Why Topanga Lawrence was One of the Best Female Role Models on TV

Tonight is the premiere of Girl Meets World, the long anticipated spin-off series to everyone’s favorite 1990s sitcom, Boy Meets World.  Like most young people my age, I grew up with Boy Meets World.  I wanted to be Cory’s sister, Mr. Turner’s favorite student, and Jack’s girlfriend.  Sorry, Shawn.  You’re cute too.  But come on, your brother is a dreamboat.

Now, I could sit here all day and talk about how much I love all the men of Boy Meets World (oh Eric, you adorable doofus, you), but tonight, I’d rather talk about my admiration and respect for Topanga Lawrence Matthews, which rises above and beyond my love for the boys.

Now, I don’t watch a whole lot of television now, but from what little I do watch, no female protagonist quite measures up to Topanga.  She was everything I wanted to be growing up.  She was smart, she was confident, she had great hair, and best of all, she knew exactly who she was and she never apologized for it or felt insecure.

Okay, there was that one incident when she cut off half of her hair, but I think all girls have had days like that.

Topanga and Cory had a beautiful love story, one that spanned throughout seven wonderful seasons of childhood, adolescence, and new adulthood.  Topanga loved Cory, but her love for him was never the center of her life.  She remained as independent and free-spirited as ever.  She also never had to lower her standards for Cory or for herself.  Girls on television these days seem to feel incomplete without a man, but not Topanga.

Along with being totally confident and proud of who she was, Topanga was also one of the smartest kids in school.  Yeah, Minkus was probably a little geekier, but Topanga really cared about her grades and her good-girl image.

She also aspired to be the first female President of the United States.  I, for one, would totally vote for her.

Finally, Topanga is just absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, but not in the conventional sense.  Today, we get so much plastic surgery and weight-loss methods shoved in our faces.  Topanga was a natural beauty with real-person curves, and she rocked them.  She was even dubbed “Queen of the Hotties” in one episode.

Let me tell you something, guys.  Some girls like salads, but most girls like burgers and pizza and chocolate and cookies.  If a woman tries to tell you otherwise, she’s probably lying.  Topanga just rocks.

Best of all, she was open-minded, forgiving, and always hilarious.  She never tried to manipulate or control Cory or her friends.  She was our ideal feminine 1990s role model, and I hope that Riley and Maya live up to her legacy on Girl Meets World.  I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m trying to remember that this show will not be the series that I knew and loved in my youth.  This show is to be enjoyed and appreciated as a whole new series for a whole new generation.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t hope the Hunter boys will make a few guest appearances.

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