Women are awesome. That seems like a generalized statement, and it is, but it's still true. I love women. I am constantly inspired by amazing women, both fictional and in real life. I think that comes from the fact that I come from a family of strong, intelligent, independent women who were constantly showing me that as a girl, I could do anything. While my Mom was in nursing school, my paternal Grandma would watch me everyday. She was a retired school teacher, a single mom since my dad was little, and boy was she strong and tough! But not only that, she was kind, tender, loving, and one of the most generous people I have ever known. She had very little money, but I never knew that until I was older. It didn't stop her from splurging on pizza when we came over, or buying ice cream cones, or taking me to get a new doll or stuffed animal at the store. She didn't have much, but what she did have, she gave freely and wholeheartedly. She taught me how to read, how to be strong, but most importantly, she taught me how to give.
And my mom, who had 5 young kids (I'm the baby of the family) while in nursing school, still managed to get an award for excellence in grades. She is a freaking ROCKSTAR if there ever was one. I mean, she was a NICU nurse, for heavens sake, you don't get more amazing than taking care of sick premi- babies! She's always devoted her life to taking care people, and she taught me how to be kind, compassionate, and loving, and also, how to have FUN. My mom loves with all her heart; she is truly a healer, both for body and soul. Her mom, my maternal Grandma, was one of the people that touched my heart the most. She was so funny, witty, sassy and boy was she resilient. She taught me how to laugh at myself, how to make life-long relationships, and how to tie a big ornate bow with wired ribbon.
Growing up in the 90's, we had *girl power* and many awesome female idols to look up to. We had the Spice Girls, Mia Hamm, and Kerri Strug, who all taught us that A) If you wanna get with me, you gotta get with my friends. B) Anything you can do, I can do better [Remember Mia's Gatorade commercial with Michael Jordan??] and C) Even in the face of the most extreme adversity, we can RISE, and we can run, vault, and STICK THE LANDING.
Nowadays, we celebrate #WomanCrushWednesday, which is probably the greatest hashtag ever. To celebrate, I've been working on a list of all my *FAVORITE* fictional females and thought I'd share it with you.
My Favorite Fictional Females
1. Pink Ranger/ Kimberly Hart, Mighty Morphing Power Rangers
This might not make sense to a lot of people, unless you're a girl that grew up in the 90's. Then this makes perfect sense. Kimberly aka Pink Ranger was our first girl-fighting-can-do-it-just-as-good-as-the-boys idol. She was awesome and taught us that girls can kick serious butt, whilst wearing head-to-toe pink if they wanna.
MULAN IS THE GREATEST FEMALE DISNEY CHARACTER EVER. Sorry Belle, I love you (like, LOOOOVE YOU!!) BUT, Mulan is the greatest. Because she taught us that if you are determined enough, you can do ANYTHING. She pretends to be a BOY (because women weren't allowed in the army) to save her Father from being drafted into the Chinese Army, goes to boot camp and kicks the boys' butts! After some serious down-and-out moments, of course. She comes back even after they all ABANDONED her to save the Emperor and ALL OF CHINA. YEAH. She is a serious Bad A. And yes, she fights like a GIRL, which is the greatest compliment I could possibly give her. Bravo Disney, Bravo.
3. Sydney Bristow, Alias
Seriously one of the most awesome female characters of all time, I don't care what you think. Sydney is as close to a female James Bond as it comes. She is a spy who continually risks her life to save America (and other countries), all while kicking some SERIOUS butt in her 5 inch stiletto heels if needs be. She is super intelligent, brave, courageous, and loyal, and will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves and the greater good.
4. Veronica Mars, Veronica Mars
Veronica, Veronica. Oh how I love thee. Veronica, the sarcastic, witty, smart, tough P.I. that I always wanted as a friend and never as an enemy. Veronica taught us to do what you liked and not give a rats A if anyone liked it. Sure, she was a flawed character, she had trust issues, but who doesn't?? Amirite?? Veronica fought tooth-and-nail for her friends and family, and always stood up for those who couldn't stand up for themselves. She was a tiny but feisty girl who could seriously TAKE YOU DOWN, with a well-timed insult or a little help from Backup.
"Why do you insist on pissing me off??"
"This face right here? My over-the-moon face."
"After all these years, do you not instinctively fear me?"
"I hope we're still friends after I taser you."
