It was so hard, at a totally prepubescent age in the 80s, to not want to be Jennifer Beals in Flashdance. She came from the wrong side of the tracks, but boy was she hot. She didn’t wear pants. She moved like a gazelle. She had those sincere brown eyes and ridiculously feminine collarbone. She was smooth, she was silky, she was cool, she was sexy. No, she was sex.
Writing this, I’m not actually convinced I was allowed to watch Flashdance with my parents’ knowledge. I think I snuck screenings at my BFF Ashlynn Ritter’s house, while eating popcorn out of those awesome woven wooden snack bowls that only white people seemed to have. My parents didn’t want me watching Jennifer Beals for all of the above reasons. What if I tried to emulate her? Can you imagine a little, fleshy, Vietnamese-Missouran child, decked in nothing but an off-collar sweatshirt, lycra panties, and leg warmers, attempting back bends around the kitchen chair? I think my mom would have shit twice and died.
My mother did not shit twice, nor die, and neither did my admiration for Jennifer Beals. Every single time I hear “Maniac” or “What A Feeling,” I imagine myself pounding out her moves, but in a new, modern fashion, colored by my 2008 brand of sensuality. My lycra panties. My leg kicks. My back bends. All updated for the new millenium.
But it looks like J-pop singer Mura Namie already beat me to it:
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