i've been rewatching the early seasons of the x-files recently and been thinking about how much of an impact--completely goofy though it is in retrospect--it had on my little developing mind, and it all comes down to scully. i can't talk trash about mulder, but frankly if i had wanted to watch a show with a strong male lead i would have had plenty of choices at the time. scully was different though, she was serious and intellectual without losing her humanity or warmth. she was brilliant and confident in her own ideas and argued against her superiors and coworkers on her own behalf; she advocated for herself and thought for herself.
PLUS she was such a style icon: that hair! those shoes! those SUITS! i loved her hair at the beginning, that kind of awful set of curls awkwardly resting on her cheekbones. oh baby scully, you were just starting out!
anyway, because of scully i wanted to go into science for a long while. at first it was medicine, but i wanted to be a forensic pathologist because i was a dedicated misanthrope at the time (thirteen or fourteen, so... yeah that explains that) and didn't want to work with people. this, by the way, is hilarious to me now.
i wanted to be an epidemiologist next (the hot zone had recently come out) and eventually moved away from the sciences, but it was fun in my second bio class to pretend i was doing experiments and reports JUST LIKE SCULLY. yes, these were heady times.
i like to think scully's example reinforced assertive behaviour for myself at the time. i think just seeing such a strong, confident woman i could aspire to be and identify with gave me a new way of seeing myself and my potential. i liked other characters (usually from something geeky, like dr. crusher or whatnot) but scully was the most fleshed out and real feeling. she also really broke the mold with her seriousness & intensity, things i wasn't comfortable about in myself but i could respect them in scully, things that are usually considered unfeminine and unlikable.