***WARNING: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS***
I can enjoy reading/watching stories about damsels in distress, but nothing gets me as excited as having a strong woman to look up to. Here are my ten favorites.
10. Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre has a deep inner strength that I've admired from the moment I first read the book. I call it the perfect classical romance novel.
Watching her deal with being locked in a room as a child, having to make her own living when it was a difficult time for women to do so, deal with a psycho (literally) wife who wished to kill her, and suffering through homelessness was unbelievable to read about. She never loses her strength to keep trying and to always do the right thing, even when that meant leaving a rich man she was madly in love with and living on the streets as a result.
9. Debra Morgan from Dexter
She's a homicide detective who is often one step ahead of her colleagues. If it wasn't for her, the police in Miami wouldn't capture half the murderers they do. She's been through a lot, from having an ex-boyfriend try to kill her (Brian Moser) to watching her lover (Lundy) die in front of her while she was hopeless to stop it. And she still always works hard. She has so much inner strength to keep doing what she does and the body to match as well. She is one of the only women I've ever seen who can swear like a sailor, while still staying feminine.
8. Daria Morgendorffer from Daria
When I was a teen, I didn't fit in. I was nerdy, quiet, and I wore glasses. Daria made me feel good about myself. The fact that I hated sports and would sometimes put as little effort into trying to hit the ball wasn't so bad. Daria does in the theme song where she half-heartedly sticks out her hand, but doesn't move. She didn't care what anyone thought and would always speak her mind.
7. Game of Thrones - Daenerys Targaryen and Arya Stark
I couldn't choose just one character. I am still on season one of Game of Thrones, but I'm impressed by what I've seen so far. Arya learning how to fight like men do and not accepting her role in society or the pressure people put on her has earned my admiration. Daenerys was so weak at the beginning of the series, letting her own brother strip her naked and force her to marry another man, but since then, she's gained her voice and proved her worth. She's a strong woman who was able to adapt to her new homeland and use her power to conquer the men who try to oppress her. Even my boyfriend was cheering for her in the last episode we saw where her brother attacked her and she fought him off.
6. Olivia Pope from Scandal
Every week that I watch the show, I wonder how Olivia Pope will get her clients out of their predicaments and the results make me amazed by how smart she is. She's the kind of woman anyone would want fighting in their corner. She protects people's reputations and keeps them out of jail. She takes such a personal interest in her work that she has a whole staff of broken people working for her. "Olivia likes to fix things" whether they are her friends or her job. And her gut is what? Never wrong.
The idea that there was a monster out there with snakes for hair and eyes that could turn you into stone with one gaze was nightmare fuel when I was a child. As an adult, she became a fascination of mine and my current WIP is a retelling of her story. I can't wait for you guys to read it!
She really got to my heart when I learned the story of her being raped and turned into a terrifying monster because of it.
4. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games
All lists these days of strong women seem to have Katniss Everdeen in them. I love that she's beautiful and yet hates to shave her legs. She certainly doesn't fit the usual stereotype of corset wearing, model-like strong women that appear in most stories. She carried her family after her father's death and can kill anything with a bow. Watching her go through the Hunger Games without losing her morals or her mind set my admiration in stone.
3. Roseanne from Roseanne
I've known a lot of people who claim that the two worst traits a woman can have are being overweight and bitter. Not only is Roseanne fat and sarcastic, but she's proud of it, too. I felt the pressure of trying to lose weight and act like a sweet girl fading more and more as I watched the show. I'm allowed to have a voice and just because I may not look perfect doesn't mean I have no value as a human being. I could never thank Roseanne enough for inspiring me to feel good about being who I am. After all, if she doesn't apologize for it, why should I feel the need to?
2. Charlene Elizabeth Baltimore from The Long Kiss Goodnight
I grew up on this movie. I watched it for the first time when I was eleven years old with my mother, who loved to say "Chefs do that." She probably wasn't the best role model for a tween girl, but she was the first fictional woman I ever admired who could beat bad guys up and would do anything for her family. Goodbye Disney Princesses.
1. Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
She'll always be my favorite strong woman. She has an amazing heart and the ability to beat any supernatural creature she comes across. Usually, I hate cheerleaders, but Buffy wasn't stupid, like the stereotype. She is beautiful and sassy. She cries, but she still looks strong doing it.
Who do you think should have made it to this list? I'd love to hear your opinions!