Top 10 Inspiring Young Women from 2000s Movies

The early to mid-2000s had some amazing movies. Some made us laugh, some made us cry and some completely inspired women around the world. I, personally, have been inspired by a lot of female characters growing up. It was hard to choose between them all, but, I’m so happy it was hard to choose. Because, I’d rather have way too many inspiring women in movies, rather than not enough. 

This was a great time for women in film, and I wanted to remind people of some in particular. Some will be obvious and very recognizable, while others may have been forgotten over the years. These young women should all be remembered and recognized because of how inspirational they really are. (P.S. some spoilers ahead!)

  1. 1. Elle Woods, Legally Blonde (2001)

    “What, like it’s hard?” may be one of the most iconic lines from a movie in the last twenty years. 

    Elle Woods is such an amazing woman. She stood up against negative stereotypes and defied men and other women who doubted her abilities. She worked hard and became a very successful lawyer. She’s so great she got a sequel where she fought for animal rights. 

    Also, many people don’t know this, but she even got a musical written about her, “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” which is another amazing way to see Elle Woods shine, plus the songs are fantastic! Elle Woods is truly inspiring and she stays positive throughout the film. She believed in herself and that’s what’s most important.

    Elle Woods Gif
  2. 2. Mia Thermopolis, The Princess Diaries (2001)

    Genovia is lucky to have Mia Thermopolis as their Queen. Mia is the only Princess turned Queen that I’ve seen make such an inspiring speech in front of other royalty and important figures from Genovia while dressed in soaking wet sweatshirt

    She also is so relatable which makes me love her even more. She gains confidence throughout the first film and in the sequel (PSA: Spoiler Alert) when she decides that she doesn’t need a man to rule her country which is SO TRUE. No woman needs a man by her side to be a good leader and Mia acknowledging that shows already that she’s a strong, independent queen (literally)! I will never “shut up” about this amazing young woman!

    Mia Thermopolis Gif
  3. 3. Galleria, Chanel, Aqua and Dorinda, The Cheetah Girls (2003)

    Together the Cheetah Girls are confident, talented young women who want to share their passion with the world. The quote from their song Cinderella, “I’d rather rescue myself,” was considerably ahead of its time for a movie aimed at teen girls. There was no damsel in distress. 

    The girls argue and aren’t always the perfect friend group, but they learn to accept each other and to treat each other as equals. This movie also showed diversity and even had a character in foster care. This movie really is a classic DCOM (Disney Channel Original Movie) and it had two follow-ups to it. In the end, they really do stand together, and that’s what makes their friendship and character development inspiring. 

    Cheetah Girls Gif
  4. 4. Viola Hastings, She’s The Man (2006)

    Pretending to be your brother to show how you are better than your ex-boyfriend at soccer is simply awesome. 

    Viola Hastings is also known as Sebastian Hastings in this film. She dresses as if she is her brother to cover for him at his new school. She joins the soccer team, trains to get better and eventually, (spoiler alert!) she and her all guy teammates win against her old school beating her ex-boyfriend. 

    The reason she is inspiring is not because of her soccer skills, but because of her perseverance and dedication to what she loves. She also is a supportive sister and when she joins the Debutante girls to make her mom happy, she stays true to herself.

    Viola Hastings She's the Man Gif
  5. 5. Sydney White, Sydney White (2007)

    Amanda Bynes really did portray some killer female characters in the early to mid-2000s. 

    In this movie, her character, Sydney White, wants to join her late mother’s sorority but gets kicked out due to a jealous President. Then, Sydney moves in with 7 “dorks” who she ends up becoming good friends with. Sydney and the president of Kappa end up fighting for student body presiden,t and Sydney describes how she would make the school accepting of everyone. People in the audience end up saying, “I am a dork” and so does Sydney. 

    She embraces the fact that people thought she was weird. Sydney White is inspiring because she didn’t care what others thought of her; she just wanted everyone to be accepting of one another.

