My childhood and teen years were spent gravitating towards the most badass representations of women I could find in the media—partially because I wasn’t allowed to, and because the more I saw, the more I wanted to be one of those women.
The saving grace of that age was the local video rental shop. My mom owned the restaurant on the mini-strip mall next to the local IGA, and hair salon; giving me free access to check out all the new movies and stay out of her way. What else was I suppose to do? Listen to idle Southern gossip, and rock a sweet black roots-blonde ends classic hairdo? No thanks.
No one at that video store paid any attention to what I was renting. I walked out with The Virgin Suicides, But I’m a Cheerleader, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show all before I was 14. Eventually I found Divine, Hatchet-face, Honey Whitlock, Tracy Turnblad, Beverly R. Sutphin, Cherish, and the rest of the perverted, fat-loving, neighbor-killing John Waters’ films in plain sight, on the racks of the local video store in gun-owning, confederate flag waving Virginia. Most of the covers looked so Baltimore-wholesome that no one questioned the titles or my interest. That’s where I met Wanda Woodward.
Wanda is a 50s-vixen-drape with a leather jacket and an affinity for men with ‘rushing hands.’ She is a member of a hep gang led by Cry Baby Walker (young Johnny Depp). Her parents are so sweet that it’s impairing them from recognizing their daughter’s behavior. She has no beau, just a tight top and smacking bubblegum. And of course, “[She] wouldn’t be caught dead in a full skirt.”
She was my teenage, slutty inspiration. Similarly, you may of had Britney Spears. If it wasn’t for Wanda, I would have been satisfied with fitting in and conforming my body/ideas about beauty to a more traditional “square” look. So, thank you Wanda Woodward (and John Waters) for not giving a shit about anyone else. For having long blonde hair and big tits, and wearing pinup outfits amongst the full-covered debutantes.
And while I’m at it, I’d like to give thanks to the actress that played Wanda—Traci Lords. Traci is an American actress that has appeared with the same regards to her ‘classic’ film career as well as her porno film career. She is the ultimate self-made girl—fled from an abusive household of substance and sexual abuse with a ‘do-what-I-need-to-survive’ attitude. She won’t be shamed because she deserves all your respect.
Want to pull off a Wanda look?
- Red lipstick
- Tight clothes
- Fuck you attitude
- A lollipop
- Shameless short bangs
- All the cleavage
Image: Universal Pictures, Peolpstar
Laura Delarato is a web producer, writer, social media consultant, and video creator in NYC. She has spent a lot of the past 10-years of her life in internships, college, part-time jobs, graduate school, and in front of a computer typing away her next brilliant idea. Her work has appeared in Playgirl Magazine, Kong Magazine, London Glossy Magazine…and at one time CosmoGirl! Magazine. Laura spends a lot of her time typing code for the web department of Details Magazine, performing improv at The Magnet Theater, and taking any burlesque class she can find. She was nominated for Best Series at The New School’s media department awards for her show: Fat Girl, A Web Series, which was also featured on the site LESGO-NYC as a new show to watch out for. When she is not fixing the internet, Laura likes to be a total badass by participating in body-positive/fat-acceptance activism, crafting pasties, discussing the beauty of pornography, and wearing all the short skirts. @lauradelarato