Name: Kimberly Ann Possible
Powers: None – but does have countless awesome gadgets
Appears in: Kim Possible, A Sitch In Time, So The Drama
- Kim: You do me proud Ron Stoppable, by just being you.
- Kim: [after listening to Drakken’s speech on her weakness of being a teen] You’re right, Drakken. Boys, dating, oh, it’s hard. But this is easy. [punches Drakken in the face]
Kim: Save the world. It’s what I do and nobody’s going to stop me.
I can‚Äôt lie ‚Äì¬†Kim Possible was one of my all time, hands down favorite TV shows when I was a kid. I rewatched it the other day and I was over the moon that it lived up to my memory of it ‚Äì though I‚Äôm not sure if this was down to nostalgia or the unbeatable theme tune that just automatically put me in a good mood. The theme tune by the way (Call Me, Beep Me) was number 1 on the Radio Disney chart for 12 weeks. A proven hit.
When it comes to cartoon figures of female empowerment, Kim Possible has got to be up there. She‚Äôs tough, she‚Äôs smart, she‚Äôs a good fighter but also a good friend and daughter. Saying this, I do want to acknowledge that there are some who don‚Äôt see her as a wholly positive role model. Criticisms around the show generally centre on the fact that she adheres to the stereotype of a skinny and pretty heroine, feeding into the unhealthy pressures put on girls to be both of these things. It is true that as an attractive and popular cheerleader, there is the danger of some young viewers envying these specific aspects of Kim‚Äôs character, rather than admiring her for her personality and capabilities alone. I don‚Äôt believe the show placed an inappropriate amount of emphasis on her physicality, however, as it was much more focused on her crime-fighting and adventures than her appearance. I also would be lying if I said that I fully agreed with these critiques or that it stopped me from loving the show. As far as I‚Äôm concerned, Kim Possible was a kick-ass teenager whose main attributes were her intelligence, fearlessness and combat skills.
One of the main things I loved about the show was that it didn‚Äôt overemphasise the feminist aspect of the plot. That is, the women of the show were predominantly strong and intelligent characters but it was an unspoken fact, an accepted dynamic that I believe more effectively teaches children that strong women are the norm. The show was loved by so many children (and, ahem…adults) because it was intelligently written, funny and self-reflective. It poked fun at the spy genre and often referenced its own plot holes, as well as turning the stereotype of women as damsels in distress on its head, with Kim often saving Ron, and Shego being the most threatening villain.
It is a boy who takes on the role of sidekick. Ron is the more emotional counterpart to Kim‚Äôs headstrong character and I think this dynamic in itself is incredibly healthy for young children to have. With a ‚Äòsensitive‚Äô male lead and a ‚Äòtough‚Äô female lead, Kim Possible demonstrates that relationships work when the two parties involved genuinely care for and respect one another, not if a typical gender-normative balance is in play.
For me Kim Possible had it all: crime fighting, humor and of course, a bit of romance. But I think one of the best things about it was the fact that its use of strong female characters was not the main thing about the plot ‚Äì it isn‚Äôt really until thinking about it when I was older that I properly realised how much they had attempted to invert the norm of male superheroes ‚Äì and I think this is how it should be. I think the more normal we find female leads the better, and the less we feel the need to point it out the better, because it shows it‚Äôs becoming a more integral part of our world perception.
Girl Museum Inc.