superheroine, capable of whipping thugs into shape with her golden lassoo, matching wristbands and bewitching gaze. OK, the hotpants and corsette get-up was sexist and possible demeaning to womankind, but she evoked awe, and, well, wonder. She was wonderwoman! And she wasn’t blonde. This was very important to square-eyed titian-haired girls such as myself, who tuned into whatever sitcoms their parents would allow: I Dream of Jeannie? Blonde! Bewitched? Double-blonde! Samantha and her witchy offspring Tabitha. The Wacky Races? Cartoon blonde in the pink pantsuited shape of Penelope Pitstop. Scooby Doo? Blonde bombshell versus ordinary looking brunette “clever girl”.
Charlie’s Angels at least gave us girls a little of something for everyone – blonde, brunette, redhead, short, long, shaggy. And the Asterix comics offered up a stunningly haughty brunette Cleopatra. (They did not dare blondify Cleopatra!)
All of these women came to mind today when I was thinking about that old saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. It’s the kind of thing that people say at truly horrible moments, and I thought it to myself when my pregnancy hopes were crushed for yet another month.I really did feel very sad, frustrated, angry and scared that it will never happen, but after reminding myself that what would not kill me will make me stronger, I thought about all the terrible things that befall people every day and how lucky I really am. And then I thought about role models, real and imagined, and how important they can be when the going gets tough, whatever the scale of your problem.
The new Wonderwoman looks more like Aeon Flux to me than the Wonderwoman who had me running about the back yard fighting imaginary fiends, but with or without pants she’s a badass. And badasses don’t wallow in their own misery, they get out there and blast something (or someone), or at the very least a poor lost soul from certain death.
You choose your hero(ine) to suit your moment, and babymaking is no time for conjuring up artists, writers, singers or dancers. Apologies to Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Sylvia Plath, Nina Simone and Ginger Rogers – I love you all. But right now I need Wonderwoman, Aeon and that tiny twisted little Hit Girl from that film Kick Ass to keep me high-kicking, punching, and machine-gunning down that rocky road to Motherhood.
Ovaries, uterus, hormones – are you listening? Because I want a baby and I am taking no prisoners.