This week in my Developmental Psychology class we were asked if there were any characters in TV we looked up to growing up, wanted to emulate in femininity or masculinity, or that guided us personally.
When I was growing up people big in pop culture were Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, and Miley Cyrus. While I loved their TV shows, movies, and music, they never were who I wanted to be.
I was born in the late 90’s. 1997 to be exact. By the time I was born Boy Meets World had been on the air for four years and the gang was in their senior year of high school. That was about the age I was I found out about these four people that forever changed my life. There are days I feel boring like Cory, like I could do better like Shawn, that even though I want to adopt a kid I’m not ready yet like Eric, or even Mr. Feeny where I want to share my stories with future generations. But Topanga was someone that I was wanted to be.
Topanga is gorgeous. I mean look at her.
Girls want to be her, boys wanna have her. But beyond the physical, there are many reasons why Topanga Lawrence-Matthews is goals. But here’s a few reasons Topanga is everything I want to be as a wife, mother, and woman.
1. Topanga was quirky as all get out and couldn’t care less what anyone else thought about her.
People remember Topanga as she was in the later seasons, but they tend to forget her as she was in the first season. Season-One Topanga drew all over her face in a red lipstick for a class presentation of a poem about the Sun. Season-One Topanga meditated, called her parents Rhiannon and Jedidiah instead of “Mom” and “Dad.” She was a modern-day hippie. Back then, Shawn and Cory didn’t want to be friends with her. Back then when Cory imagined them being married and having kids, their names were Plankton and Chewbacca, rather than Riley and Auggie. But Topanga couldn’t care less what anyone thought of her. She even questioned why what other’s thought bother Cory several times in the series.
2. She had high expectations for herself and always dreamed big
Season-One Topanga wanted to be President, and quite frankly I would vote for her in a heartbeat (#topangaforpresident2016). There was nothing that was ever unreachable to her. Anything she wanted, she went after. For example, most people would be happy with 699 A’s, I mean it a lot of A’s. But not Topanga. Girlfriend had to go fight for #700. She kept her expectations so high she even got accepted to Yale Law School. She was always looking for the next stepping stone to make her a better person and no one could get away from her next goal.
3. She was damsel not in distress
One quote I really loved was the quote she say about her being a damsel but not the distress kind. I loved that it was almost like her saying “I am a woman, but I don’t need a man to save me. I can save myself.” The woman needed no hero, she was her own hero and I for one absolutely loved it.
4. She wasn’t afraid to fight against anyone and always stood up for her convictions
Remember when Cory was so obsessed with Valentine’s Day but baby Joshua was sick. Topanga didn’t care that it was their only “engaged couple” Valentine’s Day. She wanted to be there for Alan, Amy, and baby Josh. Or that time she cut her hair to show Cory that looks don’t matter. I mean, yes, she ended up freaking out about it she got back to her roots of it doesn’t really matter. She never cared who she was going up against, she was always going to fight for what she felt was right and that is one of my favorite things about her.
5. She wasn’t afraid to let others shine
Topanga worked hard for all those A’s. She did everything she could do in order to be Valedictorian. She wrote a kick butt speech for graduation, but did she give it? No. She gave it up to Shawn. Shawn was a straight C student who didn’t always value classroom education. But Topanga saw something that there was something that we could all learn from him. So instead of basking in the glory of her success and giving the speech she wrote, she gave Shawn the moment to shine.
6. She told it like it was
No one ever had to guess what Topanga was thinking or feeling. If she was happy, you knew. If she was sad, you knew. If she was mad, you definitely knew. She always spoke her mind, even if it wasn’t the popular opinion.
7. She wasn’t going to wait around for the boy to make the first move
Society often likes for the boy to be the one to step up and make the first move. But Topanga didn’t. Her little hippie soul took over her when she kissed Cory first and started to most epic romance of all 90’s television. She did again when she proposed to Cory at their high school graduation. People often tease Cory because they think Topanga wears the pants and in their mind Topanga is “the man” in their marriage. But in reality, they should praise Topanga for going after what she wanted regardless of gender norms.
8. She was able to step up on her own two feet and be the primary bread winner for her family
People often expect the man to take to main chunk of the financial responsibility in supporting a family. Topanga is a lawyer and businesswoman, while Cory is a teacher. So she ends up being able to provide more for her family. Not that she didn’t like the support of Cory, she did. But I like the idea that she was able to do it all.It is really awesome to see that a woman could bring home the bacon and go beyond being a housewife.
9. She can do it all
Everything Topanga set out to do, she does it and well. Like, looking gorgeous while going to town on some pizza. Who can do that!? She is always rising above expectations and being the best at everything. She is able to be a great mom, wife, business-owner, lawyer, and friend. Really the question we should be asking ourselves is what can’t Topanga do?
10. She followed what she felt was right regardless of what everyone else was doing or what they wanted her to do
Topanga and Cory waited to have sex until marriage. Not because anyone told them it was better to remain abstinent, but because it was what she felt was right with her. In fact, they were going to have sex at prom but Topanga didn’t feel like it was right. Then when they were going to elope, she backed out. Cory was obviously upset, but that didn’t matter. Topanga had to do what was right for her. No matter what the pressures were, she held her ground and did what was right for her. I have major respect for that.
I could go on forever talking about how great Topanga is, but those were some of the big traits that make Topanga Lawrence-Matthews the perfect role model for young ladies everywhere. So c’mon girls, be your quirky-mind-speaking selves!