All the reasons Wednesday Addams is my feminist role model

Throughout her many depictions and reinventions, one thing stays true about Wednesday Addams: she is a feminist role model through and through. At least, she always has been for the awkward sort of girl I’ve always been. Watching Wednesday Addams in cartoons, TV shows, movies, and even reading about her in comics has helped me accept and embrace my various selves over the years. Here’s how she did it.

She isn’t afraid to be different, even in new situations.

When you move to a whole new country at a young age and begin to experience a brand new culture, having had no clear reference of it prior to being thrown into its midst, the feeling of being the “other” is almost inevitable. When I moved to Canada at age 9, I certainly felt this way, but being able to tune in and watch Wednesday go through similar feelings was a constant reminder that being different doesn’t have to be a bad thing. She and the rest of the Addams clan being so secure in their wonderful brand of weirdness has always been a useful reminder that you can be anything you want, as long as you own it.


She’s doesn’t worry too much about her looks, but doesn’t care if others do, either.

Wednesday has a very simple style, and though that doesn’t matter much in the cartoons and comics where she’s depicted as prepubescent, in the movies and the newer TV shows, she’s bordering on being a teenager. And despite being at the age when girls have immense amounts of pressure to succumb to their own sexualization, Wednesday remains pretty uninterested in sex. She instead spends her time pursuing other interests, vastly unconcerned with what others expect of her. Having myself never been very into makeup or getting dressed up, Wednesday has always been someone I found comfort in when my girlfriends began experimenting with their looks and I continued sporting my ratty ponytail and the same old style.

She only smiles when she wants to.

In a world where women are constantly told to smile, be it by strangers, friends, or family, Wednesday is an excellent reminder that no one needs to smile on command. Having grown into a woman with a fabulous resting bitch face, I like to reserve my smiles for what I consider special occasions. Though there once was a time I was timid enough to succumb to commands to smile, I grew older and remembered Wednesday Addams and her strength. I realized that she couldn’t care less if anyone wanted her to smile — she only did it when she felt like it!


She’s not afraid to make weird food choices.

As a kid I got teased at school for bringing “ethnic” food for lunch, which meant I spent a lot of time being embarrassed or just avoiding eating in school altogether. As I grow older, I still feel a twinge of that same embarrassment, but then I just remember that the Addams Family eats the weirdest things ever! And they’re never ashamed, embarrassed, or apologetic for enjoying it —even if what they enjoy is not what’s considered “normal.” Wednesday likely brings lunches to school that would move on their own and scare the other kids, but instead of hiding away to eat her lunch, she is bold and unafraid of her weirdness. She is a fresh reminder that there’s no such thing as “normal” — if something works for you, that’s all that matters.

Sarah Khan is a sex-positive feminist, a prostitute of letters and a Marxist of the Groucho tendency. You can follow her on Twitter or visit her website here.

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