Lately, I've been permanently attached my laptop in our living room, working long hours on homework and a website gig. We don't have cable but we have Netflix has given us the gift of Xena, also known as a lesbian "must-see." Well, I haven't been watching as much as I would like but Alex has been playing it regularly as I work. She was my hero in my early teenage year, and peeking out from my laptop lately has reminded me.
- Be Bold, Be Aggressive
Xena was by no means meek - she was the Warrior Princess after all. She was aggressive, in your face, and she was unapologetic about it. Some people would describe their personalities or personal styles this way, and that's not a bad thing. People like Xena are the ones who get things done, set trends and move civilization along. Even if you don't feel like a complete warrior, you can still try to do or wear something bolder than usual.
- Don't Be Afraid of Higher Powers
As a Warrior Princess, Xena challenged and was challenged by a lot of people, including the Gods. These weren't easy battles as Gods tended to be all-powerful or pretty damn close. In life, we come across people that we see as "all-powerful" but it's important to remember that everyone has a weakness. And just because a "Higher Power" (like a magazine editor) says it, doesn't always mean it's right. You have to do (and wear) what feels right to you.
- You Can Fight Hard and Still Be Feminine
Speaking of battles, Xena fought a lot of them - 6 seasons worth actually - and despite her tendency for bashing in heads, she was still actively portrayed as a seductress. She proves that femininity does not equate to submission.
- A Little Cleavage is Not a Bad Thing
Sometimes I get the feeling that fashion has no room large, prominent breasts. Models all have tiny cleavage and anything bigger gets categorized as obscene. But why are breasts considered obscene? I don't think that a woman's body should be kept hidden but there has a happy medium between modesty and sexual freedom. Xena's outfit confirms you can show a little cleavage and still go about your day (kicking ass, taking names or just having an adventure).
- Everyone Has Critics
During the series, Xena rescues a lot of people while others criticize her and throw her out their villages. It's a phrase we all heard at one time or another, "Not everyone is going to like you." But that never stopped her from doing what she thought was right, and, most times, those people apologized for being antagonistic. Some people may not like your volunteer job or your outfit or your hair but that shouldn't stop you from doing what you think is right.
- Don't Let Your Past Govern You
When we first meet Xena, she's got a bloody past and a thousand lives on her conscience. Though this weighs heavily on her, she doesn't let it hold her back. It's true that we are shaped by our past experiences but we shouldn't let them drown us. A fashion faux pas shouldn't keep up from trying new styles the same way a bad grade shouldn't make us give up in the class (and I speak from personal experience on this one). We are more than our mistakes.
- No Matter How Great, You Are Not a God
Maybe it was her dark past but Xena was very humble about all the lives she saved. In life, a little ego can be good for you but don't take it overboard or you'll annoy people. And just because you get accolades for some things you did right, it doesn't mean that you are incredible at everything. Normally, when we get a big head we miss our own shortcomings and fail.
- When Taking on a Big Task, It's Better to Have a Plan
Some of my favorite Xena fight scenes are when she's taking on a small army but she wins because she pre-rigs her environment. She lays out traps and funnels the fight so she can stay in control. In real life, it's not that easy to stay in control of a big project or situation but it's good to go into it with some kind of plan and a catalog of your on-hand resources.
- It's All In the Company You Keep
Finding people who compliment you is just as important as finding a style that compliments you. Xena had Gabrielle, whose naivete and open heart was the perfect balance to her jadedness. She also inspired Xena to keep her dark side in check. In a similar way, we should try to keep those who inspire us close.
- Don't Judge Too Quickly
This isn't anything new - I just wanted to reiterate something we'd all heard before. In the show, people judged Gabrielle as small and weak although she could defend herself quite well. Xena, on the other hand, looked tough and angry but episode after episode showed her softer side.