As part of the popular cartoon series The Simpsons, Lisa Simpson has become one of the most recognizable icons of modern girlhood. Together with her brother Bart, sister Maggie, father Homer and mother Marge, Lisa’s image is known all over the world and many of us, including myself, have fond memories of following her throughout our school, college and adult lives. Importantly, however, Lisa’s role is not merely to entertain the audience. Her character is intelligent, wise, peaceful, ethical and ambitious. Her activities range from advocating human rights in Tibet, becoming proficient at playing the saxophone, promoting environmentalism and creating a doll called Lisa Lionheart to try to positively influence other young girls. In these ways Lisa’s character often acts as the moral focal point of an episode.
I looked forward to watching The Simpsons every evening after school. I was particularly drawn to Lisa because of her intelligence, determination and integrity. Even now there are few cultural icons who are girls and fewer still that promote positive attributes among young girls. On a more personal level when I was growing up my own brother was mischievous like Bart, whereas I was more shy and studious, and Lisa taught me that was all right. She also taught me that it is important to identify and stand up for the principles you believe in. In a world where most young girls are offered Barbie or Bratz dolls as potential role models Lisa Simpson is a breath of fresh air.
For more information, check out Lisa’s bio on The Simspons website.
Check back tomorrow to find out about a heroine who had her own unique sense of style and philosophy of living.