I didn’t really realize how much I wanted a brunette princess from Disney until they released Beauty and the Beast in 1991. Hey, yes, a Disney movie featuring a girl with brown hair like me? AND she’s a huge reader? AND she snarks away Gaston like she’s swatting a fly? Excellent, good, yes.
Thing is, I already had a brunette princess, and she was a badass with a mile of hair.
While Star Wars isn’t (and shouldn’t be) all she’s known for, Carrie Fisher’s role as Princess Leia was fscking iconic in so many ways. For me, she was an awesome space princess who worked and fought for her cause, got dirty and shot guns right alongside the boys, saved the guy, and was not a blonde in a restrictive, frilly dress. (If you think that a small thing like changing from blonde to brunette as the ubiquitous Princess Hair Color is no big deal, i will tell you without hesitation that you are wrong. Like, wrong-wrong.)
Carrie Fisher herself was frank, smart and funny, upfront about her issues with mental illness and substance abuse. Does it help that she had portrayed a beloved character? Hell yes. But the normalization that went along with it, demonstrating both that famous folks are real people with struggles of their own AND that those who share these struggles are “normal” and need help and support just as much as anyone famous… that was just as important as growing up with a princess who looked more like me and had awesome space adventures.
She did both. So can we. Support your local aspiring space royalty and help everyone see themselves in the story.
I have so much more I wanted to say, but I’m honestly getting a little choked up and I’ve never even met this amazing woman. So here are some words from folks more eloquent than I.
This whole thread is fantastic, and I recommend you click through to read the whole thing.
Everyone is sharing pictures of Fisher when she was young, but let me show you the Leia that was the most important to me: General Organa pic.twitter.com/xXFETlkZ8Y
— Anne Thériault (@anne_theriault) December 27, 2016
All moms, even Space Moms, have moms too:
@starwars Natalie Portman
— Carrie Fisher (@carrieffisher) May 11, 2015
We have a responsibility to shoulder:
We're the Rebellion now, we better not let the General down. #CarrieFisher
— Katie Mack (@AstroKatie) December 27, 2016
Today, and in the coming days, months, and years:
— marie (@anakinsvywalker) December 27, 2016
Wookiees cry too:
There are no words for this loss. Carrie was the brightest light in every room she entered. I will miss her dearly. pic.twitter.com/GgIeYGeMt9
— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) December 27, 2016
— @HamillHimself (@HamillHimself) December 27, 2016
If anyone wasn’t sobbing yet:
I'll still be waiting for you……. pic.twitter.com/ef461OcqKJ
— Gary the Dog (@Gary_TheDog) December 27, 2016
And for anyone wondering about the title of this post? It’s Carrie Fisher’s wish for her obituary, right from her book Wishful Drinking.
Thank you for teaching a generation of little girls that princesses can be self-rescuing. We love you.