…and who she’d be in the 22b baker towers ‘verse.
i’ve seen a few suggestions, mostly keeping with the sherlock change of having her do some sort of sex work - high class escorting, mostly. which could be a really good way to look at the intersectionality of race and sexuality and class and gender and sex work. but, honestly, i (selfishly) would really rather go back to the irene adler from the acd stories and work from there: specifically, i’d love to take her being an opera singer and move that up to this verse.
so, here’s my suggestion:
how about her being an aspiring mc? young, tough, street-wise, really fucking smart and talented, and with a chip on her shoulder. she knows that she’s better than this life that she’s stuck in, and she’s got a lot of attitude ‘problems’ to go with that knowledge.
i’m thinking she’d probably have one white parent and one black? several siblings. poor, obviously, council estate-housed, but music in the house - hip hop, reggae, ska. she grew up a tomboy, always making sure that she was as tough as the boys. getting in trouble all over the place along the way - kicked outta school, harrassed by authority, etc - and getting a worse and worse attitude because of it. predictably, she fucking hates her birth name. (“the woman” as stagename? just as a giant ‘fuck you’ to the overwhelming male-domination of hip hop?) i like the idea, too, of her knowing how to use her female-ness to her advantage. of playing to stereotypes so that she’s perpetually underestimated.
as for why she and holmes cross paths, like i said: she knows she’s better than this. maybe something bad happens to her family, and she’s trying to take care of them, too. maybe she’s wholly, deliciously, self-motivated. either way, she fucking wants out of the world of council estates and asbos and no future. she’s gonna be big, she’s gonna bust the hip hop scene wide open, she’s gonna be recognized as more than just some chav, and secure, and in the meantime she’s gonna do anything she needs to to get there. so she gets into some less-than-legal shit, and she and holmes come into contact through one of his cases. she outsmarts him, and he can’t help but be impressed.