Friday, April 4, 2014

Claire Underwood: Villian or role model?

Today I am attempting to recover from flu by channeling the ruthless pragmatism of Claire Underwood, feminist icon of our times. Claire would never get sick. Flu is for wimps!

This post originally appeared on

"Mmmm, who should I destroy today...?!"

We all need role models right? They inspire us to hold our heads high and achieve more.

Only in today’s world, many female role models (popularized by reality TV and glossy magazines) are pitiful, leaving me with very few options of women to aspire to.
So it came as a bit of a surprise to find my latest female icon of inspiration in fiction.

It’s someone who has me in awe and has haunted me since we first met, inspiring me to sharpen up my act and stand up for myself a little better.
She’s someone who takes no nonsense and is super-sharp, totally focused on her goals in life, never losing sight of the big picture.
For me, she is a modern day feminist warrior, hard as nails and determined to get what she wants - and she looks amazingly cool and calm as she annihilates anyone who gets in her way.
She plays dirty and is a bit of a sociopath, solely devoted to self-interest. Yet there are glimpses of a softer side, a side that cries when she upsets a friend or is confronted by an attacker from her past.
She makes me want to be more dynamic. She makes me want to be less wooly and self-deprecating, and try to find more inner-strength.
Have you met her yet?

She is Claire Underwood. She is the leading lady in House of Cards, probably the best TV series of the decade. It’s also the most-darkest, shockingly twisted TV series I think I’ve ever seen. It is compulsive viewing. Once you start, you can’t resume life until you’ve watched the entire two series on Netflix. Resistance is futile. The hubby and I found we had to watch episode-after-episode to get our fix.

I get why some people find her repulsive - she's polarizes discussion forums - but for someone who tells her husband she strangles her “younger self every day to keep that girl from strangling me back” in order to reconcile being raped, reveals some explanation of her degree of self-hate and ruthless single-mindedness.

I think she’s probably one of the most captivating characters created for a TV show ever. I’m not the only one who thinks so. Claire, who is played by the striking Robin Wright, who was once married to Sean Penn, recently won the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Series (Drama).

Kevin Spacey is brilliant too, as the Shakespearean villain calling the shots and taking us along for the ride. He is the anti-hero you love to hate. But the question is, where would he be without his wife?
I'm trying to channel some of her dynamic energy right now, to get me grabbing life by the horns, which is why my current internal mantra is: "What would Claire Underwood do?"
It makes me sit taller and breathe deeper and a bit a bit less scruffy. It's not an overnight transformation, but I'm getting there.

Who is your current role model? Do you have one?

House of Cards is an original Netflix series. I am part of Netflix’s Stream Team Ireland.


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