She-Ra turns 25, remains ahead of her time

She-Ra's bad-ass backstory, as explained in her first appearance in Secret of the Sword

She-Ra: Princess of Power, a spin-off of He-Man that capitalized on the Long Lost Sister trope, began airing in September 1985. Horrifyingly, that was 25 years ago. Maybe I should finally clean all those She-Ra and He-Man action figures out of my parents' attic ... nahhh.

I actually watched She-Ra in re-runs (1988-89), and I was so young when it was on that it took me several episodes to figure out what gender Shadow Weaver was. In my defense, I hadn't yet fully made the connection that only women have breasts. And her voice actress sounds completely gender neutral. And you'd be surprised how infrequently people use a gendered pronoun when they refer to her. And ... that's enough embarrassing childhood stories for one blog post.

Although most people remember He-Man, She-Ra seems to have fallen by the wayside, despite that both shows had two seasons, featured many of the same characters, and even had the same voice actors. That could be because He-Man has been revisited, made into a live-action film, and even rebooted in 2002. The reboot planned to introduce She-Ra's notorious foes, Hordak and the Horde (quick, someone take that band name!) in the third season, as well as the Princess of Power herself, but the show got canceled instead.

She-Ra was stuffed to the brims with rainbows and sparkles, presumably to reassure parents that it wouldn't ruin young girls with horrible feminist ideas. It was all a ruse, though; almost every character was female, and the few male characters paled in comparison to the ladies. Both He-Man and She-Ra featured heroes and villains wearing equally impractical, revealing outfits. Men and women fought against each other and were presented as equal adversaries in terms of both intelligence and powers. He-Man was just as likely to be objectified as She-Ra. Bow and He-Man had a relationship deserving of homoerotic fan art. Gender roles were being ignored left and right. It's probably where I learned all of my horrible misconceptions about gender equality.

Watch this minisode of the episode "Of Shadows and Skulls" for a taste of She-Ra at its best. There's not much She-Ra on youtube, since the show's never been released in its entirety -- until now.  The complete series will be for sale on September 28th. You'll also be able to watch re-runs of show on TV starting next week: Qubo and Retro TV both plan to air Princess of Power starting September 28th and October 2, respectively.

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