Yesterday was International Women’s Day but, even though it’s passed, we’re still flying our girl power flags high. We’re celebrating International Women’s Month (or maybe International Women’s Life). It’s never too late to be proud of being female, and here on My Fangirl Life we certainly are. Women are starring in more entertainment pieces than ever before, and leading ladies on television and in movies are becoming increasingly more badass… so let’s talk about that.
There are so many awesome fictional female characters today; it seems that Hollywood is coming around to women being strong, smart, and independent, and it’s nice to see that represented on the big and small screen. Today I’d like to discuss some of my favourite strong female characters, and examine the reasons why they matter.
Olivia Pope – Scandal
Olivia is intelligent, confident, highly educated, and an absolute superstar. Even though she’s constantly jerked around by a man (ok… not just any man, but the President of the United States), she maintains composure and gets herself out of trouble through creative, strategic thinking. She feels & loves, yet can put emotion aside and get the job done. And Olivia Pope is not just important for women everywhere; she is a big breakthrough for black women specifically.
Shonda Rhimes’ shows have a reputation for colour-blind casting. It has resulted in some iconic roles being played by people of colour, which has been so impactful for TV shows today. Even more than that, she has not been afraid to write strong female characters and give them leading roles. Olivia Pope is just one example of this.
Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games
When Katniss first burst onto the scene as the main character in the a teen fiction novel, I was blown away. She was so different from Bella Swan of Twilight, who was the most recent young adult fiction phenomenon at the time. Katniss is strong and smart, and isn’t afraid to do anything for those she loves, and despite having men in her life, in the end Katniss is the only one that can unify the districts. At times she ends up a bit of pawn, but Katniss always makes the hard choices, sticking with what she believes is right. Casting Jennifer Lawrence as the movie version of Katniss only backed up the fact that her character is a strong woman. Let’s also give a shout out to JLaw for being a female role model for young women everywhere.
Daenerys Targaryen – Game of Thrones
When I first started reading A Game of Thrones, I fell in love with Dany. She has been through so much, from the loss of her kingdom to the destruction of her entire family, and yet she keeps going. Despite the fact that she is just a girl when the books begin, she repeats her inner mantra of “If I look back I am lost” and continues making her own decisions without regret. Even though men are constantly surrounding Dany, she doesn’t let them control her, and this makes her awesome.
Rey – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the new Star Wars movie came out before Christmas (just kidding… we’ve all heard. It was kind of a big deal). As one of the new main characters in the franchise, Rey was an amazing addition. She is a character that is cool & smart, and is a great role model for young girls. She’s had a tragic life (we assume), but she still picks herself up, makes new friends, goes on an adventure, and does some really neat stuff including wielding a lightsaber, which we’ve typically only seen men do in the Star Wars universe. Are we going to see a female Jedi come to fruition? I hope so.
So way to go, Hollywood – keep up the good work, and keep those female leading roles coming!
Who are your favourite badass fictional female characters? Share them with us anytime in honour of International Women’s Day!