It has gotten to a point where the media impacts almost every aspect of our lives. As we are constantly flooded with perfect, airbrushed images of people we aspire to be, it is particularly difficult for girls to not compare themselves to an unachievable goal. Since the media is such a powerful factor in girls’ lives, it is important to promote the message that girls can aspire to anything, and it’s important to have role models to be proud of. So, here are six heroines to look up to — from a quick-witted mechanic to a girl just growing up in New York City.
How could Hermione not make the cut? In a recent super computer discovery Hermione is more assertive than Voldemort himself. She’s been called “The Brightest Witch of Her Age” and was (let’s face it) the overall brains of the Golden Trio. Hermione overcame persecution as a “muggle-born” during the Second Wizarding War, and she later returned to Hogwarts to finisher her education. However, Hermione is defined not just by her intelligence but by her kindness and loyalty as well, and that is what makes her such an inspiration.
With the four-part movie series officially over, we have been hearing less about the girl on fire. However, she is still the heroine that seemed to spark the rise of powerful female leads on the big screen — a trend I hope to see continue. From the very beginning, everything Katniss did was to protect her family. She is a prime example of an unlikely hero, and her skills with a bow and arrow have inspired many girls to take up archery.
Star Wars has finally released the female heroine we knew it was capable of. We had Princess Leia in the original saga and Queen Amidala in the prequels, but now we have Rey: main character and unknown Jedi. There has been some controversy over Rey’s representation in the Star Wars merchandise — or lack thereof — but I think we can all agree that Rey is an amazing pilot, a crafty scavenger, and a powerful Jedi-in-training.
There are many inspirational and well-rounded female characters in the CW’s show The 100. However, I wanted to focus on Raven Reyes, an amazing mechanic and the only reason her comrades survived on multiple occasions. With her skills, she builds walkie-talkies, bullets, grenades, and bombs to keep her friends safe. She endures her fair share of trauma as the show continues, but she always seems to put on a brave face for those she cares about.
With the final installment of the Divergent series in theatres, Tris had to make the list. Her complex personality is what makes her unique in her story. In a world where you can belong to only one faction, embody one specific characteristic, Tris embodies three. She is brave, intelligent, and selfless. Throughout the series, Tris overcomes obstacle after obstacle — from learning to fight despite her small stature to rescuing countless lives and discovering the secrets outside the walls of her world. She proves that you can be more than just brave to make a difference.
I placed Riley at the end of this list not because she is less significant than the other heroines, but because she is unique. She is the main character in the Disney Channel show Girl Meets World. Riley overcomes the obstacles of growing up and maneuvering middle school. The show has a positive message for girls growing up and seems to have a life lesson in every episode. The young actress (Rowan Blanchard) is also an inspiration off screen as much as her fictional counterpart. She is an outspoken feminist and LGBTQ representative in a world that thinks fourteen-year-olds are too young to know about such issues. Both Riley and Rowan prove that you don’t have to be super to be original.
These lovely ladies are certainly not the only young women to look up to, but may this list remind you that girls can do and be anything they want. Who are your inspirations? Let us know!