8 Autistic Female Characters You Should Know About

8 Autistic Female Characters You Should Know About

Ten years ago, as an autistic child, I didn't see myself in media. Today I can.
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As an autistic kid, I didn't often see characters who were explicitly autistic, let alone autistic and female. In the rare case that I did, it usually came through a Lifetime Original Movie™ highlighting the tragedy of autism, of how a person with autism wasn't a person at all - they were an inconvenience. They were a nuisance. They were annoying. According to media at the time, girls didn't have autism. Oh no - they highlighted autistic boys. At the time, there were no autistic female characters for me to with which to identify as a kid; it was disheartening to see so little of me in media. Thankfully, today I am able to see and relate to a few autistic female characters* in TV shows and video games. Want to know more about them? Look at the list below.

*There will be mention of characters who have, by the show/video games creators, not confirmed to be autistic or otherwise on the autism spectrum but are on the list because of their representative traits.

1. Fiona Helbron, Elementary

While researching information for this article, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of female autistic characters that have cropped up in recent media. Fiona Helbron is no exception. She might initially be seen as displaying overtly stereotypical autistic symptoms - social awkwardness, difficult with eye contact, etc. - but, over the course of her time on the show, she interacts with the show's protagonists in positive ways, in relation to both character and story.

2. Brigid Tenenbaum, BioShock

Creator Ken Levine specifically states that Tenenbaum is a high-functioning autistic Jewish woman in Bioshock. She is a flawed character who reflects the world that she had been forced to grow up in; her passion for science influences the trajectory of her story arc and the lives of countless others in the video game franchise.

3. Temperance "Bones" Brennan, Bones

While not explicitly stated as autistic, "Bones" displays many characteristic traits of autistic individuals, more so Asperger's syndrome. She is incredibly intelligent and has a dry sense of humor; she also has trouble with social interaction and has an intense interest (and skill!) in forensic anthropology.

4. Tina Belcher, Bob's Burgers

Again, while not mentioned as autistic - Louise makes a odd joke in the pilot episode stating Tina's supposed autism - Tina does have many traits that convey as such. She has several special interests (horses, zombies, boys), needs more time to understand social cues, and speaks in a seemingly flat/robotic manner. These traits don't solely define her as a character, though; she is able to have crazy/funny adventures with her family.

5. Julia, Sesame Street




A relatively new character, Sesame Street's Julia is an initiative, through their app and online videos, in providing autism awareness and acceptance. Julia is especially relevant to young children with autism, their parents, and their peers.

6. Symmetra, Overwatch

There is a theory floating around the Overwatch fanbase that Symmetra is autistic. Especially evident in the digital tie-in comic short "A Better World", Symmetra displays such traits as disliking large swathes of people, difficulty with socializing, limited scopes of empathy, and preference for structured environments.

7. Saga Noren, The Bridge

The protagonist of the Scandinavian crime drama The Bridge, Saga Noren, is currently lauded by social media as being one of the few female main characters in a TV show with autism. And so should she. Her actress Sofia Helin refers to the condition as such in interviews and researched it before filming began. The research paid off in a big way: Saga's display of autistic symptoms - lack of awareness in social situations, difficulty relating to others, extreme bluntness - have amassed both critical acclaim and appreciative praise from fans.

8. Suzanne Warren, Orange is The New Black

Her disability has yet to be stated in-show, but Suzanne Warren, nicknamed "Crazy Eyes" by inmates in the first season, is portrayed as having symptoms similar to that of autism. As demonstrated in the Netflix hit, these symptoms include difficulty understanding social interactions/cues (latching onto Piper, telling a story about dragons/death to kids at a sleepover when she was a kid), repetitive movements (hits herself), insistence on routine and structure (her hair). She is initially portrayed as a nuisance by other characters in the first season (hence the nickname); in season two and beyond, her characterization and story arc is further fleshed out.

As of now, there are, and should be, more examples of autistic female characters in the future other than those in this list. As of now, only a small percentage of autistic characters in fiction are female or otherwise not male. Today, though their numbers are small, they are growing. Today, it's a different, slightly better story. Let's hope the trend continues, and expands even further in the future.

Cover Image Credit: Sesame Street Workshop

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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11 Amazing TV Shows That Are Ending in 2019

All good things must come to an end.

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It might just be the beginning of 2019 but there are many TV series wrapping up already. There are many breathtaking and original pilots around along with several reboots coming. This might be one of the greatest year for TV.

However, all good things must come to an end. Some series have been planned out and are going to be finished while others have been cut short. Sadly, here's a list of TV series to say goodbye to this year.

1. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Final Date: May

12 Seasons//279 episodes

2. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

www.youtube.com

Final Date: End of 2019

7 seasons//91 episodes

3. Jane the Virgin (CW)

www.flickr.com

Final Date: Mid-late 2019

5 seasons//100 episodes

4. Games of Thrones (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Summer

8 Seasons//73 episodes

5. Broad City (Comedy Central)

Comedy Central

Final Date: March

5 seasons//50 episodes

6. VEEP (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Spring

7 seasons//67 episodes

7. Homeland (Showtime)

Showtime

Final date: Summer

8 seasons//96 episodes

8. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Final date: January 25

4 seasons//52 episodes

9. The Affair (Showtime)

Amazon

Final Date: End of 2019

5 seasons//42 episodes

10. Friends From College (Netflix)

Final Date: End of 2019

2 seasons//16 episodes

11. Crashing (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: End of 2019

3 seasons//24 episodes

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