Xena was my very first female TV crush. I love dressing up as her whenever I can get the chance. See why I think she’s so awesome.
“She was Xena, a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle!”
Xena: Warrior Princess was a popular adventure, action and comedy TV series that ran from 1995 to 2001. Filmed in New Zealand, it was primarily set in a medieval fantasy version of Ancient Greece, starring a young Lucy Lawless as the feisty, leather-clad fighting warrior-woman Xena. The series narrative follows her on a quest to seek redemption for her past sins against the innocent by using her fighting skills to now instead, help those who are unable to defend themselves. She fights monsters, demons and mythological Gods while also fighting her own inner demons based on sins from her warlord past.
Check out the awesome nostalgic opening credits below:
Xena was a spin-off of the TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (which ran from 1995 to 1999) starring Kevin Sorbo as Hercules, who went on many adventures with his sidekick Iolaus to help people along the way, slaying mythological monsters using his half-God strength. Xena starred in a few episodes and was set to be killed off, but her character became hugely successful among fans that she got her own show.
In Hercules, Xena was a villain and a powerful warlord, but in her third appearance she joins him to defeat the warlord Darphus, who had taken her army.
The two TV shows shared similarities and at times shared plot lines, but the main difference between the two characters was Hercules was hesitant to kill, while Xena had no qualms and would regularly kill enemies. As such, Xena was more of a darker drama, with satire and low brow humour.
Ah yes, doesn’t get much more oldschool than VHS. Xena spends almost every episode on a different mission, always trying to do the right thing, fighting for the what she refers to as the “greater good”.
She became a pop cultural icon fast, thanks to her good looks, feisty attitude, quirky humour and fighting skills. Her signature war-cry scream and her talented use of her weapon Chakram made her quite the sexy, not-to-be-messed-with warrior princess that I often tried to imitate when young.
Besides fighting enemies, she also had to fight her own past; never forgiving herself for her crimes, and often resisting the temptation to return to her evil ways with the help of Gabrielle – her sidekick, best friend and her greatest ally.
While following Xena on her journey of redemption, Gabrielle (played by Renee O’Connor) changes during the series herself, from a once simple and naive farm girl, into an Amazonian warrior and Xena’s comrade-in-arms. And yeh, sexual tension between the two come arise.
Xena and Gabrielle had a close relationship. Some would say, a very, VERY close relationship. While many debate they were just passionate heterosexual life-partners, popular belief is that they were indeed lesbians and in love with each other. Suffice to say, the show offered enough winks, nudges and suggestions to imply that while also keeping it under the radar just enough for it to go straight over young kids’ heads while also avoiding upsetting network affiliates during the 90’s.
I was about 12 years old when I first watched Xena and immediately, I aspired to be like her. She exhibited beauty, confidence and courage, and despite having a sinful past, she persevered to be a better person because of it. As an impressionable pre-teen I liked all these qualities and knew that I wanted to be just like her. I would play outside pretending to be her while my dog at the time would play my sidekick.
Xena continues to be a pop cultural icon. I love dressing up as her when given the opportunity as she reminds me of my childhood.
Take a look at more photos of me below dressed as up Xena: Warrior Princess, my first female crush.
I went to Toys’R’Us to buy a frisbee and then spray painted it with cans bought from SuperCheap Auto. Let that dry overnight and then bam, you got yourself a lethal frisbee-chakram hybrid weapon to accompany your Xena costume. Check out Diva, Lovissa or Collette for jewellery that looks medieval, rustic, copper or ancient-inspired to further accentuate your warrior look. Often they have sales and all you need is a few statement pieces to give you the look, no need to go overboard.
Want to take your Xena dress ups to the next level? A lion mane wig for your dog (or in my case, my friends dog), looks great for role play purposes, especially when trying to get across that you’re a wild, dangerous woman. Some smaller sizes may work on cats too. Check out: Ebay and Amazon. When it comes to the fringe – you can buy clip-in fringes also from Ebay, mine cost about $15 and fortunately matched my hair colour!
Did you watch Xena when you were young? Or is this the first time you’ve ever heard of the show? Share your thoughts in the comments below.