Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Xena more Real than the fashion industry

When she was 14 Jennifer Sky became a fashion model, thereby entering a world of abuse and exploitation. In her early 20s she got a six-week role in “Xena: Warrior Princess.”
I traveled to New Zealand, where the show was filmed, and I soon realized that acting was nothing like modeling. Everyone was constantly asking me if I was O.K.; if I needed to take a break. They assured me that the stunt person could do this or that move if I was not comfortable with it.

Perhaps the main difference, then and now, is that actors have a union and models do not.

Xena, however, was also special. It was feminism at work, with female lead characters who were unapologetically powerful and sexy. During my time on the show, on six episodes from the fourth to the fifth seasons, I kicked butt. Off screen, I was trained in numerous fighting techniques, in archery and horseback riding. On screen, I hung with a Christ figure called Eli; I had a same-sex lover and a boyfriend of a different race than mine; I threw bombs and walked along high wires. ...

For me, in my early 20s, still recovering from an adolescence of exploitation at the hands of the fashion industry, it was shout-it-to-the-heavens inspiring. Joining this world of warrior princesses reignited the hope-driven child in me.

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