"It's a very powerful thing when someone sees you as the person you wish you were."
"Should I check myself before I wreck myself?"
5. Dagney Taggart, Atlas Shrugged
“I’ve always been unpopular in school and it didn’t bother me, but now I’ve discovered the reason. It’s an impossible kind of reason. They dislike me, not because I do things badly, but because I do them well. They dislike me because I’ve always had the best grades in class. I don’t even have to study. I always get A’s. Do you suppose I should try to get D’s for a change and become the most popular girl in school?” I met Dagney at the perfect time in my life, when I was really learning and challenging my preconceived notions of the world and what being a "woman" meant. It didn't take very lone for me to fall in love with this character. SHE IS FREAKING AMAZING. She taught me to ignore haters, go with your gut instinct, and to stand up and FIGHT for what you believe in and not let others persuade you otherwise.
“You don’t have to see through the eyes of others, hold onto yours, stand on your own judgment, you know that what is, –say it aloud, like the holiest of prayers, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
6. Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Okay, okay, judge all you want, but I LOVED Buffy. Again with the 90's kid stuff, I know. But she was AWESOME and she seriously #SLAYED before it was cool. ;) She was a vampire/demon/werewolf hunter and continually saved everyone's lives, all while surviving high school. Who didn't want to be Buffy, I mean, come on! Girl was bad in the best possible way and always had perfectly coiffed hair. Jealous!!
7. Elizabeth Bennet, Pride & Prejudice
Lizzy Bennet is perhaps the greatest character in literature. She was waaay ahead of her time, and I'd like to think, she was a big part of Jane Austen herself. Lizzy is smart, witty, speaks her mind, and willing to wait for true love, no matter if it comes or not. I love that about her. Especially in that time, to refuse a "prosperous marriage" was rather unusual, to say the least. Lizzy is passionate and willing to wait for something more, even if it never comes. She knows that even the prospect of it is so much better than settling. Elizabeth Bennet always speaks her mind, which I whole-heartedly admire and respect, she stands up for herself and others, and is basically the original #BOSSLADY if there ever was one.
“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”
8. Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games Trilogy
Katniss is one of my favorite modern-day heroines. She is SO AWESOME, I've truly loved reading and watching her character and story unfold. Katniss is flawed, yes, but she is brave, tenacious, incredibly loyal and fierce, and will stop at nothing to save Prim, Peeta and Gale, amongst everyone else. She is always willingly and constantly sacrificing herself for the ones she loves. She may not love easily, but when she does, she does so with her whole heart. Not just anyone could be the Mocking Jay and stand up to the Capital and lead the Rebellion.
“My spirit. This is a new thought. I'm not sure exactly what it means, but it suggests I'm a fighter. In a sort of brave way. It's not as if I'm never friendly. Okay, maybe I don't go around loving everybody I meet, maybe my smiles are hard to come by, but I do care for some people.”
9. Hermoine Granger, Harry Potter series
Hermoine!! Oh, how much I LOVE Hermoine!! She is one of those characters that you love more and more every time you read/watch them. My love for her grew so profoundly by the end of the series, I could hardly stand it. And the scene pictured above, it seriously broke my heart. Hermoine is the glue that held it ALL together. Harry and Ron would have been NOTHING without her. That's the honest truth. She is super intelligent, compassionate, loyal, loving, and kind. Hermoine is one of the best ever role model for girls. She a powerful #BOSSWITCH, both literally and figuratively. On countless times she saves the day, whether it's through using her head or using her heart, she always finds a way! (Okay, that rhymed and I totally did not even try. #winning)
Carol, The Walking Dead
This was a tough decision between Michonne and Carol, but I couldn't NOT pick Carol. She is a grade A, Bad A-- B! When we meet Carol, she is a helpless, broken women, married to a wife-beater, who never stands up for herself. But OH HOW SHE CHANGES! Carol's progression through the story line of Walking Dead is perhaps the greatest. She becomes a tough, no-nonsense warrior, who protects everyone at all costs. (Sometimes she takes it too far, but her intentions are good!) She loses her husband and her daughter, and two pseudo- daughters, and still manages to be loving and compassionate to the close few of her inner circle. And she constantly takes care of baby Judith. The others would not have survived as long with out her; she is integral to the gang, and can hang with the likes of Rick and Daryl and hold her own! She is a serious BAD A #Boss!! Carol's cookies...need I say more??
Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter series
Luna has to be just about my *favorite* Harry Potter character. I love her whimsical, quirky outlook on life. She is definitely a little out there, but that's what I love about her. Luna is incredibly kind, accepting of others, and always loyal and supportive. And maybe my favorite thing about her...SHE DOESN'T CARE WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS ABOUT HER. She just is who she is. She's so real, so honest and always true to herself. And she's always there for her friends. She definitely has NOT had an easy life, but Luna always looks on the bright side of things, finds the silver lining, and cheers everyone up! Did I mention she's whip smart??
The Dowager Countess of Grantham, Downton Abbey
I love the Dowager, she is my favorite Downton Abbey character (After Matthew of course, RIP!) Violet is sarcastic and sassy and I just love everything she says. She has, by far, the BEST lines on the show. She's always ready for an awesome one-liner.
"Vulgarity is no substitute for wit."
"All life is a series of problems we must try to solve."
"It's the job of Grandmothers to interfere."
"Oh dear, you flatter me. Which is just as it should be."
"At my age, one must ration one's excitement."
"Is this an instrument of communication or torture?"
"I wonder your halo doesn't grow heavy, it must be like wearing a tiara round the clock."
Lorelai is the BEST TV mom there is. She's also somebody I wish I could have as a friend in real life, because she is AMAZING. Lorelai grows up in a wealthy privileged life, but when she gets pregnant at 16, she leaves, and works her butt off to raise her child (Rory) alone, even eventually opening up her own B&B, the Dragonfly Inn. She is tenacious, relentless, and one of the most WITTY characters to have ever been written. She is funny, smart, supportive, and has a killer knowledge of all things Pop Culture. She is THE BEST!
"If you're going to throw your life away, he better have a motorcycle!"
"This is a jumbo coffee morning. I need coffee in an IV."
"I have a New Years resolution for you; become more cynical and self absorbed."
"It's all any of us wants- to find a nice person to hang out with till we drop dead. Not a lot to ask!
"I am the Oracle. I carry all the knowledge".
"Oy with the poodles already."
"It's not too much food. This is what we've been training for our whole lives. This is our destiny. This is our finest hour!"
It's handled. Olivia is one of the most powerful women on television. She is BAD A. What I love about Olivia is that her relationship with the fictional POTUS does NOT define her. She is brilliant. She is the BEST fixer there is. She has her metaphorical big white hat and she fights for injustices no matter the consequences. She is a gladiator in a suite, gosh dang it! She also has some of the best lines ever. Thank you Shanda Rhimes for creating the baddest #ladyboss of them all!
“I am not the girl the guy gets at the end of the movie. I am not a fantasy. If you want me, earn me.”
“I am very good at what I do. I am better at it than anyone else. And that is not arrogance, that is a fact.”
“I’m choosing me. I’m choosing Olivia. And right now, Olivia is dancing. Now, you can dance with me or you can get off my dance floor. I’m fine dancing alone.”
“I don’t want normal, and easy, and simple. I want painful, difficult, devastating, life-changing, extraordinary love.”
“If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, but you have to try, because if you try, if you leap and you try, and it doesn’t work out, it’s not on you.”
“I am many things, stupid is not one of them.”
Professor McGonagall, Harry Potter series
Professor McGonagall is one of my heroes. She is like that one teacher you had in high school that was hard on you, but was also your favorite. She is incredibly brilliant and an amazing witch. McGonagall is brave and loyal and while she can be stern, you love and respect her. She is an excellent teacher and overall the OG #bosswitch. She actually sorta reminds me of my Grandma who was a school teacher. Maybe that's why I love her so much! :)
Ron: [Harry and Ron arrive late to Transfiguration, relieved that Professor McGonagall isn't there yet] Whew, made it. Can you imagine the look on old McGonagall's face if we were late?
[the cat sitting at the head of the class suddenly transforms into her]
Ron: That was bloody brilliant!
Professor McGonagall: Well, thank you for that assessment, Mr Weasley. Perhaps it would be more useful if I were to transfigure Mr Potter and yourself into a pocket watch? That way, one of you might be on time.
Harry: We got lost.
Professor McGonagall: Then perhaps a map? I trust you don't need one to find your seats.
So here's to all the lady boss' slaying out there. You go girl! Girl power! And er, Who run the world? GIRLS.