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  • Damaris Chanza

Female Characters as Role Models

Updated: Apr 29, 2022

Good female role models can be found in many places, but sometimes it’s a character that connects with you most. I want to bring attention to some female characters that helped guide me through life.

I didn’t have many people who felt like role models in my life. I knew people I wanted to emulate somehow, but I didn’t necessarily define them as role models. There were also times when I had a hard time making friends, and watching TV and movies helped me find people who resonated with me. I built stronger connections to these characters than I did the actual people around me.

In no particular order, here are some female characters who influenced me.

1. Dr. Meredith Grey

Show: Grey’s Anatomy

Played by Ellen Pompeo

Meredith is a mother and award-winning general surgeon. She has had a life-long struggle with her mental health but always works through her issues. She is an avid advocate for medical advancement and accessible healthcare.

2. Dr. Cristina Yang

Show: Grey’s Anatomy

Played by Sandra Oh

Cristina is a brilliant, career-driven, award-winning cardio thoracic surgeon. She knew what it took to accomplish her goals and was determined to become the best version of herself.

3. Katara

Show: Avator the Last Airbender

Played by Mae Whitman

Katara grieved her mother but became a master waterbender and healer. She was often seen as a mother figure, always willing to sacrifice for the well-being of her loved ones.

4. Korra

Show: The Legend of Korra

Played by Janet Varney

Korra started strong, talented, and stubborn but became peaceful and spiritual. She worked through her mental health journey and recovered from extreme trauma.

5. Padme Amidala

Movie: Star Wars Universe

Played by Natalie Portman

Padme was a Queen and senator who advocated for peace during war. Despite being constantly underestimated, she made sure her opinion was heard and taken seriously.

6. Ahsoka Tano

Movie: Star Wars Universe

Played by Ashley Eckstein and Rosario Dawson

Ahsoka was introduced as a young, overly confident padawan but became an intelligent, tactical, and wise leader. She had the confidence to choose a different path for herself.

7. Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow

Movie: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Played by Scarlett Johansson

Natasha is a trained assassin but chooses to use her skills to help others instead. She’s a loving sister and good friend but sacrificed everything to help return millions to their loved ones.

8. Elle Woods

Movie: Legally Blonde

Played by Reese Witherspoon

Elle proved brilliance, etiquette, and kindness are superior despite being greatly underestimated for her appearance.

9. Fa Mulan

Movie: Mulan (1998), Mulan (2020)

Played by Ming-Na Wen, Lui Yifei

Mulan defied traditional gender norms and became a respected warrior and savior of China.

10. Elena Alvarez

Show: One Day at a Time

Played by Isabella Gomez

Elena is unapologetically herself. She balances being Cuban, Christian, and a lesbian with class, knowledge, confidence, and immense self-respect.

11. Jane Villanueva

Show: Jane the Virgin

Played by Gina Rodriguez

Jane refused to compromise her morals or her family to chase her dreams regardless of how challenging that became.

12. Rainbow Johnson

Show: Black-ish

Played by Tracee Ellis Ross

Rainbow balanced race, gender, activism, talent, and beauty with respect and elegance despite her insecurities.

13. Katherine Beckett

Show: Castle

Played by Stana Katic

Kate was a strong leader with quick instincts. She was career-driven and the muscle in her relationship.

14. Princess Merida

Movie: Brave

Played by Kelly Mcdonald

Merida refused to succumb to outdated traditions to please her family. She created her path and took steps to build her best future.

15. Astrid Hofferson

Movie: How to Train Your Dragon Franchise

Played by America Ferrera

Astrid is a warrior who protects those close to her. She is confident and quick to adapt to any situation to support others.

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