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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 PSU chapter.

It’s National Women’s History Month, and there are so many strong female characters to celebrate. To me, strong female representation in media is important because it challenges the status quo in a way that empowers women of all ages— especially young girls.

Here are some of my personal favorite characters in movies and TV shows:

Padme Amidala (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones)

padme amidala (“Star wars”)

Padme Amidala is a feminist icon within the “Star Wars” universe, and also one of my favorite female characters. Not only was she the queen of her world, Naboo, but after her reign, she went into politics as a senator. I love how she’s not afraid to fight or die for the people she loves— and she’s pretty good with a gun.

I think my favorite thing about her though is how she was dating the most powerful Jedi in the universe but somehow still managed to “wear the pants” in the relationship. Talk about a girl boss!

Azula: Avatar the Last Airbender

AZULA (“avatar The last airbender”)

It was hard to choose one strong female character from the “Avatar and The Legend of Korra” series because this show did such a great job with having strong female characters, but I think Azula might just be the best of them all.

Even though Azula is a villain in the show, I think we can still appreciate how powerful she is. Within the show, she was made to be the scariest and biggest villain second to Ozai, the main villain.

She was arguably the strongest fire bender in the world at the time and she was only 14! Azula had everyone quaking in their boots and never took no for an answer.

It’s also important to note that the writers purposely made Azula stronger than her brother, Zuko, and there were so many scenes where men underestimated her because she was just a little girl, but she ended up putting them in their place— icon behavior.

Colette: Ratatouille

colette (“ratatouille”)

“Ratatouille” is one of my favorite Disney movies and I loved Colette’s character. I think her representation is really important, especially considering the movie came out in 2007.

One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Colette asks Linguini how many girls he sees in the kitchen and explains to him how the cooking industry is incredibly sexist.

Colette is such an icon and she’s really inspirational. She’s cutthroat, ambitious and didn’t care that the odds were against her in the industry— that’s why she’s one of my favorite female characters.

blair waldorf (“gossip girl”)

Even though Blair is the daughter of billionaires and did some questionable things during the show, I think she was such a great example of a powerful, successful woman.

Unlike Serena, Blair worked really hard in everything she did. She studied hard, had goals and aspirations and wanted to have her own success, not just leach off her parents.

She’s also a complete badass and made sure to put everyone in their place, especially men.

If you haven’t watched the movies or shows I talked about, I completely recommend them! They are just some of many that portray women in ways that change the female narrative, which is more important than you may think.

Junior at Penn State.