Inspirational Female Characters in TV Shows And Movies

Just as the title says, some inspirational female characters, in no particular order. I’m inspired by many female characters but I had to narrow it down, otherwise I’d write a novel – so here are some of my most inspirational female characters.

Ilana Glazer (Broad City)

Ilana Glazer is a fucking queen, she just gives 0 fucks about what anyone thinks and does whatever the fuck she wants. She’s confident with her body, sexuality and just everything and is super supportive of her friend Abbi, constantly telling her how proud she is, how good she looks etc. Ilana will say whatever is on her mind no matter how innapropriate it is and she’s also hilarious. She’s probably the most inspirations character when it comes to confidence. She’s kind of a feminist icon.

Vada Sultenfuss (My Girl)

Vada, the 11 year old kid I’ve been consistently been obsessed with throughout my entire life. I literally just did a post about my girl so I won’t be going into detail, but I will say that to little girls and even to adults Vada is an inspiration, she’s your typical kid just going through life learning about love, death, puberty and life in general thus can easily be related to by anyone since we all go through these things at some point. She’s also a really funny and smart kid.

Dharma Freedom Finkelstein/Montgomery (Dharma and Greg)

Dharma is my spirit animal. I’ve never seen a show with a character such as Dharma, she’s just so incredibly unique. She’s so free spirited and will do random, wild things just because she feels like it. In the first episode she flies on a plane to a different place to get pie from a little diner because it’s the best pie she’s had, she also marries Greg in the first episode after just meeting him because it feels right (this isn’t a spoiler by the way, since the show is based on them getting married and it happens right at the start). Dharma is also the most caring and compassionate person and will take strangers into her home and help literally anyone she comes across that needs any kind of help, which leads to some hilarious weird circumstances that Greg isn’t always happy with. Dharma is very spiritual and kind of a hippie considering she was raised by her hippie parents and she implements this into her daily life but she’s so incredibly respectful of any beliefs anyone has and is interested by them all. Dharma is also kind of a child since she’s always doing funny things, being loud and child like and it’s the best because she doesn’t care what people think, she just wants to have fun. I wish I was more like Dharma, I try to be but Dharma just seems so free (funny since her middle name is freedom) she’s just always herself and doesn’t care what people think and just a really good person morally, aswell as extremely trusting and open. I think everyone could use a bit of Dharma in them.

Cristina Yang (Grey’s Anatomy)

Cristina was and always will be the best character in Grey’s anatomy. She was such a driven passionate character, wanting to succeed and being really determined and hard working to get there and it paid off considering she was such an amazing surgeon. Cristina didn’t take shit from anyone and didn’t let anyone stop her. Cristina, on top of her hardworking competitive qualities always made time for her friends. She was best friends with Meredith and would drop anything to be there for her friend, giving her great advice and was always there to dance it out with Meredith when things went bad. One of my favourite pieces of advice from her was to Meredith when she was referring to McDreamy and said “he’s very dreamy, but he’s not the sun, you are”, she just always made sure Meredith knew she was great and that she should realise it and not have to rely on a guy to validate it. Cristina was also very self-confident as she knew what she was good at and she owned it, and once again she was kind of a feminist icon too. Being a female surgeon has had its difficulties for many characters and Cristina tackled any problems relating to it well. One of my favourite quotes is “oh, screw beautiful. I’m brilliant. If you want to appease me, compliment my brain”. Now I can’t remember what context this was in but I just love it. Also she has a great deadpan/bitchface and I relate to that so strongly.

Leslie Burke (Bridge to Terebithia)

This is another kinda free spirited one, when I watched Bridge to Terebithia I was quite young and so Leslie was an inspiration, I liked her right away when she raced in a race where only boys were racing on her first day of school, she’s another character that doesn’t care what people think and is not afraid to not fit in, which I wish I had more of in me. I mostly don’t care what people think and do what I want but sometimes I wish I was still a little more wild doing whatever the hell random things I want to. Leslie also loves exploring new things, this can be seen when for example she goes to church because she’s curious since she’s never been. She’s also really imaginative and let’s herself dream up anything and get lost in a fantasy world. She also stands up for things she believes in. For instance, when Mabel couldn’t pee because the mean girls were charging girls to use the bathroom and Leslie began a march shouting “free to pee”, it’s not major but I wish I had the guts to do something like that.

