For many girls, navigating the teenage years can be tough. In fact, that’s true for most people, regardless of their gender identity, but given that today is International Women’s Day, we thought it’d be fun to give a shout out to those amazing fictional women who have given us much to admire.
These characters, we think, provide a great source of inspiration for young girls. They teach those on the cusp of womanhood how to be strong, independent, brave and heartfelt. They teach girls that they don’t need a man to define them, that it’s what’s on the inside that counts and above all, that there is nothing more badass than being yourself.
Hermione Granger – Harry Potter
Hermione is the character that inspired me to make this list. My ten year old daughter is currently making her way through the Harry Potter books, and cannot stop waxing lyrical about the amazing Hermione. “She’s so clever!” “She does everything the boys do, and she’s fierce!” “She’s super smart and can outwit everyone!” It’s safe to say my daughter has a new role model, and I couldn’t be happier with her choice.
Anna – Frozen
While I do think there is a lot to be admired in Elsa, for me it is Anna who shows her strength, love and vulnerability in the film, and the character who has the biggest journey. At the start of the film she is young, naive and desperate to be loved by a man. By the end of the film she sacrifices herself out of love for her sister without a second thought. Yes, she falls in love with a man, but she doesn’t let that define her, and she stands proudly on her own two feet.
Matilda – Created by Roald Dahl
One for the younger girls, Matilda inspired my daughter to embrace her love of learning. Matilda is fiercely intelligent but not arrogant. She loves and adores books and education and I love that Dahl created such a fabulous young girl.
Elphaba – Wicked
A reminder that we should never judge a book by its cover. Elphaba is a gifted sorcerer who is continuously rejected because of her looks. She finds help and comfort in her friend, Glinda but ultimately it is the strength inside of herself that makes her strive to achieve her own happiness.
Katniss Everdeenc- The Hunger Games
The choice of our EIC, Emmy Rivera, who says: “I think her bravery to stand up against the Capitol and fight for the ones she loves is something to be admired. Plus when she volunteered to take her little sister’s spot as tribute is a scene that still takes my breath away. It made me proud to be a big sister and shows that there is no bond like a sisterly one whether it be a sister/sister one or a brother/sister one.”
Peggy Carter – Agent Carter
The choice of our Senior Staff Writer, Adrienne Tyler. Peggy not only kicks ass, but she looks amazing while doing it! She refuses to comply with other people’s expectations of how a woman should behave and does everything in her own way. If anyone will decide what she can or cannot do, it will be Peggy herself and no one else.
Buffy – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
In fact, all the Buffy girls (Buffy, Willow and Cordelia) were the choice of Staff Writer Catherine Meushaw, and I completely agree. Strong, fearless and great leaders. These girls didn’t seek to tear each other down, or belittle one another’s triumphs. They loved and supported one another through thick and thin and gave young girls a great lesson in female friendship. Sigh. Where is my Buffy reunion?
Xena and Gabrielle – Xena Warrior Princess
Another of Catherine’s choices, Xena and Gabrielle have a deep friendship that is only strengthened by their passion for defending those who cannot help themselves. Their pursuit of the greater good, strength, formidable fighting skills and, let’s face it, epic costumes, all conspire to make these girls stand out as fantastic role models.
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