If I'm being quite honest, the only reason I started watching "Parks and Recreation" was because I had this period where I had a weird and unexplainable crush on Aziz Ansari. I also thought it was trendy and cool to watch because it wasn't as predictable and mainstream as "The Office," but still had a similar enough storyline. However, as I watched more and more episodes, my crush slowly progressed from Aziz to Amy Poehler. If you've never seen the show, Amy plays Leslie, an employee of the Parks and Recreation Department for the City of Pawnee, with future plans to become the first female President of the United States. Leslie taught me a lot throughout the progression of the show. As a viewer, I witnessed the progression of Leslie. From Season 1 Leslie, who was pushed around by her boss Ron as well as her own mother--to Season 7 Leslie, head of the Midwest branch of the National Parks service and happily married to city manager Ben Wyatt. I almost felt as though I grew alongside her. She taught me many things about life, love, friends, ambitions, and dreams. She taught me how to deal with boys, how to be a friend, and how to love myself. Her constant positivity gave me a sense of hope that was relatable to me in my own personal life. Although her positivity and wisdom are pretty much constant, there are a five times in particular that I identified with Leslie a little too much.
1. In regards to feminism.
Leslie's own ambitions and goals for herself represent the ideal behavior for any woman. She knows what she wants and she has a perfect plan as to how to ensure that she gets it. She believes in women fully and completely and is never afraid to tell it like it is. As a successful woman in government, Leslie inspires us to fight against the odds--because women can and will do what they aspire to do.
2. In regards to staying strong.
Even when Leslie's life seemingly couldn't get any worse, she always manages to remind herself of all the positives in her life that still remain. She reminds us that things have to get worse before they can get better. She helps us remember that just because we lose something/someone, does not mean we have to lose ourselves as well. Leslie's perseverance becomes contagious to a point where it's impossible to not want to go out and do good after watching an episode.
3. In regards to accepting yourself.
Leslie knows herself very well and is proud of who is she and who she has become. She inspires us all to be in love with ourselves--to accept ourselves no matter what. She taught us that it's okay to be two different things, as long as you're not being two-faced. Leslie reminds us that it doesn't matter what others think, as long as you are proud of and satisfied with who you are.
4. In regards to the importance of friendship.
5. In regards to the power of a good waffle.
It is Leslie's love for all things breakfast that reminds us that there is absolutely nothing in this world that a good waffle cannot fix.
In a way, I see Leslie as a life coach of sorts. I know that sounds silly, considering she is a fictional television character. But honestly, she's such an inspiration to me in all aspects of life that it would seem absurd to not consider her to be a role model of mine. Her individuality and intelligence only further motivate me to have confidence, be kind, find a friend half as good as Ann Perkins, and to be the Leslie Knope of whatever I do.