A Fictional Character with Real Life Impact

When I was younger, I wanted to dive into a different world and be something more than reality allowed. For me, I was one of many kids who got wrapped up in the world of Harry Potter. Ever since I can remember my parents have shown me movies such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and endless Disney films, each movie holding their own version of a fantastical world. But, when I was given the first Harry Potter book from my mom it became more real than simply watching fiction come to life on the screen. I engulfed myself in the magic and the characters. The book was more inspirational than I ever thought could be possible coming from words on a page.  

I got really into the books when I was in middle school, which is a complicated time for most people. I had just moved to a new school and wasn’t sure what would happen or who I would be. During my first few weeks at school I was struggling. I had always prided myself on being smart and working hard but suddenly that wasn’t “cool”. I had never thought too much about my appearance but my new school made me believe that my curly hair and lack of makeup was not what was deemed beautiful. I needed something to tell me that I could be strong, and that who I was and what I looked like was okay. As I got more into the Harry Potter books, a realization hit me. Hermione Granger, one of the main characters in the book, held many qualities that I too encompassed and she did it all while being a strong female leader. Everything I did not like about myself, Hermoine accepted within herself. She was smart, brave, and beautiful. Through her confidence and perseverance, I began to use her strength as an inspiration for who I was, without any apologies. 

Now looking back, I am so happy I was able to find this inspiration, even if it was in a fictional world. Despite the fact that Hermoine was not real I was able to connect with her struggles, her characteristics​, and her life.  Even though I wasn’t flying on a broomstick outside of my middle school in Texas, I felt her struggles with her friends and within her differences, as if they were my own. Up until that point, I never understood how people could invest so much of themselves in a world that didn’t exist. I didn’t know how something with no grasp in my reality could affect who I was so drastically.

Now I know that without these movies and books in my life I wouldn’t be who I am today. I was pushed to be secure and confident in my intelligence and my persistence, which allowed me to earn a very generous scholarship to college. Hermoine showed me that I didn’t have to be blonde or perfect to be intelligent and beautiful. I was able to see myself in a positive light in a time where girls struggle with self-image. In middle school, I read of a girl who didn’t back down from being strong, from being in charge, and from being smart. I was able to realize that girls don’t have to be weak and that I could be whoever I wanted to be.