Being a girl, your birth is synonymous with the beginning of never-ending categorizing and labeling of who you are based on superficial and surface-level indicators. The groups are ubiquitous, even unavoidable. Whether you're a girly-girl, a tom-boy, an athlete, a strong and powerful female, a sensitive and submissive girl; the harsh and unfair reality is, strict guidelines are endowed upon girls, expecting them to follow suit all the assumptions of their labels.
In a progressive and more liberal area than previous times, it is safe to say the strong and powerful female is a desired look and entity, as it should be. The realization that women are entirely equal to and capable of anything their counterparts could accomplish is a truth whose recognition is far overdue.
Perhaps the literal embodiment of a strong, bad-ass female is Olivia Pope, a character in Shonda Rhimes series, Scandal, played by Kerry Washington.
Olivia Pope is D.C.'s greatest "fixer," assuring all the scandals and problems among Washington's elite stay hidden without repercussions. There is no stronger motif in the series than Olivia Pope getting her way. She is the ultimate powerful female, single-handedly keeping D.C. running.
Because of her bad-ass-ness and her bold personality, it is understandable that females would look up to her, wanting to be a strong woman as well. However, what the show also portrays rather eloquently is the struggles that Olivia faces. Growing up, being told to act strong and be brave, you forget that it is healthy, in fact, it is necessary, to embody your hardships and recognize that being strong does not mean you do not struggle.
Being a strong woman is being faced with adversity, allowing the battles to happen, admitting that you are not "okay," but then solving the problems to the best of your ability.
Without fully spoiling the show, Olivia Pope shows us that awful things can happen to powerful women. Olivia Pope also shows us that powerful women are allowed to struggle and break a little. But, what indicates a strong female is the ability to move forward and accept hard times, as Olivia Pope does.