Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: On the TV portrayal of the "Strong Woman"


I LOVE that you two gals posted your different experiences with your physicality and the world’s perception of it. I had a professor once tell me that men think outward, while women think inward, and that this is largely because of how we are socialized. I think because of that, it is jarring to men raised traditionally to see a woman step out of a caring-nurturing role that they place her in (or to step into one if they feel she doesn’t “fit” there), and I think this is generational. I think our kids will do better, as we did better than our parents. I remember speaking to my son once when he was telling me about something the girls in his play were doing that he thought was dumb, and asking him if he thought I was strong, if I was smart. He said “Of course.” And so I told him, I was a girl once, and I remember every boy I knew who treated me like I was smart and worthy and had a brain. I told him there is a difference between his judgement of a person and what that person is, and if he ever puts a person into a box because of one act to think of me.

There is such marvelous variety in people, isn’t there? I find that a lot of what sets us off is what we’ve been hurt with, and one of the aspects of strength that I think is so valuable in women is that our strength is an empathetic one, a protective one. It’s a thinking strength, and I cherish any time I see that onscreen.