It was International Women’s Day yesterday and I was trying to think of a female figure, outside of my family, that has had a powerful impact on me. Like many of my fellow female geeks and otaku I’m sure, Sailor Moon was an incredibly strong and influential role model to me.
During a time in my life that can only be described with words synonymous to hard and life-changing, Sailor Moon entered into my life in all her magical girl glory. I was entranced by this pretty guardian of love and justice with her cute outfits, talking cat, and magical powers. I loved Sailor Moon so much I drew horrible fan art of her, wore my hair like her, dressed up as her for Halloween two years in a row, and styled my day to day outfits like her. I recall spending hours upon hours in the early days of the Internet and AOL looking for any art or information on Sailor Moon and saving it all with out discretion. I had quite a collection that spanned over several 3.5″ floppy disks, with my most prized pictures printed and
placed into a three ring binder. Setting the VCR record timer became a sacred ritual for me, sparing no one that accidentally recorded over my show. The paltry 30 minutes I had watching Sailor Moon were the most important 30 minutes of my day. These 30 precious minutes watching Usagi magically transform into Sailor Moon and defeat evil transported me to a safe place, my special place, where I could just exist as me.
I felt like a part of me was Sailor Moon and a part of her was me.
But beyond that, I related to her. I related to her more than any of my past feminine heroines, such as Rainbow Brite or the original 80’s My Little Pony cast. And certainly more than any of the Disney Princesses, who always felt like untouchable cartoon celebrities that you idolize more than looked up to for solid life advice. Sailor Moon was different. She was a young school girl, like me. With issues her parents didn’t really understand or could help with, like me. She had insecurities about her personal strength and abilities, like me. She sacrificed her happiness to make others happy, also like me, and the list goes on. I felt like a part of me was Sailor Moon and a part of her was me. However, all these unsurmountable obstacles and character flaws never stopped Sailor Moon in her quests, nor did she ever falter on her own personal convictions and morals.
Even when faced with certain death, torture or enslavement, she was able to vanquish the world’s most evil entities with her belief that pure unconditional love, selflessness, and forgiveness triumphs over all. That’s an incredibly powerful message that impressionable pre-teen me really needed to hear. So when the girls at school called me homosexual slurs because I wore a shirt with a rainbow on it once, or tried to throw me through the basketball hoop during practice because it was “fun”, or when my parents would fight in front of me because we were living in a 27’ trailer at the time and I had no where to hide, or all the other horrible stuff that was going on around me, I was able to find strength through Sailor Moon. Because if Sailor Moon who was just a weak, cry baby 14 year old girl that can defeat evils greater than my own, I knew I had the power and strength to fight my own demons… and win. I carried this mind set all through out my middle school years, high school years and into college. It helped me to remain grounded, love people regardless of our differences, and that hard work is personally rewarding. I found new friends based solely on our mutual love for Sailor Moon.
Sailor Moon had touched all our hearts and souls, creating a link between us that is as divine as if the Fates had woven it themselves.
When I started cosplaying in college, I almost exclusively cosplayed as Sailor Moon. My first convention, and several following it, I wore only Sailor Moon cosplay. For my first cosplay competition I wore my homemade Sailor Moon costume and surprisingly won an award. I was living out my childhood dream of being Sailor Moon, even if it was only for a few short hours. Then something magical happened. I found other girls who cosplayed, loved Sailor Moon with as much heart as I did, but also had life changing experiences when Sailor Moon entered into their lives. Instantaneously these women and I had this deep spiritual bond that I don’t think could have been replicated in any other way. Sailor Moon had touched all our hearts and souls, creating a link between us that is as divine as if the Fates had woven it themselves.
Now here I am today, a woman in her thirties, who still silently remembers to herself the things Sailor Moon taught her when life gets nasty. Who still tears up while watching certain episodes of Sailor Moon because of all the emotional and personal attachment tied to that specific episode. A woman that shares her story of how a tale about a magical girl changed and saved her life, and of many, many more all around the world. So for this International Woman’s Day, I want to acknowledge not simply just a children’s anime hero, but the for the strength Sailor Moon gave all of us to stand strong in the face of adversity, turmoil, and prejudice. For we all have a little Moon Power in us!
Do you have any stories on how Sailor Moon affected your life? I would love to hear them! Share them in the comments or email me!