Growing up, females are conditioned to a very gender-biased environment where they are held back from doing things their brothers were encouraged to do. However, some females in popular culture acted like true inspirational role models that young women today really need to have because, in the real world, it is hard to escape sexism.
Carol Peletier from The Walking Dead
After having lived through domestic violence, Carol became one of the most badass people in Rick’s group. Not only is she a great fighter (and killer), she is willing to do things for the group’s survival that others would cower from. (Ref: “Just look at the flowers)
Sarah Bloom from Wish I Was Here
We often see stories of men supporting women but Wish I Was Here was one of the rare movies which featured not just a woman staying toe-to-toe with her man but, a woman, who supports her husband’s dreams, her two children and her dying father-in-law. An apt matriarch, it is inspirational to watch Sarah, even though she’s fictional.
Hermione Granger from Harry Potter
For every person who grew up watching Harry Potter (which is literally everyone), Hermione Granger was the subtle element of women empowerment ever she was little. She’s smart, resourceful, and doesn’t back down when she shouldn’t. Apart from her never-die attitude, she’s compassionate and kind and binds her friends together.
Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings
In a male-centred world, Eowyn’s stubbornness to prove herself to her father that she is no less than a boy, led her to become a pivotal step in the fall of Sauron.
Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender
Following her mother’s death, barely a pre-teen at the time, Katara stepped up to take up so much responsibility. Taking care of her entire family herself, she filled the hole after her mother’s untimely demise. Aside from that, she stood up against the age-old sexist traditions of her culture and managed to revolutionise her world.
Ellen Ripley from Alien
Back in 1979, when women barely had any strong female leads in fiction, Sigourney Weaver broke the glass ceiling as Ellen Ripley in Alien. Ripley is not a damsel in distress waiting to be rescued, she is the one who does the rescuing.
Mulan from Mulan
Disney’s first strong female characters weren’t Anna and Elsa from Frozen. Based on a Chinese legend, Mulan stepped up to take her old father’s place in war by disguising herself as a man, establishing that women can do everything a man can.
Diana Prince/Wonder Woman from DC Universe
The list is incomplete without the Amazon warrior. She’s as badass as they come and she’s been around for millennia. With boys having their Superman and Batman to look up to, Wonder Woman motivated women to be brave, and strong.
Rose from Titanic
Breaking her family’s rules and traditions, Rose followed her heart which led her to find true love and happiness. She had the courage to walk away from her “stable”, arranged marriage and ended up living a happy life.
Avatar Korra from The Legend of Korra
To have the whole world wanting you to be their problem-solver isn’t easy. And to be that when you’re just a teenager is a disaster. However, Korra stared right in the eyes of death several times, willing to lay down her own life to protect the people who don’t really adore her. She became a symbol of strength and persistence after having endured depression, PTSD and torture.
Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff from Avengers
Having been trained as an assassin, Natasha kept her human side intact while balancing it out with the measures she needed to take to keep the world safe.
Erin Brockovich from Erin Brockovich
Based on the story of the real Erin Brockovich, Julia Roberts won hearts as the person who saved several lives by standing up to an energy corporation, who were polluting the environment, causing several deaths.
Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada
Even today, for a woman, stand her ground by herself in an industry is uncommon because it takes a lot more for them to achieve the things that men have been entitled to. In spite of that, Miranda managed to lead a successful business by not showing a shred of vulnerability, regardless of her struggles.
Eleven from Stranger Things
One could question why Eleven is on this list and there’s a very good reason for it. Eleven grew up in a lab, surrounded by people who controlled her, and when she left, she had this remarkable vigour to protect the people around her, only because she understood their horror and knew what it is to live through agony.
Maggie Rhee from The Walking Dead
Maggie lost it all, her family her home and not to walkers, to humans who intended to hurt her and Rick’s crew. She wept, wiped her tears, dusted herself off and got right back up. She’s the matriarch that the group has always needed, warmer than Rick and yet, tough as steel.
Annalise Keating from How To Get Away With Murder
One would argue that she’s weak because there probably hasn’t been a single episode where she hasn’t had a breakdown. But, her strength lies in persistence. After having lived through the murder of her husband, and her name being pushed through the mud, she would still strive towards protecting her subordinates just because she “promised to keep them safe.”
Arya Stark from Game of Thrones
Perhaps the strongest woman (and person) there is in the entire Westeros, Arya Stark set sail to a different world, surviving through the odds, after having had most of her family murdered. She’s cold, relentless and extremely intelligent (which is precisely why she’s still alive).