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Women’s Empowerment : Top 5 Strong Classic Female Leads

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kent State chapter.

Women are strong, women are powerful, women are brave. There have been many women in my life that I have looked up to and aspired to be like. While a lot of these women were in my real life, a good amount of them were behind a screen as well. As crazy as it may seem, TV and movie characters can teach us a lot. Whether that’s learning how to ride a bike, finding out how to deal with our emotions better or overall just finding ourselves, we can all take something away from them. So what better way to start off Women’s History Month than to recognize and appreciate some of these incredible fierce and strong female leads!

1. Eleven

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Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

“Stranger Things.” This is my absolute favorite show at the moment. Since the beginning, the character Eleven has always had a special place in my heart. Right off the bat, there were many things that drew me to her character. Eleven’s strong sense for family and friends was something that was so powerful to me. She was never afraid to admit when she felt alone. Not only this, but she also had no problem taking on all of the monsters and demons by herself…she didn’t need a man to do this for her. In fact, she literally ends up saving the whole town of Hawkins on multiple occasions by herself. She had both sides of being independent, but also needing company at times. Oftentimes, Eleven was left alone to fend for herself. When her friends needed help she was always there for them when they needed her. Even though Eleven was always loyal to her friends, she was also never afraid to tell them her honest opinions about anything. I believe that Eleven also represents this youthful kind of energy with the fact that she experiences her first dance, first kiss, and first boyfriend. Overall, Eleven is remarkable woman that I believe every woman, young or old, should look up to and aspire to be like.

2. Katniss Everdeen

I’m sure we have all seen and/or heard of “The Hunger Games.” I can remember reading the book in fifth grade and being in complete awe of the character Katniss Everdeen. Katniss is a fighter, a lover, a friend, and overall a great role model. When she had to fight boys, she fought them. And when she had to rescue boys, she rescued them. She even took the place of her little sister, Prim, when fighting in the Hunger Games simply because she cared too much for her sister and did not want her to get hurt. As someone who has a sister, this really stuck with me. I love my sister so much and this strong sister bond between Katniss and Prim was something that I truly looked up to and wanted to follow. Katniss Everdeen is a woman who is self-reliant and uses her skills and knowledge to get through her issues…she does not wait around for a man to come into her life and solve those problems for her.

3. elsa

Now I know this one may sound crazy, but I truly think that Elsa in “Frozen” is a great example and role model of female empowerment. While most Disney princesses have a prince that saves the day, Elsa is one of the few princesses that has a prince by her side. Growing up and watching “Frozen” this was something I always admired. I loved her ambition, her strength, and her stubbornness throughout the film. Just like Katniss and Prim, Anna and Elsa also have a wonderful sister bond that I looked up to. Elsa also decides to choose herself over her own kingdom, which is something that is so powerful. In her song, “Let It Go,” Elsa says that “that perfect girl is gone.” This is showing that Elsa is sick of trying to be something she is not. In the end, Elsa chooses not only herself, but her family. She is a true reflection of an empowered woman.

4. elle woods

At first, one may not think of Elle Woods as a fierce and independent woman. And for a while she really isn’t that independent. However, over time she learns to find herself. For the longest time the people around her were doubting her character and abilities simply because she was this sorority girl, preppy, ditzy, and overall the stereotypical “blonde girl.” Even her own boyfriend doubted her capabilities. Elle decides to prove everyone wrong, including her ex boyfriend, by studying her butt off and later getting accepted to Harvard Law School (where her ex got accepted to as well). Elle Wood’s strength comes from her personal endurance. She believed in herself enough to get what she wanted to accomplish. Later in the film, Elle even gets the opportunity to get back together with her ex, Warner, but refuses because she realized that she had now found herself and understood her worth. Though the message may be unclear at first, it is a real message that any woman can take away.

5. Hermione Granger

Hermione Granger is a female character that without a doubt is a strong role. Hermione is a very consistent character. Her loyalty towards her friends and her compassion for others is something that is not hidden. Hermione has very strong goals throughout the “Harry Potter” series. She wants to do well in school, get a job, and even defeat some evil. I have always viewed Hermione as the strong backbone of her friend group with Ron and Harry. She is the one who keeps the group in check and makes sure everyone is okay. Hermione has flaws and insecurities of her own, but always makes sure to keep her head up and look at the bright side. Hermione dealt with many insults from others such as being called “muggle-born” and “a teacher’s pet”, but she doesn’t let any of those hurtful things get in the way of her being a kind and strong human being.

Overall, it is clear to see that there are many wonderful characters out there that we, as females, can learn and look up to. Each woman has a story to tell. As Hermione Granger once said, “You could claim anything’s real if the only basis for believing in it is that nobody’s proved it doesn’t exist.”

Drew Berkshire

Kent State '26

Drew Berkshire is a communication studies major at Kent State University with a minor in public relations and theater performance. In her free time she enjoys performing, watching reality TV, shopping and drinking coffee!!