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Iconic Female Characters We Should all Appreciate 

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

Today, movies and television shows have made major strides in creating independent, strong and empowering female leads. It’s important we have these role models for younger generations of girls to look up to and emulate. Below are just some of the empowering women in movies and T.V. we should all be celebrating. 

Netflix symbol on TV with a hand holding a remote
Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

Rosa Diaz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine 

Her character is a leading bisexual and Latina woman, something we don’t always get to see in mainstream television. Rosa is unapologetically herself, and keeps a place of power in the workplace as a head detective, but isn’t afraid to embrace her feminine side as well. She may not be a woman of many words but she’s a loyal friend and shows she cares when it matters. 

Quote: “What kind of woman doesn’t own an ax”? 


Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

With a dream of climbing the political ladder, Leslie Knope has big ideas and she’s not afraid to do what she has to in order to make them happen. She has a kind heart and fierce loyalty to both her hometown and her friends. Her perseverance is nothing short of admirable, while the leading force behind her ideas and decision making is ultimately to create something better for others. 

Quote: “I am big enough to admit I am often inspired by myself”. 


Wanda Maximoff, The Avengers Franchise 

Wanda starts off in the movie series as just a kid with powers bigger than herself. It’s inspiring to watch her come into her own discovering not only the sheer strength behind her mind-bending abilities but the strength she learns to embrace inside herself. Throughout the movies, Wanda faces loss and heartbreak but she always manages to pick herself back up again and fight for (and I’m not being dramatic when I say this) the actual fate of the universe. 

Quote: “I can’t control their fear, only my own”.   


Arya Stark, Game of Thrones (SPOILERS) 

Time and time again throughout the series Arya Stark proves she has what it takes to survive the harsh world she finds herself in from a young age. She disguises herself as a boy, travels with and eventually befriends The Hound, becomes a master assassin and single-handedly kills the infamously powerful and feared Night King. Cunning, witty and persistent Arya is consistently one of the strongest female characters on television. 

Quote: “I am a wolf and will not be afraid”. 


Sansa Stark, Game of Thrones 

Like her sister, Sansa is strong beyond her years and has survived in a world that wanted to see her dead. Though her strength is a quieter one, she uses her observational skills to learn from the world around her. She is able to rise above her abusers and transform her horrible experiences into powerful learning lessons. Unsuspecting of her quiet power Sansa is able to use her strength to rise to the top, eventually taking her rightful place as queen of the north. 

Quote: I’m a slow learner, it’s true. But I do learn”. 


Rapunzel, Tangled 

When Flynn Rider comes crashing through her tower, Rapunzel doesn’t see this as her Prince Charming coming to save her. Instead, she looks at it as an opportunity to finally go on the adventure she has been longing for all her life. Although she is naive to the world, Rapunzel isn’t afraid to fight when she has to, using her frying pan as a self-defense weapon. Eventually, she is able to find her true identity and stand up for herself against her evil adopted mother. Plus hey, I think we should be happy that part of her adventure includes falling in love along the way. 

Quote: “You were wrong about the world. And you were wrong about me. And I will never let you use my hair again!”


Octavia Blake, The 100 

Since birth Octavia had been forced to keep her identity hidden, shoved into a crawl space underneath the floor in fear someone would find out she was born illegally. Though when she is sent from space with 99 other juvenile delinquents to a post-apocalyptic Earth she finally learns how to fight and stand up for herself. She also demonstrates a great mental strength when she shows empathy and understanding to the grounder’s different way of life when many of the other 100 won’t. Throughout the series, she’s beaten, kidnaped, locked up, and left for dead but she always emerges stronger than before, eventually rising to the status of Red Queen. Although she loses her way from time to time, being a strong woman isn’t about constant perfection and she later manages to find her way onto the right path once again. 

Quote: “I’m not playing anything, this is who I am”. 


Just like these inspiring ladies above remember you too can do anything you put your mind to because the future is female and the future is now!


Laptop with white mug that says the future is female with a lipstick mark
Pexels / CoWomen

Amanda Vogt is a sophomore at Kent State University and is from the suburbs of Rochester New York. Her studies include a major in fashion merchandising as well as a minor in creative writing. She has always loved writing and used to spend her days in math and science class coming up with short stories instead of calculating numbers. She is also an avid lover of all things fashion and makeup related and has been interested in the industry ever since she was little. She hopes to live in a big city after college with an unhealthy amount of dogs.
Junior at Kent State, with a mojor in journalism and a minor in fashion media. I like to write about fashion, lifestyle and Harry Styles.