Ok, so I should probably be honest. I'm in love with Lisa Simpson.

This love will forever be unrequited, and that's probably a good thing as:

a) She's eight years old and doesn't age
b) She has yellow skin and spikes for hair
c) She doesn't actually exist.

It's a pity that she isn't a real person, older, and less cartooney.

Lisa Marie1 Simpson is the second child and first daughter of Homer and Marge Simpson in "The Simpsons". She's eight years old and in the second grade at Springfield Elementary School, where she is taught by Miss Hoover.

Lisa plays the saxophone with a jazz-bent, and is into a variety of social and moral causes.

In order to in any way understand Lisa Simpson, you have to see her as a girl of eighteen -- and a bright one at that -- trapped in the body of a girl of eight. This is what generates the apparent contradictions in her character:

Lisa is obsessed with pin-up Corey, loves The Happy Little Elves, desperately wants a pony and laughs along at Krusty and Itchy and Scratchy like other kids her age.

At the same time she decides against massive peer and parental pressure to become a vegetarian (sending shockwaves across the USA), turns against the Malibu Stacey doll because of the gender stereotypes it reinforced, and fights corruption on local and federal levels. She leads a protest at the Nuclear Power plant playing the guitar and singing Dylan-style, and resigns as a Little Miss Springfield because of tobacco advertising.

Lisa is obviously intelligent. Sometimes she can come across as quite geeky and grades-obsessed, but more often she is shown channeling her energies into some project or other. She's been through bullying at school, self-image problems, and the death of her friend Bleeding Gums Murphy. Nevertheless, she comes across as one of the most "together" characters on the programme.

Lisa gets the best lines. Sometimes they're idealistic and hopeful, often they're dark and cynical. An example:

"Mom, romance is dead. It was acquired in a hostile takeover by Hallmark and Disney, homogenised, and sold off piece by piece."

As I said above, it's the contradictions that give Lisa her charm. Idealist and realist, inspired genius and naive utopian, serious woman and giggling girl; Lisa combines these qualities to create a compelling, coherent character.

When I say I'm in love with Lisa Simpson, I mean that there should be more non-imaginary non-yellow grown-up women that embody those qualities in the world. So don't panic.

Additional Lisa Simpson factlets:

POSTSCRIPT

In July 2009, I was sent the following message by someone who signed up to E2 just to send it to me. I post it without comment for your information:

"re Lisa Simpson: I agree whit you that there should be more of those women. but i have a confession to make, i'm in love whit lisa simpson aswell, this probably happened because i have way to much time no girlfriend and im watching like 3-5 episodes every day i even dream about her and feel good and stuff that normally only happens when your in love whit someone. i need some advice how did you get over this? i mean you probably arent still in love whit her since you wrote this in 2002. this isnt healthy for me i am getting obsesses whit her so i googled for it to find out if theres someone else whos expiriencing the same thing. and finally found your writing so i signed up just so i could contact you, this message box is awefully small so i cant check my grammar. i even find her handsome but that came later, i guess that means that appearence doesnt really matter. shes so cute and id like to hug and kiss her for the rest of my life. please give me some tips to get rid of these feelings...."

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