P.S.-Pooh Says...

"What day is it? - 'It's today' - squeaked Piglet. 'My favourite day' - said Pooh."- A.A. Milne

02 October 2011

Still "That" Girl!

“‘That Girl’ threw a hand grenade into the bunker, and all the other female characters walked right through.” Bill Persky, co-creator That Girl

45 years later she is still “That Girl”-Ann Marie, the first “girl” on television to live on her own, in New York City no less, chasing her dream to be an actress and doing it with great style—never could figure out how she could afford such a fabulous wardrobe,  but I know I wanted to be her one day—still do :)

In the rear view mirror Ann Marie was a little ditsy, and she did dream of an engagement ring from boyfriend Donald as much as she did a starring role, but she was full of enthusiasm and unwavering optimism about her life and her dreams. She always picked herself up and would never settle for ordinary.  Before Ann no girl on television had her own place in a big city, let alone her own thoughts and opinions. I was a very little girl watching That Girl in reruns but I saw something different in Ann Marie.

  No doubt I loved her clothes, and I had the That Girl Paper Doll books-there were That Girl dolls and McCalls dress patterns as well!  Sure she had her share of "Lucy-esque" escapades but I worry about young girls finding role models that show them the "Yes I Can" image most girls need to help them believe in themselves and to pursue their own dreams. I don't see a lot of that on television, sure there are professional women portrayed but are they really people girls can look to for inspiration as I did with Ann Marie, Mary Tyler Moore and later Murphy Brown, Ally McBeal and Carrie Bradshaw? The original That Girl, Marlo Thomas sees reason to hope:

"...the young women watching today will not only be entertained by these "girls", they'll also think, "Hey, that's me!" Or, " Wow, that could be me!" And that is one of the best things television can do: give people a chance to see themselves transformed. And to let ideas and characters come from below the surface and say, "I am here! See me!" 

Thank you Ann Marie for pushing open a door that let all those other characters take the screen and help so many girls think-"I can be her!"