    Sydney White Gif
  6. 6. Jesminder "Jess" Bhamra & Juliette “Jules” Paxton, Bend it Like Beckham (2002)

    Jess is a British Indian young woman with a passion for soccer (football). Her parents disapprove of her playing, but she decides it is in her best interest to continue to play secretly with the help of her new friend Jules. Jules is another passionate soccer player, but her mom doesn’t like her playing. 

    Jess and Jules have their ups and downs, but they come together in the end and use their teamwork and friendship to win an important game that gets them both scholarships. These two may have gone about some things the wrong way, but, in the end, they still manage to have a strong friendship and be passionate young women who follow their dreams and that’s why they are inspiring.  

    Jess Bhamra Bend It Gif
  7. 7. Tibby, Lena, Carmen and Bridget, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)

    Lots of best friends share clothes, but normally not when they’re different sizes. Tibby, Lena, Carmen and Bridget all somehow fit into the same pair of pants and as they all go on their own summer adventures, they mail the pants to one another. Each character faces hardship, some of which are death and family problems. The girls come together to support each other especially after Bridget worries about her mental health. 

    These girls and this movie are inspiring because it shows how strong women are. These girls stood together in the end and they also inspired one another. There’s a reason the movie has “sisterhood” in the title. Their friendship was so beloved, they got a sequel, and in it, they realized the pants weren’t what was magical, it was their friendship that was.

    Sisterhood of the traveling pants gif
  8. 8. Wendy Wu, Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior (2006)

    Wendy Wu is a force of nature and that’s not just because of her insane martial arts skills. Her main goal throughout this film is to win Homecoming Queen, but she comes to realize that’s not very important considering there’s an evil ancient spirit trying to ruin the world and her life. She learns to embrace her heritage, albeit it takes some time. 

    She realizes her family such as her grandma and her friends such as Shen deserve to be heard and in the end she’s motivated to beat the evil spirit to help Shen and to follow in her great-grandmother’s footsteps. She also destroys the spirit while wearing a very poofy, pink dress! It’s also important to mention that Wendy Wu was the first Asian American lead I had seen growing up in a children/teen film. She and this film set us an example of how inspiring and powerful, women can be, specifically Asian American women!

    Wendy Wu Gif
  9. 9. Alex Fielding & Camryn Barnes, Twitches (2005) 

    The Twitches Twins, Alex and Camryn, are powerful witches who literally save an entire world, Coventry. 

    The fact that they didn’t grow up together would make some think they won’t connect immediately. But emotionally and spiritually they do, and with that their power is stronger than everyone else's. They beat the Darkness after it continuously attacks them. There are some sister arguments and reluctance to fulfill their prophecy, but these girls persevere and not only find an entire world they can explore in addition to Earth, they find a best friend for life that they never knew existed. They inspired each other to continue to fight for what was right and that is what makes them inspiring. 

    Also, all of this happens right around Halloween (their birthday) and that makes this a classic Halloween go-to movie for kids of the early to mid 2000s. 

    Twitches gif
  10. 10. Gracie Hart, Miss Congeniality (2000)

    We all may know that the perfect date is April 25th, but not everyone knows this movie. Gracie Hart is an amazing character because she is a strong, independent fighter who does what is right for others. She didn’t care what she looked like; she cared about her career and helping others. 

    Once she joins as a contestant, she protects the other pageant contestants and learns to appreciate a world she once judged. She prevents her friend Cheryl from being killed when she realizes the crown is actually set to explode. 

    Something awesome about this character is that she was told the case was over, but she continues the pageant because she had a gut feeling that something bad was still going to occur at the pageant. She also shows the judges and other pageant contestants that self-defence can be a talent! She’s definitely an inspiring and powerful young woman.

    miss congeniality sandra bullock

These characters may be from 13 to 20 years ago, but they are still so relevant and inspiring to this day. I hope these characters and their stories make you remember how amazing and strong women truly are and, therefore, how amazing and strong you truly are!