My Top Ten Divas, #10

When I was a kid growing up, looking for heroes, I didn't find them where people expected me to.  Or, I should say, the heroes I found were not the ones most adults hoped I would find.  When I was five I loved watching Batman re-runs on t.v, but not because of Batman, or even Robin.  I loved them because of Catwoman.  She was wicked, she was in control (though it was the kind of control I didn't understand yet) and she was incredibly graceful.  I wanted to be her.  But I knew there was something dishonorable about it.  I knew I shouldn't tell people that.  So when I was running around the playground at pre-school and I threw open the chain link gate and it flew back in my face and busted my lip, I told the teacher that I was pretending to be Batman and not Julie Newmar.

As I got older I continued to love and admire women more than the men.  And as I got older I became less and less apologetic about it.  I was thirteen when I started admitting I cared more about Judy Garland than I did "The Dead Kennedy's", and it was pretty freeing.   And so now, I unapologetically, and loudly proclaim my top-ten divas.  The ones I love most, who may not always fit the term in the expected sense of the word (they're not all singers, not all particularly well-known anymore, nor are they all even human) but they are iconic representations of the many sides of what it means to be fierce, emotional, open, honest, and talented.  If you have thoughts, comments, or disagree, please post them, because I'd love to hear what you have to say...

                                  10.  Wonder Woman

Promotional portrait of American actor Lynda Carter in costume in front of a backdrop of stars for the television series, 'Wonder Woman,' 1976.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Specifically, Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman.  When I was a kid I would watch her on television in awe.  And every time it was time for Diana Prince to become Wonder Woman I would spin around with her, living vicariously through her.  I never doubted that she would do the right thing, never questioned whether or not she would succeed.  I had an unwavering faith in her, and simply watched the show to see how stylishly she would achieve her goal.  It never seemed odd to me that she was always the one rescuing Steve Trevor, rather than the other way around.  Too often in movies and television today, if the protagonist is a woman, she will need rescuing in one way or another, from a man.  But not Wonder Woman.  And I think, because she embodied so many characteristics we think of as mannish and masculine, people accepted it.  She had all the assertiveness, strength and determination that were considered steretyplically male, but with the nurturing and intuitive, balanced heart we think of as feminine.  And that juxtaposition of the masculine and the feminine, plus her untouchable goodness, that oddly robotic demeanor touched with maternal warmth and her overstated curves packed into that proudly patriotic costume make her my number ten.