Jungle Woman

on December 17, 2010 in Misc

So since I’m too busy with writing and work and the upcoming holidays to actually go out and DO Layla stuff, I figure maybe I could take a short break and tell you about my earliest FEMALE action hero inspiration.

And by early I mean I was five or six years old.   The inspiring shows were reruns at least a decade older than I was – embarrassingly hokey, silly half hour episodes shot on the cheap and in grainy black and white, but since our funky old family RCA TV was a black and white job, color didn’t matter.  All that mattered was the THRILLING opening shots that showed a map of Africa and then Kenya, with drums pounding in the background while the camera cuts to the opening shot of…


Please stop laughing.  I took Sheena very, very seriously.

Anyway, there was Sheena in all her glory, with her mass of long blond hair, a sexy one-shouldered skimpy leopard skin that breezily covered her hourglass figure, arm bands, bracelet, big hoop earrings, necklace, and snazzy belt.  For someone living in the jungle, Sheena was impressively accessorized.

Far more important, Sheena was armed with a spear and a hollowed-out rhino horn that she sometimes blew into.  Somehow that little thing made a HUGE noise that all the animals for miles around would respond to, much like Tarzan’s yodel.  She battled bad guys who carried guns, but in the end she always won, sometimes with the help of her white hunter boyfriend named – I kid you not – Bob.  But more often she was assisted by her sidekick chimp.  Named Chimp.

I wanted to be Sheena so bad it hurt.

I mean, Sheena was never bossed around by two older sisters.  She didn’t have grown-ups telling her what to do.  She wasn’t an insignificant speck in a kindergarten classroom.  Sure, she was a woman and not a little girl like me.  But Sheena was WAY too cool to be like other women on TV shows, who in those days seemed to be all housewives or girlfriends or secretaries.

Instead, Sheena had POWER, FREEDOM, EXCITING ADVENTURES, plus loyal friends, animals that did her bidding, and the keen ability to survive any danger thrown at her.  After all, Sheena was QUEEN over all she saw, which to me looked like half the African continent but in fact was just some scrawny forest in California. 

On the downside the show’s budget didn’t seem to cover the cost of a decent jungle home, but I figured if I could be Sheena while living in Tarzan’s huge tree house, I’d be set.  I’d be in childhood heaven.

So there you have it.  The first and surely tackiest action hero to leave a lasting imprint on my young gullible soul was Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.  And to this day I still think there’s something really cool about her.

8 Responses to “Jungle Woman”

  1. Ben says:

    Everyone has their hero-their inspiration. Mine when I was a kid was from an Indian named Swift Arrow. I read the book on him when I was about 7 years old. I’ve read the book at least 5 times. I always pretended to be Swift Arrow. He inspired me to do so much.

  2. ann says:

    So this is Sheena! Barbie never looked that good (even in color). Have a Merry Christmas, Helena.

  3. Hart says:

    teehee–This was great! You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Sheba. I was such a pathetic princess as a child. I was much more iclined to admire… say Ginger Grant from Gilligan’s Island… Though Agent 99 from Get Smart was pretty good.

  4. Helena says:

    Hart – Agent 99 was fun and smart, so you were ANYTHNG but pathetic.

  5. Helena says:

    Ann — And a very Merry Christmas to you! (And I never could stand Barbie — what a shallow clotheshorse!)

  6. Helena says:

    Ben – Very smart of you to follow a hero in a book instead of a funky old TV show.

  7. Ketutar says:

    I think Sheena is really cool too :-) I also love Xena the Warrior Princess :-D I want to be her :-)

  8. Helena says:

    Ketutar — Doesn’t Xena make strong and tough look so sexy?