Kim Possible is an American Disney Channel animated series that ran for five years in the early 2000s. The fictional main character and heroine is Kim Possible, a well-rounded crime-fighting teen. One of her many slogans is: “Kim Possible, she can do anything.” She is a babysitter, a cheerleader, a gymnast, a sister, a daughter, and a best friend. She is generous with favors, savvy with technology, academically successful, and fearless in battle. Kim Possible is, on the surface, an excellent role model for girls to remember that they “can do anything.” Yet, as the show has aged, it is evident that Kim Possible is not only an empowering role model but embodies the third-wave of feminism too. This not only encourages young girls to strive for excellence, but it also encourages girls to be themselves at the same time.
Kim Possible represents the third-wave of feminism in her crime-fighting gadgets as well as in the demographics of her crime-fighting team. Kim Possible carries lipstick tubes and hair dryers that only look like cosmetics on the outside. Though, when wielded, her lipstick acts as an “elastic constricting agent” and her hairdryer as a grappling hook. In this way, Kim can be a “girly” girl while also fighting evil at the same time. This is an uplifting and liberating image to expose young girls to. Secondly, the third-wave of feminism notably questions the absence of people of color’s voices in the feminist movement. In Kim Possible, while the main character is white, Kim Possible’s team includes two main Black voices: her best friend Monique (voiced by Raven-Symoné) and the child tech-prodigy Wade. While the show could have benefited from more diverse representation, Kim Possible stands out against the other majority-white Disney Channel shows of the time (ie. Lizzie McGuire, Phil of the Future, Even Stevens, etc.).
Kim Possible was a show that empowered young girls to be both powerful and unapologetically them. It taught me that ‘girly’ is strong. ‘Girly’ is smart. ‘Girly’ is courageous. ‘Girly’ is whatever I decide it is for me. Remember, ‘girly’ strength is not an oxymoron.
Girl Museum Inc.