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

Television and movies are singlehandily the most responsible when it comes shaping each and every generation. In the year 2020, this statement is still extremely relevant and the women characters portrayed on the small and big screen today are excellent role models to shape young girls’ minds and encourage them to be defiant and defy all the odds thrown against them. There are hundreds of examples for empowered women characters, but here are the top five most notable modern, empowered women characters in TV and movies!

remote control turning on the tv
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters from Unsplash

1. Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel

From record breaking box-office numbers to telling an incredible story, Capatain Marvel became THE superhero for young girls everywhere. While there have been lead women superheros in the past, such as Black Widow and Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel was the first superhero that wasn’t created to appease the male gaze and showcased a woman who stuck to her morals and fought against those who tried to turn against her.

2. Camille Washington from Netflix’s Hollywood

I know so many people who haven’t watched Hollywood and Netflix which makes me heartbroken because they are missing out on the excellence that is Camille Washington. Played by Laura Harrier, Camille Washington is a black actress in Hollywood during the 1950s and makes history by being the first black actress to win an Oscar for Best Actress. While this is an amazing milestone to showcase in a show set in the 50’s, this isn’t the only reason why she made this list. Camille Washington’s perseverance in playing a lead role that didn’t perpetuate racist stereotypes and defying racist attacks and Jim Crow laws throughout the show.

3. Rue from HBO’s Euphoria

​While many parents wouldn’t agree with this character being on this list of “empowered women”, Rue from Euphoria is one of the strongest women characters on TV at the moment. Battling her drug addiction and depression, navigating her difficult relationship with Jules and protecting her younger sister from going down the same dark path that she did, Rue is an important pop culture icon for anyone, especially teenage girls, who are going through similar dark times. Rue is the perfect example of finding the silver linings in a shitty situation and overcoming mountains of difficulties in life and I’m so excited to see her character development in season two!

4. Enola Holmes from Netflix’s Enola Holmes

A fun twist on a male-dominated genre, Enola Holmes gives young girls the tough, clever idol they need. Throughout the entire movie, Enola is on a quest to find her missing mother while her two brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, try to reform her and send her to a finishing school in order to comply with the standards the Victorian Era set for young girls and women. Defying these “prim-and-proper” Victorian standards, Enola goes off learning how to fight, expand her mind and out-smart any and every man that comes her way.

5. Esther Shapiro from Netflix’s Unorthodox

This Netflix drama is definitely on my “must-watch” list because of the heavy and interesting storyline of an Orthodox Jewish woman, Esther Shapiro. In Unorthodox, Esther leaves Brooklyn, New York in order to flee from her arranged marriage and discover herself and her past in Europe. Esther battles the traditions of her faith with her own inner conflict with her self-identity forcing her to jump into the unknown in order to find herself which is something to admire her for and feel inspired by her bravery.