March is Women’s History month. To celebrate, I will publish one post featuring a strong, brave, or otherwise admirable woman per day. I’m getting the ball rolling with a profile of one of my life long heroes and one incredible, divine performer, Bette Midler.
The year was 1993, and I had just turned five. I was enjoying my first few months of Kindergarten, when I saw a trailer for the upcoming movie Hocus Pocus on TV. My mom, who was watching with me said “I think you’re big enough to go see a movie. We might take you to see that.” And just like that my parents were dropping my sister off with Mamaw because she was still too little to go, and they were taking me to see my first ever movie in the tiny, well-loved movie theater in our home town.
I was so excited to go to the movie theater for the very first time, but I had no idea I was going to see a movie that I would cherish for the rest of my life. A movie that would provide me endless hours of amusement, a movie I would memorize by heart, a movie that would always make me laugh when I was sad, and never fail to entertain. I also didn’t know that in that movie, I would be seeing for the first time a woman who would become my life-long idol. A woman that has mesmerized me since I was five years old. I first knew her as the fiery Winifred Sanderson. She was funny, she was scary, she could sing, and she could dance. Played by the charismatic and always lovable Bette Midler, during my first movie going experience, I discovered an actress that I would always admire and look up to.
Since that day, I have become well acquainted with the magical powerhouse that is Bette Midler. Bette began her career with appearances in several off-off Broadway plays, before appearing in Fiddler on the Roof, and Salvation on Broadway in the late 1960s. Since 1970, Bette has released 14 studio albums, and in 1979 she had her motion picture debut with The Rose. If you have not wept after watching Beaches or For the Boys, I seriously question your humanity.
Bette also had her own sitcom that aired on CBS from 2000-2001 called Bette. She is the author of her memoir A View from a Broad, she performed at the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas between 2008-2010 in a show entitled The Showgirl Must Go On, and she is returning to Broadway this month in Hello Dolly! During her career, Bette has won 3 Grammy awards, 4 Golden Globes, 3 Emmy awards and a Tony award.
And if, after reading this you are not familiar with the Divine Miss M, I highly suggest you hop on over to Youtube and begin to familiarize yourself with her work. Also, here is a link to a video of Bette singing a song about body positivity. Enjoy!