Are you a movie lover? If so, you probably have one or several fictional characters that you consider as your role model, either from books or movies. I used to be an introvert and grew up with few “real” role models. I think it’s natural for many introverts to find that curling up with a good book or movie all day long is the best thing in the world. Sometimes, we need a little break from the real world, and films provide us an escape from reality, engrossing us in a fictional world. But it’s more than just an escape; we can develop a deep connection with characters and their struggles, and draw important lessons from their stories. Fictional characters gain a special place in our hearts as we follow their journeys.
Here are 8 strong feminists characters that taught me many lessons as a young woman.1. Hermione Granger - Harry Potter
During an interview, Emma Watson, spoke about what she believed Hermione stood for: “Young girls are told you have to be a princess. Hermoine taught them that you can be a warrior.” Intelligence isn’t a weakness, but a strength, as shown by the nerdy yet brave Hermione. She's always researching and reading, hoping to do well in her studies, while also aiding Harry in the fight against evil. When Harry and Ron get themselves into tight situations, Hermione sensibly solves the problem. She is unafraid of bullies, and always stands up for herself, which is admirable. Yes, she is an emotional woman. She has feelings. But that doesn’t make her weak. Hermione is strong but also humble and sensitive; her vulnerability is her superpower.2. Buffy Summers - Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Buffy isn't just a vampire slayer. She taught us to be brave and stand up for ourselves, and to trust our instincts. We already know how to fight our demons; all we have to do is be prepared to listen to ourselves and believe what we hear. Buffy perseveres even when love fails her, since life doesn't end when a relationship does. Buffy never gives up on love, but she's also not paralyzed by it when it doesn't conquer all. We observed how the character grew from an innocent girl to a mature and responsible adult, and definitely can all learn from her story.3. Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) - Avengers
Natasha (AKA Black Widow) was the first female avenger. If you're a big fan of Marvel, you already know how beautiful and strong she is! This badass spy with a keen wit and a strong sense of sarcasm possesses mental and physical fortitude. She has confidence in her talents, despite what she had to overcome in the past. Black Widow understands that she, too, deserves love–love from herself and the ones she allows herself to be close to. This is a lesson that we, as women, should consider as well. It’s not easy to deal with our past, especially if it involves traumatic or transformative events. Natasha Romanoff has always been a strong role model, and knowing that she has survived such hardship reassures us that we can conquer each day. From Iron Man 2 to Black Widow, she has evolved a lot, and we’ve seen her many faces. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, she taught us the importance of trust. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, she taught us the sincere value of friendship. In Captain America: Civil War, she taught us how to trust our instincts and embrace our hearts. In Avengers: Infinity War, she taught us how to believe in the greater good.4. Katniss Everdeen - The Hunger Games
Katniss won the Hunger Games despite all odds, because she never lost focus of herself or her goals. Katniss was determined to survive. She initially doubts her ability to defeat those who have spent their entire lives preparing for the Games, but she ultimately succeeds. Before being taken to the Capitol, Katniss says, "everything is okay,” to Primrose, and she repeats it to Peeta again when his leg is ripped open. She is an icon of female strength in the face of adversity.5. Alice - Resident Evil
Alice fought apocalyptic zombies, obsessive scientists, Albert Wesker (the strongest enemy), and the head of Umbrella for five years. She was a great warrior and marksman as a human. Her innate powers are enhanced after her change, giving her the ability to create telekinetic waves. She withdrew herself from other survivors, believing herself to be a risk to others, and learned to suppress her burgeoning telekinetic abilities. From her story, we learn how to persevere in the face of hardship, and to make sacrifices for the greater good.6. Veronica Lodge - Riverdale
If you’ve watched this famous Netflix show, you probably know Veronica is one of the most badass female characters in that crazy town. Veronica is well-dressed, sexy, confident, and fierce! She has the courage to battle with her mobster father, who opposes her relationship with Archie. In fact, she saved her boyfriend, Archie, after he was imprisoned. Look at the combination of self-awareness and self-love! Nobody can match the radiance of this star. She's never scared to speak her truth, and she doesn't give a damn what other people think of her; she’s a self-sufficient lady who can operate her own business.7. Mia - La La Land
This movie is one of the best visual stories of the century. Mia chased her dreams after failing many auditions; she was laughed at, mocked, and ridiculed. However, she knew what she wanted, and worked hard to achieve her goal. Mia and Sebastian parted ways because they each wanted to pursue their own dreams, and to do what’s best for their loved ones. Mia teaches us that we don't have to feel guilty about ending a wonderful relationship or learning to fall in love again.8. Matilda - Matilda
Matilda is a bright, serious young girl who seeks justice for those who abuse their positions of power. This little girl lives with a cruel and distant family who is hopelessly uninterested in her. Despite her circumstances, Matilda is a strong-willed young girl who refuses to be held back by parents, who’d prefer she watch TV with them all day. They refuse to promote her love of reading, so at the age of four, she walks to the library by herself and reads in secret! She doesn’t let anything stop her. Matilda is a firm believer in justice and fairness, and holding people - even powerful people - accountable for their actions.
There are obviously many other female characters that we look up to. The voices of fictional characters stay with us long after we finish watching a movie/TV show or after reading a book. Characters can be excellent role models for real life! They comfort us in times of need, make us feel seen and heard, and bring smiles to our face even on the darkest of days.
Written by: Stefanny Leung YuInstagram: @stefflyp