With The Muppets hitting theaters this week, a new generation of children will learn the Way of the Pig. And I couldn't be more thrilled. Miss Piggy was one of the most important influences on my childhood development, and I think she's got quite a bit to teach us all about life.
|Plus, she gets to go into spaaaaace!|
And I love every scrap of it.
You see, Miss Piggy has unshakable self-confidence. Her clothes are impeccable, her eyelashes are sumptuous, and her hair is a glorious swirl of blond curls. She's a diva who doesn't fit the cookie-cutter mold of scrawny womanhood I saw in other (more human) glamour girls growing up. As a child, I marveled at how sure of herself she was, and how she gloried in the slinky dresses and elbow-length opera gloves that embraced her curvy, Muppety body. Bluntly, she's a bit on the plump side, but it doesn't stop her from carrying herself like the most creature in the room. In an era that celebrates waif-ish twig women, Miss Piggy has a remarkably healthy self-image.
Miss Piggy also knows how to stand up for herself. Sometimes people insult her, implying she is lesser-than because she's nothing but a pig. And our girl responds with a war cry and a well-placed karate chop. (OK, yes, her karate chopping of Kermit does seem a bit like domestic abuse. Sure, it's played for a laugh, but it's a bit hard to defend.)
Most importantly, Miss Piggy goes out and gets what she wants. Her self-confidence spurs her to action. She wants to be with Kermit? She chases him down and convinces him he can't be without her. She wants to be a star? She pursues her dreams on stage, regardless of the negative feedback she receives. She doesn't get the respect she deserves? She tells people that they will respect her. It never occurs to her that she's not worth it or that she won't get it. And by golly, she gets their respect, and she gets her frog.
Even as a child, I recognized that everything about Miss Piggy was larger-than-life: her ego, her hair, her clothes, her pursuit of the meek Kermit. And yet the lessons she taught me were no less valuable because of their outsized spokes-pig: Be confident in who you are. Wear what makes you feel beautiful. Decide what you want in life and go after it. Don't let other people make you feel worthless. Demand respect. Embrace love. Be the star of your own life.
Just maybe ease off on the karate chopping.