Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Early influences

In the past, I did an outfit post loosely inspired by Nancy from the movie, The Craft because her style inspired me as a teenager. Today, I want to post about someone I was able to relate to when I was a teen. In the nineties, there were not many TV characters I was able to connect with and be inspired by. The character I identified was from a show called Roseanne and I used to watch it with my folks. For those of you who are familiar with the show, would know that Darlene was the character I related to.

 Darlene was a pretty cool character, after all, there were some scenes in the show where you see her reading Sandman comics and Anne Rice. In the later episodes, she dresses all in black and even dyes her hair. She hangs around with people who are much older than she is and has a hard time fitting in with her peers. A series of episodes had her being depressed (I am in no way implying that ALL goths are depressed) but I had the same thing happen to me when I was a teenager. She was sarcastic and witty which not only amused me but is something I was able to identify with as I often use sarcasm or humor to get me through difficult situations. She didn't often express her feelings verbally but she did through her writing, which is something I still do. The only thing I did not relate to with this character was the fact that she was a Tomboy as a kid. I was a girly-girl through and through!

It was a breath of fresh air for me to watch an imperfect character on TV. A lot of teenaged girls  portrayed on tv at that time were not someone I could relate to, even use as a role model but for me, Darlene was one of them. She gave me the courage to question the world around me.

As an example, I grew up where my Dad encouraged religion. I used to go to church and we were Catholic. From a very early age, I questioned those beliefs. There was an episode where Darlene tells her mom she writes about not believing in God was comforting for me. In another episode, she doesn't cave into pressure to have sex with her boyfriend. She decides what is right for her and her body. Finally, someone understood what I was going through! Darlene encouraged me to question the world around me, to read vampire novels (and Neil Gaiman) and that dressing in black is a cool thing to do. I didn't want to be like her. I was inspired by her. She felt a lot of things that I was also feeling at that time and wanted to figure out on my own. She helped make me feel less alone and isolated. I knew I was not like everyone else and back in the early-mid nineties, it was hard finding someone whom I could connect with. Darleen was one of them.

This character, showed me that it OK to be sarcastic, to speak your mind, to stand up for what you believe in, to be an independent, free-thinking woman and most of all, to be yourself. Thank you, Darlene!


  1. I relied to so many characters during my teen years/early adulthood. The girls in The Craft, the witches in Charmed, Scully from the X files, Abby from NCIS... I also relied to some singers because I loved to sing and I believe I was (still am) good at it. Famous people or fictional characters can be of great help.

  2. This is such a great concept for a post (or post series). Really enjoyed this, Sylvie! Darlene was probably my favourite character on Rosanne, too (though it is hard not to love Rosie as well). As a child I wouldn't say that I adored the show Rosanne, but a an adult, I have a deeper appreciation for the show and how (in some episode at least, especially before they hit the jackpot) relatable it was, especially for those who may be living fairly hand-to-mouth.

    Wishing you a great first week of December!
    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you, Jessica. Hope you have a great first week of December as well! I agree with you, the last season totally bombed. It is true that show portrayed blue collar so well. I love how down-to-earth it was. They were NOT the stereotypical TV family. The show too was advanced for their time (gay characters, women`s issues) that it was refreshing to watch on TV

  3. I never watched the series, but she sounds great!

  4. I loved this post, how could I have forgotten Darlene? I found her really relatable too, and I was a similar age to her character when the show it helped me to know I wasn't 'weird', for being a surly and sceptical teen. She was cooler than I was though, because she never compromised or people pleased. ( and she totally had all the best one liners). Such a great blast from the past to read this. Also sweet that you spotted her reading the Sandman, and Anne Rice, I'd forgotten all about that.
    I don't always comment but I love reading your blog Sylvie. Best wishes from Northern Ireland x



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