Girls with Glasses: Why Daria is an important female protagonist.
As a kid born in the 90’s I would often see Daria playing on Foxtel, but it wasn’t until I hit my early teens that I properly sat and watched the cult classic. It would be fair to say I instantly fell in love. Daria Morgendorffer’s intelligent, sarcastic and sharp edge wit broke all the rules and expectations of a typically portrayed female protagonist.
First aired from March 1997 until January 2002 Daria and her artsy friend Jane (who kills the black bob look) are like any other teenagers, trying their best to make it through high school. You can find the two watching their favourite TV program “Sick Sad World” or catching up after school, scarfing down pizza and milkshakes, as well as staying out late at music gigs and Daria crushing on Jane’s older brother Trent. Lawndale High illustrates the cliché high school clicks: the jocks, cheerleaders, popular girls (that Daria’s little sister Quinn is apart of) and the misfits. What separates Daria from other teen shows is that she chooses to not fit into a designated group and goes against social norms.
Why Daria makes such an important role model to girls is that from the time meet her we know instantly what she is about. She is unapologetically intelligent ambitious in where she wants to go in life. Faced with typical teenage struggles, Daria also deals with beauty standards. In the first episode of season three “Through a Lens Darkly,” she tries out contact lenses in order to see better while driving. Others begin to take notice of her without her specs on but Daria is conflicted as they irritate her eyes. Ultimately she chooses to go back to wearing glasses as they are an extension of herself and she disregards what others think.
Daria shows that she is like every other girl navigating the hardest parts of teenagehood while standing unapologetically to who she is.
Girl Museum Inc