Garcia (Criminal Minds)

Garcia is my second favourite character in criminal minds but every episode I love her more. I love my typical brave characters who see dead bodies, shoot down criminals etc., that’s usually who I look up to in these kinds of shows but Garcia is different. She actually hates looking at dead bodies and always counter balances it by looking at cute kitten pictures to make herself feel better, she gets really sad over the cases she works on and cares for all the victims and all the people she works with. She’s not your typical crime fighting character, she shows just how scared she is and I love how she’s not afraid to show her emotions like that, being confident in your emotions is kinda really inspirational to me. Garcia is also really good at her job as a tech analyst and her office is decorated with pink fluffy stuff, this is the kind of stuff I’m not into personally but what makes me love her even more because she’s always herself, she doesn’t try to be tough and owns the fact that she likes all that cute stuff and is saddened and grossed out by cases, she’s just true to herself and a really caring person. Another reason why Garcia is inspirational is because I grew up kinda wanting to appear as least feminine as I could. I used to be the kind of girl who would scowl at other girls for wearing make up and being girly – before I educated myself and realised that that was fucking stupid and women are amazing whether they wear make up and dresses or not. For some reason I kinda hated being too female, as a child i’d see being girly as weak and stupid, but that’s because that was what I was surrounded by. It wasn’t until many years later when I realised that none of that stuff matters, if you want to wear makeup then that’s cool, and it doesn’t matter what the reason is, whether you do it because you like the way you look or whether you do it for other reasons, it’s just a preference and a way to express yourself, who the fuck cares. It got pretty bad to the point where as a kid I didn’t want anything too girly, I remember throwing my dolls away and secretly wanting to keep them but I didn’t want to be seen as a little girl. I don’t blame myself though, I was surrounded by people saying stereotypical things which made boys and men being strong and manly appear as a good thing and females and girls were seen as these pretty looking weak ‘things’. It’s amazing how much I was influenced by this even as a child, man if only someone educated me on this and told me it’s okay to wear pink clothes and play with dolls and dress up in pretty dresses and it doesn’t make me ‘weak’ or ‘stupid’. If someone taught me this earlier I probably would have had more fun as a kid. Even small things my dad would sometimes say would reinforce it, he probably didn’t mean to but if I was interested in things such as cars or computers or whatever i’d be daddy’s little girl and be praised for it, it made being girly seem like nothing in comparison, what I didn’t know is that you can wear a pretty dress while liking cars and you can wear makeup and be really intelligent and driven. I’m going off topic, what I wanted to say is how Garcia isn’t afraid of all the typical girly things, she doesn’t care about how people perceive her, instead she’s proud of her pink fluffy pencil and cute kitten pictures, yet she’s still badass and really good at doing computer things. Even to this day sometimes I find myself trying to not become too girly, it’s so stupid even when playing a computer game I’ll always choose a male character just because I don’t want to be a female in a game, I wanna be the cool tough guy, and I hate that and in games I hope no one ever finds out my gender because I don’t wanna be seen as a ‘stupid gamer girl’ and I hate that it still affects me sometimes, but I’m just being honest here. This is a reason as to why there need to be more kids shows with inspirational female characters, because when I was a kid if i saw more cartoons and shows where females weren’t reduced down to being useless and rather they were portrayed in strong cool way, all while still being their female selves whether that included typical girly things or not, maybe I’d feel differently as a kid.

Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls)

Lorelai is like a mother and a best friend, 2 in 1, which she is to Rory – her daughter. Lorelai got pregnant at a really young age and her parents were not supportive at all, wanting completely different things for Lorelai to try and ‘fix’ the ‘problem’ of her being pregnant. Lorelai however decided to leave her home in response to this at age 16, she found a job because that’s what she wanted to do, to work and achieve things (rather than just get married and stay home like her parents wanted her to). Lorelai then climbed to the top, which wasn’t easy. She started off at the very bottom and worked damn hard to earn enough money to support herself and her child, when she herself was just a child, and she ended up doing really well for herself. Lorelai also always put Rory first and gave her an incredible childhood, surrounded by loving people, books and fun and supported her in every goal she had. Lorelai is just a really strong woman and makes me realise all the things that I can do and inspires me to keep going even when I am at the bottom. She shows you how things don’t just come easily as you have to work for them, but it pays off. Lorelai is just an amazing mother and reminds me a bit of my own mum. If I ever have children she will be a big inspiration to me in that respect. She’s also really fucking funny and smart as hell (and is obsessed with coffee so clearly a big inspiration).

Gabby Dawson (Chicago Fire)

Gabby is super inspirational for me as a female figure for a lot of reasons. I haven’t caught up with Chicago Fire so I haven’t seen that much of her but for now I’ll just write a small paragraph of the reasons as to why she’s inspirational. First of Gabby training to be a fire fighter is really inspirational, being a female fire fighter comes with it’s difficulties, such as being rejected by some of the male characters, but that doesn’t stop Gabby. Even if she is struggling she will keep going and working hard to achieve her goal, she doesn’t let her gender stop her and doesn’t want any special treatment, she wants to be treated like everyone else and just do her job and I love that. Even when she’s working as a paramedic, she brings that into anything she does, fierce and sassy – an icon.

Jane Rizzoli (Rizzoli and Isles)

Rizzoli has been an inspiration for a while. I just love seeing females in job roles which are seen as the tougher or ‘male’ jobs, because it just proves how women are capable of doing any job a male does. This links into Gabby being a fire fighter, these two are actually quite similar in some ways. Now I know there are a lot of female police officers and detectives now but I feel like the majority is still male and I know female police officers must still sometimes get treated differently to male ones. Jane is inspirational because she’s one of the best detectives and there have been episodes where for example she was catcalled among other things which people would not do or say to a male detective, yet she deals with it and continues being great. Jane is also just a funny and kind person which adds to all the female power, making her inspirational. She’s just strong and tough and amazing.

