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Three Fictional Women That Have Inspired Me

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

Many of the women who have helped shape my thoughts and beliefs have been fictional characters. I am so incredibly thankful to the many women in my real life who have played a role to help raise me, but there are some that I find most influential who are completely made up. 

Despite being characters brought to life through writing and acting, many of these women make me feel seen. They have played a role in my academics and values and simply have helped make life a little more bearable. They may not exist the way we do, but their efforts and beliefs truly do embody many of the principles I hope to live by. This is a list of fictional characters I firmly look up to because they have been making strides that teach us all a little something.

Paris Geller

Paris Geller is my spirit animal. She was portrayed by Lisa Weil in the show “Gilmore Girls.” Paris is fierce, strong, and practically the definition of determination. She has always stayed true to herself, and was unapologetically unique even when others thought she was “too much.” 

Paris also got up and tried even harder every time she was knocked down. She faced several challenges throughout the show. Paris had to deal with the most complex divorce in history, getting rejected from her dream school, wishy-washy friends, losing her nanny, perhaps the most pressure anyone has ever endured, and even some heartbreaks along the way. She was proactive and taught us that everything in life is a learning opportunity.

More times than not, Paris got the short end of the stick. She worked harder than everyone else (ahem, Rory) and still was often stuck in the shadows. That never stopped her, however. It served as fuel for her to continue working towards her goal, and in the end, she was incredibly successful.

Throughout the show, she was student-body president, Editor-in-Chief of both her high school and the Yale Daily News, got into multiple Ivy League schools, and prepared for both medical and law school. She also found a way to combine both medical and legal professions, all while being there for her community in her own quirky ways.

Retreat I Think Not Season 4 GIF by Gilmore Girls  - Find & Share on GIPHY


Elle Woods

The iconic film “Legally Blonde” stars Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods. Elle literally woke up one day and decided that she was going to go to law school. Despite her questionable reasons, making that decision on a whim and getting into Harvard Law is incredibly impressive. Elle Woods was also one of the first women on screen who showed us that you can be feminine, embody that, and still be an academic. 

In the film, Elle Woods also remains kind and humble when her peers continuously belittle her for her self-expression. She worked hard in law school and got to work on and win a prominent legal case in her first year.

Elle was incredibly inspiring before her time at Harvard Law. She had a 4.0 GPA, was incredibly involved, and was even president of her sorority. Her law school application showed us that she was innovative as well. In addition to her accomplishments, Elle was an incredible friend, even to those who in the past treated her poorly. She taught us all about forgiveness, not giving up, and hard work.

Reese Witherspoon What Like Its Hard GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment - Find & Share on GIPHY

Petra Solano

Finally, we have Petra Solano. She is played by Yael Groblas on “Jane The Virgin.” Petra inspires me because she shows us that change is possible. At the beginning of the show, she was incredibly selfish and went to extreme lengths to get what she wanted. As the show progressed, so did her character.

Petra went from being someone who would do anything for money and power, to someone who truly had the best intentions for her family. She was a wonderful mother to her twins, and it showed in their kind and educated characters. She was also an incredibly good friend to Jane, and her love for J.R. showed in every word she spoke. She also was really good at working out the dynamics of her blended family, a task that could not be easy given how that one came to be.

She had a hard upbringing, and she immigrated to the United States from the Czech Republic in hope of something better. Through lots of hard work and perseverance, Petra made this happen. The love and dedication she gave The Marbella showed just how strongly she wanted to give herself and her daughters a strong, lasting legacy, and that is incredibly powerful.

Petra is the embodiment of change, hard work, and grit. She is stubborn in the best way, caring, and so determined.

Confused Jane The Virgin GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Honorary Mention: Candace Flynn

Phineas and Ferb’s sister Candace Flynn is the original girl boss. This article on her proves it. Despite literally everyone thinking she was absolutely nuts, Candace continued to watch out for her brothers and constantly showed she was an honest woman by telling her parents. That is one hard quality to continuously demonstrate, so power to her.

Candace was also an incredibly intelligent girl who went on to law school, which is not an easy place to get into. She used her “busting” skills to do so. She always strived for more and cared deeply about the greater good and that makes her a wonderful role model, even if her brothers didn’t see it as such. 

Phineas And Ferb Candace GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Inspirational people come in many forms, even fictional ones. These women are incredibly influential to me. They have helped shape many of my values and beliefs. Their strong personalities, dedication, and ability to always be themselves are so inspiring, and I’m so thankful they exist.

Noelia Salazar

CU Boulder '23

Noelia is majoring in international affairs with a minor in communications. She is passionate about social change and bringing light to topics not talked about enough. She loves books, makeup, and coffee. In her free time, she's probably rewatching Gilmore Girls.