Lipstick & Lightsabers

Below is a new section for TMSM Geek and we wanted to share it here for those who aren’t members of TMSMGeek.com.

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As a boy I grew up loving Star Wars and Marvel, which has carried over into adulthood.  So when I met the young lady who will be writing many of these articles, I did not fully understand the stigma that is attached to fangirls.

Please give a big hello and TMSM Welcome to Susie Bryan! – TMSM Rebel

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I don’t want to brag, but I like to consider myself to be a Star Wars hipster; I liked Star Wars before it was cool. I know what you’re thinking, how can a girl born sixteen years after the franchise premiered have liked Star Wars before it was cool? The answer is in the question. I am a girl who was born sixteen years after “A New Hope” came out. Still confused? Let me explain.

Susie and Walter

When I was in fifth grade and my brother was in third, he wanted to rent what my parents called “the first Star Wars” aka Episode IV. When we finished watching it, we were hooked. After rewinding the tape (yeah, remember rewinding?) and returning it to Blockbuster (wow I’m old), we rented Episodes V and VI. Soon after that, we finished the saga, and our journey to total fandom was complete.  Of course, like every other eleven year old, I wanted to tell all my friends about how cool Star Wars was. Being the happy-go-lucky tomboy in my group of girl friends that I was and because they all seemed to like the same things, I assumed they would enjoy Star Wars like I did. Wrong. So wrong. Not only had NONE of them seen Star Wars, they did not show any interest in watching it! This upset me in a way that I only describe as “a million voices cried out in terror.”

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In case you don’t remember fifth grade, let me take you back to the beginning of the awkward prequel to your teenage years.  It’s a time where you are beginning to make decisions for yourself and start to feel the wonderful effects of peer pressure. I went to a private Christian school where we wore uniforms, making it hard to show individual style. While the other girls, including all my friends, were getting Vera Bradley purses (my mom knew her messy and clumsy daughter better than to spend that amount of money on a purse) and were wearing colorful belts, sandals, and hair bows, I was pulling my hair back in a ponytail, wearing my worn-out Converse, and carrying a Star Wars coloring book to work on during every spare minute in class. Bottom line, I wasn’t like the other girls and I liked that.

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The more the girls became interested in jewelry, the more I became interested in Jedi. I wanted so bad to prove I was not going to be like the other girls that I might have swung the pendulum too far. From fifth grade until about eighth grade, my interests and style did not match that of my friends. Even as recent as ten years ago, it was not very acceptable for girls to like nerdy movies or shows.

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It was only recently, and I believe Disney purchasing Lucas Film helped with this, that girls seem to now be “allowed” by society to like Star Wars.  I feel like girls now have more freedom to enjoy things like Star Wars and comic books and don’t feel the peer pressure I did to keep those views to themselves. While I was very open about by emerging nerdiness, other girls weren’t.

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Star Wars is not a boys club. The rising number of young girls wanting to wear their hair in crazy side buns is growing. Women my age and a little older now feel comfortable to come out of the nerd closet. Retail stores are figuring this out too. Star Wars, and geeky fandoms in general, now have stylish jewelry, clothes, purses, you name it! Entire store sections and websites are now devoted to girls who, like their father before them, love Star Wars.

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It’s encouraging to see almost as many little girls running around Disney World in Princess Leia costumes as traditional princess costumes. Not that I don’t love Disney princesses, more than a twenty-one year old should, but girls now feel comfortable being themselves and liking whatever they want to. I have always been stubborn and outspoken, so I could not have cared less what the other girls said about my Star Wars binder in school, but some girls are self-conscience about liking historically male dominated fandoms. Not anymore.

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So yeah in a way, I liked Star Wars before it was cool. Before the cute R2-D2 dresses, before Leia was a Disney Princess, and before everybody knew who the handsome Hayden Christensen was, there was the silent majority girls who loved Star Wars.

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I look forward to the day when I have a daughter and she has a Leia or Padme costume hanging in her closet next to her Anna, Belle, or any other Disney princess costume. Who said Star Wars is just for boys? I don’t think Natalie Portman would like that idea. Instead of just being a “girly girl” or a “geek,” why not be both?  I encourage every lady to watch Star Wars. You may just find out you have a nerd side dying to come out. It’s all about lipstick AND lightsabers.

This article was submitted by Susie Bryan.  Susie is a self proclaimed Hipster Geek.  She is currently enrolled in college majoring in communications. 

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