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

Fictional characters have always been comforting to me. I enjoy finding qualities in them that I already possess or would love to emulate within myself. Seeing strong women on screen is something that never goes out of style. Since it is Women’s History Month, there are a few fictional characters I’d like to highlight for aiding in my development. There is also a woman I believe sums them all up perfectly without the need for a fictional storyline.

Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)

Yes, I was a huge Potterhead as a kid, but no one in the franchise struck a chord with me more than Hermione Granger. She did not make her friends right away, but when she did, they were true friends that she went through everything with. It gave me comfort knowing that not everyone makes their best friends right away. She was smart, adventurous and would fight for what she knew was right, no matter what. She was everything I wanted to be: Brilliant and brave. She helped set me set a standard for myself. There are multiple great traits in Hermione that everyone can learn from.

Tiana (The Princess and the Frog)

Tiana has hands-down been my favorite Disney princess for the past few years. She is hardworking with a big heart for her loved ones. She works for her dreams painstakingly before finally learning that she can also give herself time to love and enjoy life. It is only after she realizes this, that she fulfills her dream and reaches happiness. As someone who cares so much about success and is always moving the goalpost, this lesson from Tiana’s life is refreshing. Working yourself to the bone is not the only way to success. Have fun in life and cherish those around you. You’ll still get where you are headed, just a lot less burnt out!

Elle Woods (Legally Blonde)

This list would be incomplete without THE most ambitious Harvard lawyer herself. I could write a whole essay about Ms. Woods, but I’ll restrain myself. Elle has a special place in my heart for her confidence, femininity and many capabilities. She did not let other people’s perceptions of her dictate her identity. I once thought that I had to suppress my femininity to be interesting, likable and perceived as smart. Elle taught me that you can succeed and look stunning while doing it. Just because others underestimate you does not mean they are right. With dedication and confidence, you can prove them wrong. You can be exactly the woman you want to be. I now proudly embrace my feminine side.

Mabel Pines (Gravity Falls)

As someone very introverted, Mabel is someone I sometimes wish to be like. In the show, she has the most extravagant weirdness and energy. She never fails to act as if no one was watching. Being anxious about others’ perceptions of me, I was always wary of my quirks. Mabel showed me that didn’t have to be the case. Being a bit “odd” is what makes you unique. It’s much more fun living without that wall built up around you. She also demonstrates what it’s like to be part of a close family, which is something I value greatly.

Better than Fiction: My Mom

Fictional characters are great and all, but they don’t always stand against the real deal. Real individuals you have relationships with have the biggest impact on your life. That is why I am so lucky to have my mom as a female role model. She is all of my favorite fictional female characters compiled into one living, loving human being. My mom has worked hard to become successful. She is one of the most intellectual women I know and she is why I have a high standard for myself. She always helps me achieve my goals but also reminds me that hard work should always be accompanied by breaks, rest and enjoyment. She has always shown me the biggest amount of love and taught me the importance of family. While she is also a little more introverted, she has supported me in being unapologetically who I am. Never would she tell me to hide my quirks or care about what others say. She is the blueprint for who I’d like to become when I grow up. She is my favorite woman. I am so lucky to have her as my real-life role model of what type of lady I want to be: smart, successful, happy, family-oriented and authentic.

Moms deserve a lot of recognition. Fictional characters can be great examples of unique women, but I find that humans hold all the same qualities as many main characters. Whether it is your mom, aunt, sister, niece or friend, you can probably trace back some of your favorite qualities in someone you know personally. Don’t forget to thank the amazing women in your life. Seeing strong women in real life reminds me that these amazing role models are not all just part of a fairy tale, they exist in reality.

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Anastasia Haro is a freshman at Florida State University. If not writing, you can find her watching a movie, taking a walk, or petting the campus cats.