Strong doesn’t mean leather-wearing, ass-kicking, weapon-wielding heart-of-stone heroines who are unemotional and unfeminine (because that is what media seems to think defines “strong” women). No, strong is being brave and courageous, facing your fears, getting up when you fall, making the right choices and decisions, and going on no matter how hard it is. Strong is everything that you take for granted in a male hero but is usually surprising (or absent) in a female lead. Strong doesn’t mean inhuman. It means you are human.
And with that note, this is my list of my favorite strong female characters that I absolutely love (in other words, characters I’d love to be best friends with).
1) Hermione Jean Granger (obviously)-pretty self-explanatory. Bad-ass and feminine, logical and emotional, clever but sweet…not to mention Harry and Ron would’ve been toast without her, starting from way back in the first book!
2) Allison Argent-she was the female lead of the supernatural show Teen Wolf from its first season to the third. She has since grown to be one of my most favorite people, and one of the reasons I loved the show. An archer who wore floral dresses and boots and dealt with guns and knives–heck yeah! Not to mention she died saving her best friend. She died for her best friend. She’ll admit how scared she truly is and yet she’ll go into battle fearlessly to protect her loved ones, and if that isn’t strength, what is?
3) Rapunzel-I love how the filmmakers re-imagined Rapunzel in Tangled. Spunky, outspoken, unafraid and able to stand her ground–how can you resist her?!
4) Gogo Tomago-One of the major characters of the new Disney-Marvel animated film Big Hero 6, she is just amazing–a daredevil, an adrenaline junkie and a master at witty one-liners and sarcasm, so even though she doesn’t say much, you’ll always have fun with her. Not to mention she’s a mechanical engineering student! Tough and science? Always a good mix. (Did I mention she’s Korean?) Plus, she’s fiercely loyal and understanding–can’t judge by appearance!
5) Honey Lemon-Another major character part of the Big Hero 6 team, it is just hard not to love her–optimistic, bright, eccentric and highly-fashionable, Honey Lemon is super-sweet and quirky–but just like Gogo, can’t judge by appearance. She is a highly-intelligent chemistry whiz and runs an online boutique (and she’s Latina!). She loves chemistry, clothes, and her friends–she shows that you can definitely rock science in 6-inch platform heels!
6) Misty-The original female lead character of Pokemon, I loved Misty while growing up–she was my childhood idol, and the first female character I really looked up to. I would even try to do my hair like her! She’s energetic, outgoing and determined with a softer caring side, and it was always fun to see her friendships with Ash and Brock. Her never-give-up attitude and emotional investment in her friends and in herself makes her a perfect friend.
7) Geet Dhillion-the female lead in one of my favorite Bollywood films, Jab We Met, Geet breaks all stereotypes of a typical Bollywood heroine–she isn’t there to just serve as the love interest. Optimistic, impulsive, talkative, and always one to look on the bright side, Geet takes charge of her own life and speaks her mind about everything. Moreover, she isn’t afraid to be herself, and brushes off anyone who undermines her. She doesn’t fire guns or throw punches but she’s realistic, lovable, loyal, and of course, strong-hearted (and her spontaneity would make it so much fun to be her friend).
8) Ananya Swaminathan-the female lead of another favorite Bollywood film, 2 States, Ananya is all for breaking societal stereotypes–she calls the guy out when he says things like “you’re supposed to know how to cook, you’re a woman” and she herself will throw sharp remarks like, “It doesn’t take a guy a second to jump into bed but the moment you talk about commitment, they need ‘time to think’.” I love Ananya because she’s strong-willed, bold, confident, thinks for herself, and takes matters into her own hands. At the same time, she’s caring, emotional and loves her family enough that she won’t leave or hurt them, not even for a guy. And that, my friends, is the kind of woman and daughter anyone should love.