While Disney is an all-time favorite, most Disney classics often portray a certain unflattering type of female characters: submissive and weak – the damsel in distress, waiting to be rescued by the prince. It seems as if the hero is always the man, but that’s not always the case. Some Hollywood films portray strong female characters, and if you’re in the mood for some feminist inspiration, or you want to have your children to know there are women characters out there they can look up to, here are some of our favorite movie heroines of all times.
Hermione Granger, Harry Potter
You can’t help but love Hermione Granger. Although Harry Potter is the undeniable hero of the popular franchise, and Hermione is somewhat of a sidekick, she often steals the show with her intelligent remarks, her kindness and most of all, her humility. Although she is a Muggle, she seems to be one of the best students at Hogwarts and she knows more about magic than most pupils and teachers at the school. Hermione is confident in her abilities, but she isn’t cocky, and because she is a Muggle, she feels as if her has to prove herself and earn her place at Hogwarts. J.K. Rowling described her as, “very logical, upright and good,” and we can’t find better words to describe the beloved character.
We said that Disney often portrays a submissive image of women, but Mulan is the exception to that rule. Mulan sets the best example for women, and at a time where this kind of thinking was radical and revolutionary (the movie came out in 1998) – she knows she isn’t worth less than men, and she can be just as good a fighter, and an even better one, than any man she known. Mulan doesn’t let her gender stand in her way, and she does everything in her power to break these gender barriers and prove to the world what she’s worth, even if that means lying to the people she loves.
Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games
This is the role that put Jennifer Lawrence on the map and made her one of the highest earning actors in Hollywood. Besides her impressive survival skills (she certainly doesn’t need a man to save her at any point), what’s even more lovable and inspiring about Katniss Everdeen is her loyalty and her dedication to the people she loves – she would do anything to protect her sister, even if it means sacrificing her own life. We dare you to come up with a better female inspiration than Katniss Everdeen.
Beatrix Kiddo (The Bride), Kill Bill
Kill Bill is our favorite Quentin Tarantino film (and believe us, it’s hard to choose), and that’s in large part thanks to Uma Thurman’s character, the legendary warrior Beatrix Kiddo. Before you learn her tragic story, you might think Beatrix (also known in the film as “The Bride”) is a ruthless killing machine, and after learning her story, while you still see her as a ruthless killing machine, at least you understand her motives, and it become pretty hard to judge her.
Cher Horowitz might be different from the other characters on the list, but she’s a female inspiration nonetheless. Cher (portrayed by actress Alicia Silverstone) starts out as a spoiled, entitled and self-centered teenager, and throughout the film, we accompany her throughout a meaningful journey where she matures, learns valuable lessons and comes out of her shell. She’s a character most girls can relate with, and her journey of self-discovery makes a must-see movie for every girl.