THREE KAREN’S Plus Agnetha Plus Joan
When you are a young teen girl in early 1982 it is of social priority and subservience that you call ABBA your number one band. The stunning Swede, Agnetha – with her blonde mane and stage certainty was my confirmation in life that blondes have more fun. Peroxide was habitually disappearing from our bathroom medicine cabinet to mask the mousey brown until Sun-In was permitted on my mother’s shopping list. And then my uncle intervened.
He was a rock and roll drummer. He staged an unsanctioned intervention. No niece of his was about to fall prey to a preconception of either self-worth or taste in music. He escorted me to my very first rock concert. Saturday, July 10th, 1982 at 8 pm for a pittance of $10.50 – Joan Jett changed my life.
Black hair, in your face, be who you want, say what you want, move how you want, wear what you want, blasting out how she loved rock and roll…. she inadvertently became the catalyst for my own revolution of determining my self-worth and identity.
Today, while scrolling through these portraits and anecdotes of the nominated Inspire Women, I come upon three Karen’s. Three uniquely distinct Karen’s. The agriculturalist. The motorcyclist. The nurse. But their stories tell an equally strong tale of similarity. Karen the pursuer of food and history, brushing shoulders with politicians and decision makers. Karen the entrepreneurial path forger, in the company of Carole Pope and dogs named Alice and Cooper. Karen the nurse examiner, genuine caring heart for sexual assault victims and entrusted keeper of a wise woman’s words:
“It is not what you say to someone that matters, but the way you make them feel.”
Agnetha and Joan made me feel. I may still have salon dyed blonde hair – but now it is by choice, not by assumptions of a preferred norm – and when paired with black Doc Martins, I feel so ever the rebel. I will dance and lip synch Dancing Queen at every broadcast because ABBA made me feel like dancing and singing. (sorry Uncle Leo)
And the Three Karen’s make me feel…. proud.
Proud to be involved in a project that propels women in such a subtle and artistically graceful manner.