I’m kinda infatuated with the newly named CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer. Every magazine/newspaper that I read seems to have a piece about her (nice job, PR team) and you can get information about her and her new position on just about every blog – entertainment or economic. Why all the fuss? Well, not only is she the youngest female (37) to take the reigns of a Fortune 500 company, she is also the first person to become head of a Fortune 500 company while pregnant. So, while most CEOs would spend their first 6 months dazzling investors and laying out key initiatives to revitalize their struggling company, Marissa will delve into those tasks while bringing another living thing into the world. She is famously quoted as saying she will “work throughout” her maternity leave, prompting both declarations of support from feminist groups and criticisms from moms who don’t want maternity leave to be trivialized as something that is not necessary and important. Whatever your opinion on the matter, there is no denying she is an impressive person who has achieved great success at a young age while refusing to put her personal life on hold. So in true BuzzBlog fashion, let’s take a look at some impressive, successful women from pop-culture history.
Note – The list of impressive, successful women from pop-culture history is endless. So while you might find my list lacking in obvious choices, please understand, I could only speak to the characters that have meant something to me. I couldn’t pick Sydney Bristow as I have never seen Alias nor could I pick Mary Richards from the Mary Tyler Moore Show. But I did pick Christina Applegate’s character Sue Ellen Crandell from Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.
Talk about a role model for a 10 year old girl! I LOVED Sue Ellen’s character in this movie because she stayed one step ahead of the game and solved problems by using her brain and her talents. At 17, she fooled an entire corporation into thinking she was a well established player in the fashion industry, with a family, a gorgeous home and ideas good enough to save the company from going under. “I’m right on top of that Rose” is a quote synonymous with Sue Ellen’s can-do, positive attitude – something everyone in the work place should have. She also managed to get the guy at the end.
Next on my list is the beloved Murphy Brown from the hit 80s/90s TV show. She was the news anchor that got the story no matter what. She kowtowed to no one, including the Vice President of the United States Dan Quayle, who famously criticized her character’s choice to become a single parent in 1992. She was beloved by her co-workers, respected by her colleagues and was able to manage her career and family life in a respectable, modern way. She was a hero to all women of that decade, who were trying to figure out how to have it all.
Switching back to movies, I have to pay my respects to my girl, Melanie Griffith who plays Tess McGill, the sassy, creative go-getter who stole Harrison Ford’s heart and Sigourney Weaver’s job in Working Girl. Tess was an honest secretary, trying to find her way through the maze of the NYC stock market world. When she discovered that her big idea to save the company was about to be snatched out from under her, she took action, using her brains and charming personality to woo the investors, and once again, get the guy. It was Griffith at her finest.
Finally, what is a list about successful female characters without mention of Peggy Olson from Mad Men. I’ve loved watching Peggy grow from a meek secretary up through the ranks of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce to the position of copywriter with an attitude. She broke through glass ceilings of traditional gender roles with her ideas, sass and persistence and I can’t wait to see what kind of a force she will be in the next season of the show. And once again, she’s managed to accomplish all this, and still get the guy… and the bastard child she gave up for adoption but that is neither here nor there.
So that’s a selection of the female characters who inspire me. Now tell us, which of these successful female characters from pop culture history is your favorite?
Sue Ellen Crandell, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead
Murphy Brown, Murphy Brown
Tess McGill, Working Girl
Peggy Olson, Mad Men