We all love to see badass women represented in movies, television shows, and literature. When they defy the female stereotypes and destroy the gender roles that have been ingrained in our society for years, we cheer them on. There are so many incredible female characters out there, so here’s a list of five awe-inspiring women that everyone should see in action.
Cookie Lyon from Empire: Nobody can beat Cookie as a modern badass. She can make you laugh while striking fear into your heart. One minute a lover the next a fighter. Cookie was a former prisoner and faced the most heartbreaking situations: she was torn away from her children, lost her husband, and almost lost her life, but she made a comeback on her own. There’s no telling Cookie what to do, how to do it, or who to do it with. This woman plays by her own rules and looks hot while she does. She has no time or patience for the societal expectations of women; she is stubborn, loud, and loves to make a statement. If there’s one thing to know about Cookie it’s that she will not be a sidekick. She is determined to become the face of Empire forever and rule the entertainment world.
Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation: Leslie is one of the most amazing and hilarious television characters ever. Not only is Leslie a die hard waffle lover with an endless supply of great quotes (personal favorite referring to librarians as “punk-ass book jockeys”), but she’s also a total feminist. Leslie’s a woman who rips apart stereotypes and overcomes the difficulties of being a female government employee. She is unashamedly ambitious because she has the biggest heart in the world. What Leslie wants most of all is to make the people around her happy and she will stop at nothing to make that happen. Her dedication leads her to success, not only career-wise, but in her heart-warming friendships.
Ginny Weasley from Harry Potter: Ginny is hands down the most underrated character in the entire Harry Potter series. Sadly, Ginny’s amazing personality was cut out of the movies, but her fiery self remains very alive in the books. This lady is sassy, clever, and tough as nails. She’s the only character who’s brave enough to stand up to Harry when he’s irrational and, more importantly, stands up for herself when she’s treated like a dainty child. Her independence and bravery leads her to many accomplishments, like becoming one of the best Quidditch players, reforming a Voldemort resistance group, and dueling with some of the most dangerous dark wizards. Ginny is the strongest warrior while being the most loyal companion.
Ellen Ripley from Alien: Ripley is opinionated, intelligent, and fearless. Throughout the movie she changes from a follower contradicting her captain to a leader thriving in the most terrifying moments. When her crew is hunted down in an isolated spaceship by a bloodthirsty alien, Ripley never backs down. She gets crazy but keeps her wits about her by observing what the creature’s possible weaknesses are. Although she is afraid to fight alone, Ripley stays cool while wielding a flamethrower! Against all odds, she survives the attack on her own.
Detective Rosa Diaz from Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Rosa is a great detective who follows her own badass instincts. She’s very intense, often resorting to physical violence when anyone gets in her way, but under her hard exterior Rosa is a good person. She’s passionate about respecting women, calling her “honey” or “sweetheart” will promptly get you thrown across a room, and does her best to uplift the women she works with. Rosa is extremely confident in herself, always standing by her actions and never letting someone else’s opinion intimidate her. She cannot be discouraged once her mind is made up. Although Rosa is still learning how to express her emotions instead of hiding from them, her tough demeanor is underlined with how much she cares about her friends.
These characters may be very different, from wizard to space explorer, but they all inspire us women to be true to ourselves with no shame. As we try to accomplish our own goals they remind us that it’s more than okay to kick butt once in a while.
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The Most Badass Women of all Time: Image credits in featured order to History.com; FOX; NBC; Warner Bros.; 20th Century Fox; FOX