Hello Moviepilot readers, and Happy International Women's Day, and International Women's month as a whole.
Little girls look up to role models. And before we are old enough to actually comprehend whose footsteps we should follow, film and television shows shape the way we think, and the way we act, and it's too true, more than our parents would ever care to admit.
For generations, movie heroines were depicted as always in distress and waiting for princes or any men who would rescue them from their dire situations. Aside from that, these heroines were always at odds with women. Thus, it was seen actually as a power struggle between women usually to get the attention of men. Before, we rarely see female characters (especially princesses) doing their own thing, doing what they want, and somehow even though most of their stories would end up in rainbows, and marriage and happily ever afters, we just watch for the plot and see how they would get there.
However, as women assert their rights and started to climb the ladder usually reserved for men, film outfits start to change their stereotyping of heroines..
So to commemorate the Women's Day here in Moviepilot, I enlisted some of my most favorite headstrong female characters, that though fictional, we could identify ourselves to them and they inspired us, even as kids they taught us how to stand up to ourselves, speak up, and never let anyone belittle us!
1. Fa, Mulan (Mulan, 1998)
As a child, one of my favorite animated movies is Mulan. I looked up to Fa, Mulan. The face of a true warrior, a very strong girl with conviction; defying cultural practices that reduce girls to subservient status because..
Her stubborn conviction got her in trouble she narrowly missed, but look where it got her.
2. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Film Series)
Hermione Granger? How do I even begin to explain Hermione?
Seriously though, a lot can be said about J.K. Rowling's iconic bookworm; the 'Brains' behind the Golden Trio, and without her, Harry and Ron would have barely missed death even in their earlier years in Hogwarts.
Aside from her obvious traits, whenever I think of something that best describes Hermione Granger, I come out with nothing, and instead, I just end up staring at her, brows furrowed in concentration, whenever I re-watch my favorite HP Films.
Emma Watson, the amazing woman who also portrayed Hermione Granger never ceases to amaze and surprise me. Although S.P.E.W. is a whole lot different from Emma's #HeForShe campaign, but they both crusade for equality.
Hermione's voice of reason is the one trait that made me want to be her best friend especially when I was six, and watching the very first HP movie.
3. Merida (Brave, 2012)
"Are you willing to pay the price your freedom will cost?"
A feisty teen princess. Yes, she could be considered reckless, but so are most of us in this stage. The title is a huge giveaway and I admire her for being brave, for fighting for the freedom she thinks she deserves, and even though seeking this freedom resulted in consulting a witch, and thus turning her mother into a bear, and yes even though it took her quite a while to realize the heavy consequences of her mistake, we can never really learn until we get out there. At least she owns up to it.
This movie could easily be one of my favorite animated films of all time. Merida doesn't need a man in her life to possibly dictate what to do with her life, and she can win her own hand.
4. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)
This list would be incomplete without The Girl On Fire. Many young girls and young adults look up to her, she has become a role model because of her selflessness, independence and staunch persistence in the face of danger . Katniss is also compared to Joan of Arc, more dangerous even, and she was born on the 8th of May, the day when Joan of Arc accomplished her first major victory: lifting the Siege of Orleans in 1429 (win-win!)
I haven't really seen and read The Hunger Games so I don't know how to further elaborate on Katniss' character, but I do know that she is the face of revolution and not some cave painting!
5, 6, 7. Elsa, Anna and Rapunzel (Frozen ; Tangled)
I think we've all seen these women in the recent movies. We've all been affected by the Frozen Fever, in one way or in another. We know how children have been affected by the Frozen Fever, I could almost say that hell hath frozen when kids at the theaters sang with Elsa during her Let It Go moment for the umpteenth time. Rapunzel on the other hand, I know a lot of us enjoyed this too. We all learned a thing or two, laughed at Mother Gothel's narcissistic remark when she was with Rapunzel staring at their mirror, and.. we all spotted this Frozen and Tangled connection:
All these three royalties have their own weaknesses: Elsa is her fear; fear of hurting those whom she loves, isolating herself from everybody to keep them from being hurt by her volatile superpowers. Anna and her naivety, because...
And of course, dear Rapunzel. Her weakness is trusting Mother Gothel, year after year every time she asks to leave the tower and Mother always repeatedly tell her that the outside world is harsh and cruel and Rapunzel is a fragile, weak stupid girl that must be protected. Well, maybe not exactly like that, but at least Rapunzel, though reluctant, did what she wasn't told. At least she's got a Frying Pan, Max and Pascal to protect her, though.
Tall, dark, and malicious are just a part of her charm.
Maleficent was once a young, strong, trusting, brave and beautiful fairy. The strongest of her kind; the guardian. And then some fool took off her wings for a crown! It is true heart-wrenching pain when we are betrayed by somebody we knew, trusted, and loved just for material gain. Pity.
We knew that she wasn't really wicked, and that she ACTUALLY cared about Aurora later in the film, and watched over her because the little pixies assigned to babysit her are so reckless. Because, hello?!
Anyway, when Maleficent finally realized that she loved Aurora, she decided to lift the curse, and it didn't work. But she was also the one who broke the curse, a kiss of true love, her motherly concern, right? That's how we redeemed her. Though she may appear wicked, we know she conceals a heart of gold.
Anyway my dear sisters, with one parting quote,Never let your wings be stolen from you; and May your wings be strong, May they carry you above the clouds and into the headwinds. May they never falter. Not even once.
Who are your favorite film heroines? Sound off in the comments below!