The 1990s was all about growing up empowered

About the Blog: Growing up in India during 90s I was obsessed with cartoons, video games, movies and computer games. Rewind into my childhood and teenage days, it is evident that The 1990s was all about growing up empowered.  I was always drawn towards strong, independent, self-respecting, and adventure-loving women and was fascinated by the characters that showcased the importance of friendship, the value of family, and the dangers of being afraid. 

Here are 13 Reasons Why the 1990s was all about growing up empowered …

1. Street Fighter and Chun Li

The first female fighter in the series, she is an expert martial artist. Fierce face, strong hands, and muscular thighs – she was always my first and last choice playing the game. While my brother used to argue that Ryu, Bravo and Dee Jay are the strongest in Street Fighter, I used to kick his ass choosing Chun Li. 

Fight the odds.

And fight them like a girl.

2. Disney’s Renaissance and the Disney Princesses

I never saw the Disney princesses as delicate and demure. Instead I saw women with compassion, determination, and fearlessness. Every single Disney princess has had to go through trouble to get where they want to be. Ambitious mermaid Ariel had to defy her dad to achieve her dream. Belle in Beauty and the Beast and Jasmine in Aladdin had an independent streak, while Mulan showed women could fight just as well as men. They all had to be brave to get through the other side.

Who says that

my dreams

have to stay just

my dreams?

3. Chip N Dale and Gadget Hackwrench

Gadget is a perfectly normal mouse; she loves solving problems and is a quirky inventor. Her curiosity and fearlessness drive her to find solutions that others have simply overlooked, and her mechanical savvy makes her incredibly valuable to the team. She’s very loyal to her friends and frequently goes out of the way to help them

Everyone can contribute something to the team: Monty has strength, Zipper has speed, Chip has his great leadership skills, and Dale has…has…a good sense of humor!

4. Super wonderful Bros and Princess Peaches

For everyone Mario was the hero and believed rescuing Princess Peaches as the Mission.  I used to select the princess as my gaming character and record high scores.

I’m the princess. I’m the example.

I’ve got duties, responsibilities, and expectations. 

5. Gummi Bears and Family

Zummi Gummi, Gruffi Gummi, Grammi Gummi, Tummi Gummi, Sunni Gummi and Cubbi Gummi jumping around drinking Gummiberry Juice always made me wake up early on Saturday’s and later sing “Gummi berry Gummmmi berryyy juiceeee” with my brother torturing my mother to prepare black grape juice. This 30 year old Disney’s television animation, the Adventures of Gummi Bears made me believe in the power of family.

If you remember these guys,

Your childhood was definitely awesome.

6. Road Rash and Biking

One of the most popular video games of 90s, Road Rash combined dangerous bike racing with an element of combat. After PAC-MAN and Dave, Road Rash was the third computer game I played. With no female character to choose from, I asked my school teachers – Why isn’t there a girl rider? and they said “Girls aren’t supposed to ride bikes”. And that’s when I decided to defy social norms of what a girl can and cannot do.

Do This.

Do That.

Don’t Do This.

Don’t Do That.

BLAH. BLAH. BLAH.

 

7. Tomb Raider and Adventure

Words fall short to explain my love for Lara Croft. Since the day I laid my hands on Tomb Raider, all I used to do was play – play – play more. I wanted to be Lara Croft. I wanted to be that girl who climbs mountain, cross oceans, and goes on conquering the world.

A famous explorer once said,  that the extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are.  I’d finally set out to make my  mark; to find adventure.  But instead adventure  found me. In our darkest  moments, when life flashes  before us, we find something;  Something that keeps us going. Something that pushes us.

8. Counter strike and First Person Shooting

The notion among neighborhood boys was that “First Person Shooting Games is NOT for GIRLS” and being a girl it was difficult to get a seat in the cyber cafe to be part of Counter Strike LAN Challenge. I had to tell them and prove to them that I can beat them fair and square.

There exist girls who play Counter Strike.

There exist girls who play GTA.

There exist girls who play Rise of Nations.

There exist girls who play NFS.

There exist girls who play Hitman.

So better don’t underestimate us

Because we can beat you guys at your own game.

9. Harry Potter and J K Rowling

Reading Harry Potter taught a lot of things – the value of friendship, how to face your fears, life is full of opportunities and surprises, and if Hermione can beat the hell out of pure-bloods, then anyone can be better than anyone only if they work hard for it.

10. Sidney Sheldon and Women Protagonists

My introduction to Sidney Sheldon was through ‘Tell Me your Dreams’, and I recall that I couldn’t manage to put it down even for a second. The book takes you to the soul of a diligent, intelligent, gorgeous woman Ashley Patterson and that character is still close to my heart. His books are mostly about strong female protagonists – an intelligent woman, a headstrong business woman, a passionate doctor, a self-made billionaire, a woman burdened by amnesia and showcases every facet of human passion and compassion. In Sheldon’s novels the characters are put into extreme precarious situations that there is no way to get out. And then the narrative unfolds towards a way to get them out. Reading his books lets us into the souls of each character and lay open to us the soul of our own. His books taught me an important life lesson which I never forgot – 

Women are judged inferior until we prove ourselves

And men are judged superior until they prove otherwise

 

11. Star Wars and the life lessons

Star Wars is more than a movie or franchise. It’s a global phenomenon, a modern mythology that may well live for centuries. For me, it was also the most important cultural influence on my childhood. It sparked my imagination, informed my creative sensibilities, and taught me some valuable life lessons.

Remember…

The Force will be with you. Always.

12. Pokemon, Dragon Ball, and Naruto

Pokemon Game led me in to the ‘World full of Adventures’, Dragon Ball Anime characters taught me the ‘Never Give Up’ attitude, and Naruto Manga made me believe in ‘Friendship Forever’. I must admit that these trios influenced me in the best possible way. I owe a great deal to them.

Limitations Exist

Only if you let them.

13. Pretty Woman and Happily Ever After

I have seen this film on cable TV, CD, downloaded on torrent, and even watched HD print online. Watched and re-watched this modern version of Cinderella is my favorite Happily Ever After Story.

Classic man-rescues-lady fare. But after he asks what happened next, she replies: ‘She rescues him right back.’

 

& honestly this list can be never ending…

Time passes by ! Seasons passes by ! Age passes by !

But, memories stay forever. Ain’t it?

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