The Top Ten Bad Ass Female Role Models
I can't take credit for this top ten list. I had help this week from Olivia, a teen in my life who was kinda disappointed with how much DIVERGENT
was selling itself as a teen girl empowerment trip when there were so many other female characters who were bigger badasses. This is the list that Olivia compiled for me and her explanations as to why these hotties are the top ten best B
emale role models.
Kate Beckett is smart, beautiful and admired, without needing to wear revealing outfits or act like a silly schoolgirl when hot guys are around. Her mom was brutally killed, prompting her to change life directions from law school to the police force, using her brain to ferret out the bad guys. She's been shot through the heart and survived, long enough to fall for the dashing writer who'd been annoying her for years, never losing herself in the process.
Buffy kills vampires. That alone is pretty badass. But she's also died, gone to hell and come back to Earth. She lost her virginity to a vampire, one of the creatures she's been enlisted to eradicate. Her friends are witches and werewolves, her teachers are demons and she's suffered the heartbreak of losing a beloved parent. Buffy might have a goofy name but in all seriousness, she's remained one of the strongest female role models (with her quick wit, big heart and killer instincts) for young women for the past two decades.
Why would a young widow from Pennsylvania show up on a list that I expected Katniss Everdeen to be on? Here's the reasoning - "Katniss isn't really a badass on her own. She would still be in the woods if it weren't for the Hunger Games, staying low and keeping to herself. Plus, she does everything that they tell her to do instead of trying to figure out what she really wants for herself. But Tiffany knows who she is. She knows that she's not perfect and she owns up to that and doesn't apologize for it. She tries things that scare her instead of just doing what people want her to do, like take all those prescriptions or act like a nun because her husband died. And she stands up to all those superstitious old guys knowing more about the football stats than they did. Tiffany is a total BAMF," says Olivia. I gotta agree with her.
Mia does one of the hardest things that people can attempt doing - rips off her own hand. Sure, she also goes into detox in the middle of the spooky woods to kick drugs which is pretty hardcore as well. Getting possessed by an evil spirit, kicking that evilness out, wielding a chainsaw and getting doused in blood - all in a weekend's spooky work for one BAMF role model, that's for sure.
I had to ask my teen assistant why this newcomer to the vampire genre would rank higher than the ultimate (in my opinion) of the crew - Miss Buffy Summers. Olivia had a great reason. "Rose not only kicks vampire ass, she's half vampire herself. Because she's a half-breed, she endures a lot of negative stereotyping but continues being a badass anyway. She's not into all that super teen-y stuff that Buffy was and she does most of the hard work herself, instead of having help from friends all the time like Buffy did. Plus she's grown up without a father and her mother gave her up to the school, so she's had to raise herself."
Letty's a tomgirl who would rather drive fast and fix cars with the boys than be bothered with the girlier things in life. Moreso, she's all those badass things without losing her femininity or bothering to worry what people are going to say about her for being that hard grease monkey. Many of the female characters in TV and movies are shown as being dolled up while supposedly getting dirty but Letty is grungy and still a sex symbol to the men in the films proving that stereotypes are even cooler when they're broken.
When we were first introduced to Michonne on "The Walking Dead," she was surviving in the zombie apocalypse by herself, mingling amongst the walkers without a crew of other misfits to help her - unless you count the armless, jawless "pets" that she kept with her. The brutal force of Michonne when she uses her katana blade to slice through pile ups of undeaddies is awe inspiring. The tenderness that we've seen from her as she grew to trust others and live in a group showed her humanity, proving that it's OK to be a badass with a softer side.
Currently the only female to be kicking ass alongside all of those other male superheros, there's no special suit for Black Widow, no other worldly gifts and no technological accident having resulted in mutant powers. She's only a super spy who can fight hand-to-hand and win against dudes far bigger than her, speak multiple languages, psychologically overpower gods and hardly chip a nail in the process. Black Widow is proof that girls can not only play with the big boys but they can outwit and outlast them in the process.
The eldest daughter in a household of misfits, Fiona Gallagher could have just been another hot piece of ghetto ass who got knocked up as a teenager and fed off the system. Instead she takes care of her 5 siblings and drunken lout of a father who is constantly screwing shit up. While she might not have superpowers, Fiona has the fortitude to survive and still kick ass in a screwed up piece of American reality. Plus, in season three alone she had to dig up a dead body and cut the toe off another corpse. All without losing her enviable (and often proudly nude) figure.
What people tend to want to forget or overlook is the fact that Daenerys was still a teenager when her brother sold her off in marriage to the Khal Drogo. The indignity that she went through being paraded around practically nude to be judged acceptable marriage material only to be treated as a possession after the union was enough to make her a total badass alone. But then she learns to find her way to power, controlling her new husband and people. After his death, she gives birth to freakin' dragons! While other females in the show jockey to ascertain power through the men they are with, Khaleesi has the stones to rule without a dude to stand behind. Girl power to the ultimate degree.