Tuesday, October 21, 2008

For the girls

Several years ago on a New Year's Eve in Boston, I was in the same bar as Amy Poehler and Will Arnett. At the time, Arnett had not yet unleashed Gob Bluth upon the world, and the two had not yet produced the seminal pairs figure skating mockery that is Stranz and Fairchild van Waldenberg. She was just the funny girl from "Saturday Night Live" with her cute husband in a bar.

I'm pretty sure I should've hugged her. Not because of the whole fame thing, but because she deserved thanks in advance for any future daughters I might one day have.

Last night I stumbled upon Poehler's latest project, "Smart Girls at the Party." It's so plain good that I got teary just watching it. Poehler is producing an online show for girls with the tagline "Celebrating girls who are changing the world by being themselves."

Poehler's conversations with girls on her show are so real and great - showcasing fantastic kids and what they think and what interests them - that it makes me less afraid to raise girls when kids' Halloween costumes look like stripper outfits, the national consciousness on gender is lopsided and strange, and tv shows featuring high-schoolers are horrifyingly adult. In a 2006 interview about the oversexualization of entertainment, Poehler said: "I get worried for young girls sometimes; I want them to feel that they can be sassy and full and weird and geeky and smart and independent, and not so withered and shriveled."

You know, I was one of those "sassy and full and weird and geeky and smart and independent" girls. So are my cousins. I see the girls that my friends have and I know it will be okay. But still, I think about my 16-month-old niece and how much life I want her to soak in, and how strong I want her to be, and I worry. But this trailer makes me feel a little better about it all. Or a lot.

Watch it here to feel better along with me. No really, GO WATCH.