? Rain Drops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens… Confirmed Canon Stories and OTPs Smitten… the Happiness that a New Fandom Brings… these are a few of our Favourite Things! ? … Is that not how the song goes? Well it should be, because our favourite things are so much more interesting than kettles & wild geese. We are into heroes & villains, star-crossed lovers & tales of bromance, epic quests & stories of success… and boy bands. And, of course, Strong Female Characters!
With March being home of International Women’s Day, I have really been thinking about the female role models in my life. I have looked at the women of my family and all that they do to show love & offer support. I think of the ladies I work with who I can only dream of one day being as poised & professional as. And I naturally look at the media I am constantly bombarded with to see which fictional females I hold in high esteem. With all of the talk of strong female characters in movies, tv, etc you can’t help but search through the women of pop culture and examine what makes them worth emulating.
I enlisted a few of my fellow fangirls to make a Venn of our favourite female characters from television, movies, books, comics, etc. We wrote out a whole list then worked through to find the defining feature that makes them a role model. Is it their brain? Their kindness? Of course, a well-written character will have many facets to their personality but here is a look at who we admire most & why we most want to be like them:
Love is a powerful thing; it’s cheesy & clichéd but it’s true. We admire the ability of these characters to love others so much that they would do anything for them. I’m not just talking romantic love but the general, unconditional love you feel for someone important to you. Katniss doesn’t volunteer for the Hunger Games because she is brave & sure of victory; she does it because she loves her little sister so much that she can’t stand the idea of her getting hurt. Tessa makes all of her choices based on what is best for her entire adopted family at the London Institute (including, but not limited to, Will & Jem… the men that she loves). Summer & Hermione both exhibit loyalty so fierce that you know their capacity to love is worth emulating. And Dany’s heart goes out to each and every living thing that she meets, making her role as leader all the more difficult.
Blindly walking into danger isn’t something we would respect. Bravery isn’t the absence of fear. What makes all of these fictional ladies so compelling is that they feel fear yet fight through it. Dany is terrified by every choice she makes but she bravely tells herself to not look back… “If I look back then I am lost”. Buffy is constantly haunted by both real and imagined horrors. While we respect her ability to take out a vampire without even breaking a sweat, her ability to push through pain is why we actually think of her as a role model. All of these ladies do not shy away from danger, but not because they don’t recognize it. They are brave enough to continue even when they are afraid.
The My Fangirl Life team thinks confidence is key… after all, our motto is “You Do You”. We love a strong female character that is not afraid to be herself. Eowyn & Alanna both exude enough confidence that, in time periods where women are to have babies & cook dinner, they convincingly pull off acting as a man would. Similarly, Allison Argent doesn’t leave the fighting to the men. She puts aside fear and believes in her ability to get the job done. Elizabeth Bennet (in any incarnation of her you choose) will not let anyone change her. She knows who she is and what she likes and will not bow to the will of a man. And Izzy, after multiple novels of showing only her “most confident exterior”, learns to be confident enough to show her vulnerable side.
Intelligence is an important trait for us. We want to see women in positions that decades ago would only have belonged to men, like Felicity who is a woman specializing in STEM subjects. We love women who thirst for knowledge, like Lizzie Bennet. Or ones who are already the smartest one of the group (yet are always willing to share their smarts with others), like Hermione. And we want to see females coming up with the solutions, and exercising their creative problem-solving skills, like the most recent companion Clara Oswald.
The Ultimate Female Badass: Rey from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
We still can’t get over how amazing Rey is. She embodies all of these traits so astutely that there was no doubt that she had to be the center piece of our Venn. Loving, despite being left alone as a child. Intelligent, full of creative solutions. Brave, willing to risk herself in pursuit of a greater goal. And Confident, so freaking confident that she wields a lightsaber like she was born with it in her hands. We want more Rey! (And more characters like Rey)
Who is your fictional hero? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to check out a few of our other Girl Power posts: Celebrating International Women’s Day With Badass Fictional Females and February High Five: Girl Power Comics.
Love & Luck,