The problem with talking about “Strong Female Characters” (in quotes) is that they are often lumped together into one amorphous blob of strength, power, intelligence, beauty, and ruthlessness. People talk about them as if they are all the same – there are “strong” women and “weak” women. Really, though, our favorite ladies come in all shapes, flavors, and income brackets. Here is just a ~sampling~ of our favorite fictional women! (And remember, nobody’s perfect.)
1. Wise Women – Money can’t buy you class. Elegance is learned, my friends. These ladies – sorry, WOMEN – have learned a thing or two in their time, and they will happily put you in your place.
Violet Crawley (Downton Abbey), Emily Gilmore (Gilmore Girls), Victoria Grayson (Revenge), Clair Huxtable (Cosby Show)
2. HBICs – Move, bitch, get out of her way. The HBIC – short for Head Bitch in Charge – is willing to do what it takes to get ahead. Ask her how many fucks she gives, and she’ll have you disemboweled before you can finish the sentence. (The answer is “zero,” thanks for asking.)
Lilah Morgan (Angel), Adelle DeWitt (Dollhouse), Regina George (Mean Girls), Amanda Clark (Revenge), Julie Cooper (The OC), Ruby (Supernatural)
3. Hot Chicks with Superpowers – Into every generation…one girl is granted the power to save the world and look totally awesome while she does it.
Buffy Summers (Buffy), Claire Bennet (Heroes), Caroline / Echo (Dollhouse), Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood)
4. The Quiet Ones – The ones to watch out for. Brainy, tight-lipped, and presumably naive. They keep their power well concealed, and that’s what makes them so dangerous. When they finally explode, it’s always a surprise.
Rory Gilmore (Gilmore Girls), Peggy Olsen (Mad Men), Willow Rosenberg (Buffy), Fred Burkle (Angel), Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
5. Warrior Women – Protecting the people they love. Usually with a withering stare, firearms, and a leather jumpsuit. If you expect femininity to translate to weakness, you will be sorely disappointed.
Martha Jones (Doctor Who), Black Widow (Avengers), Zoe Washburn (Firefly), Maria Hill (Avengers), Kendra (Buffy), Gwen Cooper (Torchwood)
6. I Don’t Want to Wait!– Teenage girls with big city dreams. They’re often very easy to underestimate, which is, like, totally your loss. One minute they seem content, and the next they’re knocking you off your feet and/or bringing you to tears with the sweet complexity of their simple comment about toasters and being yourself.
Zelda (Squaresville), Angela Chase (My So-Called Life), Enid Coleslaw (Ghost World), Hannah Horvath (Girls), Joey Potter (Dawson’s Creek)
7. Wildcard! – I don’t really know how what’s going on inside her head, but I’m too intimidated to try to figure it out.
Jenna Maroney (30 Rock), River Tam (Firefly), Marissa Cooper (The OC), Sookie St. James (Gilmore Girls), Illyria (Angel)
8. Headstrong Femme-inists – Can you slow it down, please? I didn’t catch a word you said. These ladies usually talkreallyfast, dress a little provocatively, and can make you rethink your stance on equal pay for women in maybe 2 minutes. Don’t call her a ditz; she is fierce, and probably a million times more intelligent than you.
Summer Roberts (The OC), Amy Pond (Doctor Who), Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls), Taylor Townsend (The OC), Cordelia Chase (Buffy & Angel), Leslie Knope (Parks and Recreation)
9. Snark Attack – Some people say that sarcasm is just a defense mechanism used to cope with insecurity. *eyeroll* Those people can go to hell. The Snark Attack ranges from deadpan (George) to downright punny (Lemon), but she’s always ready with a witty rebuttle.
George Lass (Dead Like Me), Daria (Daria), Esther (Squaresville), Veronica Mars (Veronica Mars), Liz Lemon (30 Rock), April Ludgate (Parks and Recreation)
10. The Free Spirit – Her style is infectious, and she never seems to have a care in the world. She’ll let you think she’s more put together than she really is. And no matter what, you’ll never forget her.
Denise Cosby (Cosby Show), Rayanne Graff (My So-Called Life), Alex Russo (Wizards of Waverly Place), Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter)