November 14th, 1988 the world was introduced to one of the most motivational women in television history. The one, the only, Murphy Brown; an investigative reporter and news anchor on the fictional show FYI.
Murphy wasn’t afraid to say what she thought or how she felt about any situation. She had her own demons of course, when we first meet her it’s the first day back from a stint in rehab, we watched her journey at reclaiming her spot, her confidence in her ability as a trusted reporter and friend.
At times she wasn’t afraid to admit she wasn’t successful in the kitchen, or that she wanted to eat a jelly doughnut. Murphy was far from the cliché working woman just treading water until she found a husband.
She’d been married once, her ex-husband an underground radical (today he’d probably have a popular twitter following), who returned to her life later on leading to her pregnancy. When he decided he wanted no part in being a father—she did the bravest thing she could, she decided to raise the baby on her own. She was then thrust into controversy thanks to Vice-President Dan Quayle and his comments about her single-motherhood in context with the national culture.
After we watched Murphy try to balance motherhood and her career, in the final season we watched her battle with Breast Cancer. The way the show handled the subject led to accolades from the American Cancer Society, as well as an increase of 30% of women getting mammograms that year.
Murphy Brown motivated women to speak their minds, to have the life they wanted to live, and to take care of themselves. She never needed a man in her life, she could stand on her own, but was willing to lean on her friends when she needed support.
She showed several generations of women they could be successful, powerful, and have whatever life they wanted.
Was Murphy Brown motivational for you? If not, which television women have been motivational for you?