10 Empowered Fictional Women

10 Leading Ladies Who Surpassed Societal Norms And Stole The Show

Who run the world? GIRLS.


I'm proud to be female - women are a group so empowered that we let very little stand in our way. Or at least that's what I've started to believe here lately.

Sadly though, women are still competing to be equal to men. We see this through inequities in salaries and the pink tax, but what about the more implicit parts of being a woman? One thing I've noticed is that strong women do not get much representation in Hollywood. Us normal ladies are told to push through what society expects of us as women, but we're just shown girls that submit to the wills of the men in their lives via our entertainment. This leaves us with very few examples to model ourselves after. These 10 women, however, perfectly exemplify ways to break barriers to run the world as Queen Bey declared we should.

1. Olivia Pope

Olivia Pope

On "Scandal," Olivia Pope is the person you want to know. Not only is she amazing at her job, but she is a black woman working for a conservative president.

2. Jane Villanueva

Jane Villanueva

As the title of the show, "Jane the Virgin," suggests, Jane avoids societal and peer pressure to have sex before marriage while also pursuing her dream of being a published romance author.

3. Daphne Vasquez

Daphne Vasquez

Many of the "Switched at Birth" plotlines revolved around Daphne's struggles as a deaf teenager that was switched at birth and raised in a poor Latino family rather than an upper class white family. I'm pretty sure that goes against every societal expectation ever in existence.

4. Lorelai Gilmore

Lorelai Gilmore

Anyone who has ever seen even just one episode of "Gilmore Girls" knows Lorelai Gilmore doesn't even fit on the social norm spectrum. She ran away from her parents' mansion as a teen mom and raised her daughter in a shed at an inn until they got up on their feet.

5. Rachel Green

Rachel Green

Rachel's introduction on "Friends" is about as untraditional as it gets: she runs into Central Perk in her wedding dress as she leaves her fiancé at the altar. She abandons her upper class lifestyle to build her own life from the bottom up. Very rarely does a woman do that in either real life or on TV.

6. Jane Bingum

Jane Bingum

As she struggles to impersonate the lawyer she has become, "Drop Dead Diva's" Jane Bingum drifts further and further away from the vain model she once was. Her character illustrates that there's nothing wrong with being an intelligent woman and indulging in the glamorous parts of life at the same time.

7. Mia Thermopolis 

Mia Thermopolis

In the first "Princess Diaries" movie, Mia really is just a normal, flirty high school girl. However, when she begins training to be a queen in the second movie, she does not allow her new country to force her into marriage with someone she doesn't love. Additionally, she uses much of her clout to empower the young women she meets throughout the film.

8. Dr. Temperance Brennan

Dr. Temperance Brennan

Dr. Brennan proves that women can be just as smart, if not smarter, than men. In almost every episode of "Bones," it is her discovery that leads to solving the crime.

9. Robin Scherbatsky

Robin Scherbatsky

Robin doesn't buy into the marriage and kids path to happiness. Instead, she focuses on her career and discovering who she wants to be throughout her "How I Met Your Mother" storyline. Robin only gets married when she's truly in love, and even then she maintains her status as "one of the guys" rather than a lady.

10. Leslie Knope

Leslie Knope

In addition to teaching a group of young girls, the Pawnee Goddesses, how to be BA women like she is, Leslie Knope from "Parks and Recreation" sees no barriers on the basis of gender and is always pushing through the glass ceiling to assert herself as a powerful human being.

What are you waiting for with this powerful roster of ladies in the media to look up to? Embrace your quirks and personality!

Popular Right Now

I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.

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

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

An Open Letter To The Middle-Aged, White Men Of Various State Governments Who Think They Own My Body

First off, I would like to express how disappointed I am in all of you.


To the middle-age, white men of various state governments,

First off, I would like to express how disappointed I am in all of you. Do you even know what you are trying to do here?

In recent light, both Ohio, yes this state, and Georgia are trying to ban not only abortions but also birth control and miscarriages. First off, do you even know how to ban a miscarriage? A miscarriage is something a woman cannot control most of the time. From personal experience, my best friend's mom went through three miscarriages, and she didn't want them to happen at all.

Second, I hope it goes through your mind that birth control is not just for preventing pregnancy. I'm on birth control myself, but it is to control horrible cramps I had growing up and to keep my hormones in balance. I know people who have birth control for other medical reasons, like endometriosis and PCOS. Do you know what those are? Please do your research.

This was all written before Wednesday.

As more news comes into the light, especially with today's due date coming up, I'm seeing that even Alabama is trying to ban abortions, and there is no exception with rape. I'm sorry, but this is just all messed up.

If this is the government's way of trying to put us into a better future, they are making the future horrid for women.

This is not becoming the United States of America. This is becoming Gilead.

Yeah, Gilead. Have you read "The Handmaid's Tale"? If not or have not seen the Hulu series, I'll give a summary. Women are stripped of their rights and are put into a position where they have to bear children for powerful people. They don't get a say and are pretty much silenced into submission.

Let me talk about something that I'm pretty sure you've heard in the news already.

There is a girl in my state. Yes, Ohio. She is 11 years old, she was raped, and now she's pregnant. She learned she was six weeks and one day pregnant, and now she can't have an abortion. Why might you ask? Because this stupid Heartbeat Bill is preventing her. Even this new legislation is preventing her. NO ONE AT 11-YEARS-OLD SHOULD BE PREGNANT! THIS WASN'T HER CHOICE! Don't let her live with this and have to go through giving birth.

Oh, wait. She's going to have to because of these things.

So shame on all of the people involved. Shame on the government. Shame on these pro-life people that want to do away with safe abortion. Shame.

To those that are reading this and want to do something, you can. Call your state representative, vote in elections, voice your opinion, anything.

This whole thing not only has me worried for women of the United States, myself, and my future daughter if I have one.

I am in charge of my own body, not the American government and these "men".


A 20-year-old college student, a liberal democrat, a woman who uses birth control, and a fighter.

Related Content

Facebook Comments