Female empowerment and equality has become an increasingly discussed topic, but celebrity spokespeople are often unable to personally connect with regular girls despite their platforms. However, one literary heroine has touched and influenced thousands of young women since 1930 and continues to be a positive role model for new fans. With her retro style and independent spirit, Nancy Drew inspires both readers and players of the series to never give up. She has become an iconic symbol of what young women can do with a little willpower.
There might be thousands of role models in the world, but there is only one teenager sleuth who has so significantly impacted generations of girls. The fact that she is fictitious cannot diminish her legendary status or the following lessons Nancy Drew teaches and lives every case.
1. Be curious.
Most fans and readers would probably agree that each case starts with Nancy’s undeniable curiosity, whether through finding a coded message or just feeling women’s intuition. Players, especially, can appreciate Nancy’s determination even when she realizes that someone else’s drawer or safe is locked. Where there is a will and lock picking kit, there is a way. One little security alarm has never stopped her from pursuing her goals, and fear or hesitation should never disguise our own potential. As Nancy discovers in each case, accepting and following one’s curiosity leads to new adventures, knowledge, and memories.
2. Test boundaries.
Nancy’s idea of this lesson might include the physical boundaries of someone else’s property, but she also exemplifies the importance of testing one’s own boundaries or expected limitations. Many people, especially her adversaries, frequently imply that she cannot make much of an impact because she is a young woman. Even though this message did not seem as dated during its original production, modern adaptions of Nancy Drew are still addressing these implications. She does not possess any actual training in dealing with criminals, but she epitomizes how to think objectively and analytically so that the truth is always revealed. She recognizes that she has her own strengths and weaknesses. However, what makes her truly fearless is the fact that she constantly tests her capabilities and never lets her weaknesses get the best of her.
3. Appreciate your family.
Even though Nancy deserves most of the credit for foiling every villainous scheme in her series, she likely would not be nearly as successful without support from her loved ones. For instance, whenever she finds herself in trouble with the law, she can trust her father to get in touch with the right connections. Carson Drew is actually a wonderful example of a good parent because he offers Nancy the perfect balance of rightful overprotectiveness and trust. Similarly, whenever Nancy might need motherly advice, housekeeper Hannah Gruen is ready and willing. Nancy is legendarily capable of taking care of herself, but her strength stems from the people who have raised her.
4. Treasure your friends.
Of course, her friends also play valuable roles in her life, whether in River Heights or an unmapped part of the globe. Even though Nancy is at least somewhat famous around the world, she remembers her roots and treasures her local friends. Without the flighty Bess Marvin and tomboyish George Fayne, Nancy might not be nearly as genuine or down-to-earth. Bess and George have also proven to be valuable teammates on several adventures, whether through distracting or questioning potential suspects. They might not be as experienced as Nancy or the Hardy Boys, but these cousins add real girl power and perspective to each case.
5. Embrace love.
In addition to love from her family and friends, Nancy also claims the love of hopeless romantic Ned Nickerson. Of course, as they learn and must overcome quite often, love between two young people just starting their lives and careers is rarely easy. Despite the seriousness of their relationship, Nancy understands and teaches that love requires compromise, not simply sacrifice. As a strong and independent woman, she refuses to give up her life as an international sleuth filled with drama and discovery to sit contently at home. Instead, she tries to find a balance. Despite the fact that theirs is often a long-distance relationship, Nancy always makes it a habit to stay in contact with Ned and promise a happy reunion whenever the case is complete.
6. Be yourself.
This might sound a little strange considering Nancy has assumed a new name or identity on multiple occasions. However, Nancy recognizes her individuality when it really matters. More important than any other lesson Nancy Drew has taught us over the past several decades is to be oneself. After all, what is more empowering than unapologetically accepting and sharing every aspect that makes someone unique? As an iconic female figure, Nancy accepts and flaunts each unmistakable quality, from her classic attire to her infamous stubbornness. Bess and George have also learned to appreciate themselves for who they are as young women, including their personalities and physical appearances. Instead of settling or trying to act and look like society expects, these three understand that confidence and self-acceptance are all that truly matter.