Everything I Needed to Know I learned from The Bionic Woman

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For a girl child in the 1970’s, the only thing better than receiving a brand new tin lunchbox or triumphantly getting to the bottom of the sharp, sun blistered all-metal playground slide was a brand new episode of The Bionic Woman starring that natural beauty, Lindsay Wagner. Backyards (before the streetlights came on and your mom hollered you home) were busy with pumped up little girls all acting out the amazing bodily feats they witnessed on their rabbit eared TV’s.

I know my K-mart blue-light-special dungarees got some healthy doses of dust while I pretended to use my bionic arm lifting the house of the family dog, or ran with my bionic legs in slow- mo, stringy blonde hair trailing behind just like that of my heroine’s. Finally, I’d imagine the camera lens zoning in on my bionic ear as I tucked a strand of wild hair behind it- JUST like good ol’ Lindsay. Her power was monstrous and she handled it gracefully all the while wearing a bit of humble lip gloss. I don’t think my little heart could’ve held any more devotion and gratitude.

But that was then and this is now. Today’s Bionic Woman might just be sporting a solid “Camel Toe” or pulling a car off a helpless victim with her savage strength while her “Muffin Top” fights an equal battle with the zipper and snap of her pants. Instead of a close-up of her bionic ear, we’d get an eyeful of her impressive “Crow’s Feet.” Her robotic legs would jump high enough to propel her over the exit of a gated rehab entrance, Dr. Drew be damned-or- at the very least- above known shorty Ryan Seacrest as he dramatically announces she is the next American Idol.

And so much for her counterpart “Six Million Dollar Man.” The extent of his impressive skills is how swiftly he presses the accelerator down the drive-thru lane and the finesse in the way he confidently orders his super-sized grease-fest. His robotic arm simultaneously shovels food from bag to mouth and steers down the freeway.

The innocence is…gone.

Turn on your TV at any given moment and you’ll be rewarded with feeling like a total asshole. Frighteningly perfect models give intense stares that fog your brain with wormy messages of “If you refuse to buy THIS mascara, THIS hair dye, THIS anti-wrinkle crème, you might as well dig your own grave!” Insecurity scares us into spending billions and slathering our faces and bodies with ingredients like whale sperm just to remind ourselves we are still vital.

Umm…HELLO?! Have we retained NOTHING our polyester pant-suited goddess taught us? Lindsay might flip a bionic bird for this disgusting display of sisterhood. The value of women is not hidden under a grey hair or a furry upper lip. We are needed for what we DO. After all, Betty Friedan and Mother Theresa weren’t exactly sex kittens, right?

Yet if the fat cat anti-aging industry had their way, we’d all be walking around resembling the infamous drag queen, Divine.

I don’t know about any of you, but I’m itching to put on some jeans, go out in this big mean world…and play- Ms. Wagner’s way.

Lana Hanson has no college degree, no awards, no “touring poet” accolades. She’s blessed to run a brush through multiplying grey head-hairs, to feel crows’ feet deepening grooves around her eyes. She’s finally started to admire herself. She aims to raise women and children up from poverty, oppression, doubt, and silence because she has faced all of these.
Lana was published at www.desertcompanion.com and also at www.hypertexts.com where she was the Spotlight Poet for two months. She is also a regular blogger at www.hormonesmatter.com.
Born in Flint, MI, Lana Hanson now lives in Las Vegas, NV, with her two sardonic sons, 13 and 17, three perpetually vomiting cats, one farting dog and a 72-year-old boy-toy in our Crazy Quilt House.

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