These days lesbian icons are everywhere. Turn on the TV and you can watch Orange is the New Black, The L Word, Glee or Blue is the Warmest Color. You also have celebrities such as Ellen Page, Cara Delavigne and YouTube sensations such as Ingrid Neilson coming out all the time.
However even just a short while ago closeted lesbians and little girls didn’t have lesbian role models. They didn’t have safety or security or anyone to look up to. Hidden however without a label of being a lesbian was Nancy McKeon as “Jo Polniaczek” in the TV show The Facts of Life. She became a strong role model for her time. This week’s Woman Crush Wednesday is Nancy McKeon playing Jo Polniaczek – our ultimate role model.
Jo Polniaczek had a raw masculine energy and never tried to be anything but herself. At a time when feminism was just getting rolling she was already there. Comedian Rhea Butcher made a wonderful post about how when she was growing up Jo was her role model and I couldn’t agree more with everything she says. You can read it on her tumblr here.
Not only do we have such a strong crush worthy female role model but it’s been said time after time that although not explicitly stated Jo and Blair had an energy between them that’s more than just two friends. They have a romantic attachment to each other even if it’s not stated that they’re girlfriends. Fan fiction anyone?
The rough edged character of Jo might have started off being snubbed, but after a while everybody accepted her because she never tried to be anything that she’s not and that’s something we can all relate to and appreciate.
The Facts of Life may be an older show but it’s a classic if you haven’t seen it yet maybe it’s time to google season sets because it’s something lesbians of every age can enjoy. I mean who wouldn’t dream of being in an all girl high school?