Five inspirational female TV characters

One student explores characters’ impact for Women’s History Month

It’s still March, which means it’s still Women’s History Month! So far, we’ve covered fantastic books written by women and female performers who are changing the entertainment industry in a positive way. Now, we get to explore television characters.
Most people have a favorite character from a television series, and they become the favorite for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s because they are inspiring. For others, it’s because their favorite character is relatable to them. Whatever your reason, your favorite is your favorite!

There are a lot of inspiring female characters on television, and they could all be good role models to have. All you have to do is sit down with your popcorn, hit play on Netflix, and get wrapped up in their positive messages. If you don’t know where to start looking for an inspiring female character, here’s a good place to start!

Buffy Summers (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”)
What could be better than a Joss Whedon series about hunting down evil vampires? A Joss Whedon series where the main character, a vampire slayer, is a mentally and physically strong high school girl, played wonderfully by Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Nyota Uhura (“Star Trek”)
The original Star Trek series broke a lot of barriers in its day with the racial diversity it had in the cast. Very few shows even had recurring black actors, so for a show to have a permanent black character who was female was a big deal! Uhura wasn’t afraid to show her intelligence and work her way up to an elite position in the Enterprise crew.

Dr. Mindy Lahiri (“The Mindy Project”)
If you’ve ever seen an episode of The Mindy Project, you’d know how dysfunctional Mindy is and probably wonder why she would make a good role model! Well, despite being a minority (Indian-American and a female), her character holds a very prestigious title as a doctor. On top of that, Mindy is not afraid to let people know that she’s far from having her life together, and she even embraces it. That’s something that’s nice to hear as a college student.

Tina Belcher (“Bob’s Burgers”)
All of my friends know that I’m a sucker for this show, and the one character I wish I could be friends with is undoubtedly Tina. She’s the awkward 14 year old most of us were in middle school, but she’s that girl times 1,000! And yet, she goes on with her life, staying true to her beliefs and not changing for any guy, no matter how much erotic friend-fiction she writes (you’ll get that last part if you watch the show!)

Lisa Simpson (“The Simpsons”)
If it were up to me, Lisa would get more time on the show; every other episode would be centered around her! Lisa is a fantastic role model to have, especially for young girls who are around her age (forever nine years old). Lisa has her hobbies and likes to be a young girl who plays with dolls, but she is so much more! She strives to be the best student, daughter, and person she can be. That, I think, is the most important thing that so many young women forget later on in life. You don’t have to be the “best girlfriend” or the “most popular girl.” You just have to be you and change because you want to!

There are hundreds of other female television characters who are inspiring in some way or another. We can’t be something that we can’t see; in order to be the best versions of ourselves we can be, we first need to have an example.

Photo: (CC BY 2.0 by shannonpatrick17)

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