10 Female Roles in Movies That Broke Stereotypes

As a writer, having to choose who are the most empowering female leads that broke stereotype, can be a hard choice. Not that the other characters that were considered weren’t worth of mentioning, but because this time, there was a desire to present a list a little different than what you were expecting. Don’t get me wrong there are many powerful women:

  • Elle Woods choosing to prove her ex wrong when he said that she wasn’t good enough for Harvard, is pretty empowering.
  • Miss Katniss Everdeen and her survival skills.
  • Hermione Granger saving her two best friends lives all the time (let’s face it if Hermione was the main lead, all the movies would be called Hermione Granger: And the Time I Got My Friends Out of Trouble)
  • The entire cast of A League of Their Own, a movie that shows that women took the roles of men when they went to war, and also doing their first imposed roles.

There are so many characters I could think of, that have impacted the movie industry today, that it makes me happy. Because we are used to damsels in distress all the time. But we are never empowered about girls who fight for what they believe in. So, without further ado, I present to you this list:

  • Hit Girl - Kick Ass

I start off this list with Chloe Grace Moretz’s portrayal in the anti-hero movie. I remember the first time watching this movie (and its sequel) and I couldn’t help to be more excited about Hit Girl. While most girls were playing with dolls (which is okay too), this girl was dealing with guns. The girl is a fighter, and even though it may have been for unconventional reasons, and her father’s passing made her stronger, she showed us how to gracefully fight for what we believe in. (even though she did get carried away from time to time)

  • Icebox - Little Giants

This goes straight to the childhood! The definition of a tomboy. After being cut off from a team because she was girl, but was as good as her male rivals, Icebox went on to defy beauty standards. Not only did she joined a very peculiar team, to prove her uncle wrong, she knew exactly what she was doing while playing her sport, football. Yes, we all remember she gave up on it at one point, because she was afraid of what people thought about her femininity, but we can also remember how she threw the pompoms to the field, and showed what she’s really made of.

  • Viola Hastings - She’s the Man

Amanda Bynes reincarnates the enchanting Viola Hastings, a soccer player, whose team was shut down because there weren’t enough girls for the team. Then, when she asked to join the boy’s team, she was made a laughing stock. To prove them wrong, she decided to impersonate her brother and make the boy’s team to compete against her ex to show him that “it’s not just a stupid soccer issue”. Needless to say, she proved them all that she was a lot more than just a pretty face, standing for what she believed in, beating her old high school team and shooting the winning goal.

  • Caroline Wexler - Daydream Nation

In my opinion, one of the most complex characters ever written. Kat Dennings is used to portraying sarcastic characters, but nothing like Caroline. Her mother is deceased and she only lives with her father. She's going through high school in a smalltown with narrowminded people. She doesn't care what others think of her and she has comes to terms with her sexuality(and that it shouldn't be anybody's business). Let's not forget her extreme actions, as seducing her English teacher. But still she is realistic, when she tells him that she's not part of his story, that she is a person on her own: "I'm not here to save you, I'm the main character of my own life."

  • Beatrix Kiddo- Kill Bill

The Bride, or Black Mamba, as she's most famous called, is not a lady to mess with. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" is an understatement to describe this vivacious fighter. Not only is she trained in martial arts, she is also the only one to know the "Five Point Palm Exploding Technique". A former member of the "Deadly Viper Assasination Squad", she gives us a whole new light in women's betrayal. She is done with it, she went through a lot, she got crossover by her own team. And it is expected for someone to just stay that way, but she took matter into her own hands; also showing that you can be strong and have your maternal calling.

  • Connie Moreau and Julie “The Cat” Gaffney - The Mighty Ducks

You must remember the scene in the second movie when Connie is about be attacked recklessly on the hockey field and her teammate comes to her rescue, right? Only for her to tell him these unforgettable words: "I'm no lady, I'm a duck!" This phrase states that even though she is a beautiful lady; that does not define who she is as a person. Let’s not forget about Julie, the goalie, who was even better than her predecessor. She had to show what she was capable of in that movie too, because people would often underestimate her because of her gender. It wasn’t until the third movie, that she was the first string goalie.

  • Velma - Scooby Doo

There's no greater example than humbleness conquers all. We all know she was the real brains behind the gang, and Freddie was only the face to present Velma's amazing ideas. And you know, it sucks, because we would all be angry at this. But to me, Velma is empowering because not all great women are fighters. Sometimes, we have to learn to sit one out because in the end, the truth is always known. There is always a special place in our hearts for the geeky girls, who no one really notices but then when the time is right, that's when they truly shine. That's Velma's biggest gift to us girls. Cheers to all those glasses wearing, awkward girls!

  • Katherine Ann Watson - Mona Lisa Smile

Let's face it, this character was breaking stereotypes since the very beginning of the movie. This takes place in the 1950's, where women are just there to marry men. Katherine saw more out out life. She was a professor with a Master's in Art and she lived life in a whole different perspective than what was expected of her. She had a fling with another colleague, she wasn't married, she didn't have kids, and she went to work in a very conservative university. Katherine was trying to make a statement: that women are so much more than what men expect of them.

  • Furiosa - Mad Max: Fury Road

The world of Mad Max: Fury Road is one that is dominated by this one guy who has multiple wives. He basically treats them all like objects and they escape him with the help of Imperator Furiosa, who is his best driver, and yet she defies him by helping his wives escape. They write on the cave walls "WE ARE NOT THINGS" The point of Furiosa is that she is selflessly helping women escape an abusive household. She had the opportunity to escape by herself and yet she chose to help 5 women who were in need of help. She didn't leave them behind. 

  • Amy Dunne - Gone Girl

We always look up to heroes, and we hardly say anything about villains, especially female villains. Amy is terrifying, and that's what I genuinely love the most about this ruthless groundbreaking stereotype breaker. Sure, she was scorned, let's all not forget that, but guess what? She surpassed all expectations of what people usually credit women for when they seek revenge. She was meticulous, to the point that it was scary, she was unapologetic. Amy did all this by hiding her personna in her expectation of white house wife. She takes every one of us by surprise and she is not driven by emotions (not the ones we expect her to). Amy was always driven by what she knew best, getting things done; obliviating that she might lose in a scenario. For all these reasons, "Cool Girl" Amy is an amazing anti-hero.