Tina Belcher (Bob’s Burgers)

Tina is probably the character I can relate to most, with her laying on the floor and moaning and her awkwardness, but she’s also kinda inspirational. She has many funny quotes such as “I’m no hero. I put my bra on one boob at a time, just like everybody else” and “I’m a smart, strong, sensual woman” and they may not seem like the most inspirational quotes ever but throughout the show Tina says these little things to herself to give herself confidence to do small daily things that give her anxiety and it’s really inspirational, because a lot of people do have trouble with things similar to Tina, such as talking to other people and the things she says sometimes just make you think hell yea I can do this. She also ends up giving great advice even if she does mention things like horses in it.

Debra Morgan (Dexter)

Debra has always been quite inspirational to me with her copious amount of swearing, Debra speaks her mind and is hilarious and is another character who worked hard at her job and rose to the top. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Dexter so i can’t really remember specific scenes to refer to but Deb was just badass I love her and she’s been through a lot.

Leslie Knope (Parks and Recreation)

Leslie is almost annoyingly hard working but I love it, she just cares so much about the town she lives in and the people in it. Her enthusiasm is inspirational, I wish I could be this enthusiastic about projects I’m doing. She’s just a determined person and really tries her best to help improve what she can. She’s also so proud of her friends and constantly tells them how much she loves them (reminds me of Ilana in this aspect – only this aspect however, since they’re very different people otherwise). I also love the old ‘galentines day’ celebrating her gal friends, taking care of herself and her friends.

April Ludgate (Parks and Recreation)

A lot of the characters I’ve been inspired by inspire me in a really deep kind of meaningful life changing way but there are many ways you can be inspired. April inspires me mostly with her humour. I’m a big fan of comedy and sitcoms and deadpan is my favourite kind of humour which is exactly the kind April specialises in. April is hilarious while always keeping a straight face and is just a comedy inspiration. Aubrey Plaza the actress that plays April is very similar in her dry deadpan humour which inspires a lot of my humour and she’s also very awkward yet doesn’t care about making people uncomfortable with her weird stories. She’s proud of all the weird things she does. It’s kind of on my bucket list to to do stand-up which is completely terrifying, however if I ever get the guts to do it, April/Audrey would definitely help me get through the fright allowing myself just to be innapropriate and weird and stick to the kind of humour I’m into.

Cher (Clueless)

Clueless is a classic movie for many reasons, one being the iconic fashion, but I’ve only recently realised how inspirational Cher actually is. Cher may seem like a stereotypical dumb mean girl at first but that’s only right at the beginning, because you quickly see how Cher has such a kind heart and is really caring towards her friends and to her dad. She tries to do good deeds and teaches herself a new word every day which she uses in a sentence throughout the day. It sounds like something really small but it’s the small things that make a person really inspirational and great sometimes, how Cher tries to better herself by actively teaching herself something new everyday and how she’s just such a compassionate, caring person. I also want to mention Alicia Silverstone here while we’re at it, considering she is the actress who plays Cher. Alicia Silverstone is someone I’ve been looking up to a lot recently, she’s a great actress for starters but the reason why I’m inspired by her is her compassion in real life. She’s a vegan and promotes a cruelty free lifestyle with her son Bear Blu. Whenever I watch interviews with Alicia I just increasingly love her more because she’s just a really good person, trying to spread love wherever she goes, teaching people about caring for animals and for your own body and she’s super respectful of everyone’s opinions – I don’t think I’ve seen her say one bad thing about anyone. I always see pictures of her with her son as well and they just look so cute together, her son seems like such a sweet kid and looks so happy and Alicia always talks about how much she loves her son. You can tell how she’s really interested in what her son says and is respectful towards his opinions, while her son is so young she still treats him like he’s a valid person (I often see kids being dismissed as being just little kids and are not heard out properly, I understand they’re young but they have opinions and feelings too). Alicia is another inspiration for parenting to me, it’s funny how I have all these parenting inspirations when I don’t even think I want kids.

I’ve found a clear correlation here showing basically that my favourite characters are those who just don’t give a fuck, and are badass, I guess not caring and being your own person is the most inspirational thing, along with being a kind/caring person. Most of these women/girls have basically just taught me to be myself and have fun, while working hard to achieve any goals I have and being a kind and compassionate person, and I mean what more could you ask for. I love increasingly seeing more and more inspirational female characters in T.V shows and movies as it can really help females and especially little girls in realising how their gender shouldn’t stop them from doing the things they want.

Fun little fact: after Ally Mcbeal was released the amount of female lawyers actually rose up. I can’t remember how much it rose up but I have checked this out after watching a TED talk where it was mentioned. It just shows how the portrayal of a character can influence people so much in real life, perhaps females who wanted to be lawyers before but didn’t think they were capable or good enough got inspired by this T.V show to do it.


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