Thank You, General Leia

Dear Ms. Fisher,

You don’t know me. I don’t expect you to know me. In fact, honestly, this thank you note being so public makes me a little nervous.

But I need to thank you. Publicly.

I love the idea of my body being my brain bag. I never would have thought of that. The fact that you did is amazing. I am proud of my brain. I am proud of how I think. I am proud of being an analytical woman.

But all people see is my body. Even doctors.

But you know what? You’re right. They can blow us.

Because the brain that hides inside our bodies is more important than the fat that protects it.

Because if my pants size being larger than average is more important to people than my IQ being larger than average, they have their priorities screwed up.

Because when I look at General Leia in that beautiful purple dress at the end of The Force Awakens, I see the woman I imagine myself to be.

Because, here’s the thing: I came late to the Star Wars party. Leia was the woman that I thought to myself, “YEAH, I want to BE that.” When Jabba tried to objectify her? She kicked his big, slimy backworm end.

I ever after imagined myself as that metal swinging, worm tail kicking, woman.

Then, in my early 30’s, I had a child. Lo and behold, about five years later at 35, my body just decided to say, “Welcome to your mid-30’s growth spurt. Sorry that your spine means you’re going to stay 5 feet tall. But hey! You can gain width!”

I felt removed from the princesses.

Then I watched The Force Awakens.

You are no princess. You are a general. You are OUR general. You are the general for the generation of women whose bodies change, whose age impacts their look, whose mouths say the thing others don’t want to hear. Thank you.

You are my General. I will follow you into battle. Because there is a war. It is not a fictional war. It is not just a war against women. It is a war against impractical ideals. It is a war that takes prisoners who are all ages from child to elderly. It is a war that tells men they should have six packs and women they should be a size 2.

I will tell others who speak of my aged, child-bearing body, to blow us. Because my brain needs an RV, even though I am more proud of my brain than my body. If my body is the RV for my brain, so be it. You reminded everyone that our brains are more important than our bodies. Thank you.

Also, if I may be shallow? That purple dress. That purple dress is what I want to wear to my next major life moment.

I am disappointed at the lack of internet pictures of you in that dress when I do searches. I bought the entire set of Disney figures to have a General Leia in that purple dress. That dress was everything I imagine myself to be in terms of being a mature woman. It was beautiful. You were beautiful. The moments you portrayed in it were beautiful.

I hope that despite the haters hating, you can find some comfort or solace or whatever people living under a microscope need when I say this:
You are not my Princess. You are my General. You spoke the words I want to say. You portrayed the adult, matured woman I want to be. I will follow you into whatever battle you ask. I will fight whatever haters bring their sabers of stupid.

Thank you, Ms. Fisher for being the one to publicly say:
Blow us.

Leia
General Leia in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, image via Disney Entertainment.

Because that is what people can do.
Or, we can just keep blowing them away.

Respectfully,
A Private in Your Army.

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Karen Walsh is a part time, extended contract, first year writing instructor at the University of Hartford. In other words, she's SuperAdjunct, complete with capes and Jedi robe worn during grading. She also works as a contract internal regulatory compliance auditor for banks. In addition, she writes comics and artist reviews at www.cosplayconnectuniversity.com.She works in order to support knitting, comics, tattoo, and museum membership addictions. She has one dog, one husband, and one son who all live with her just outside of Hartford, CT.