The Fictional Women That Empower Me

In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8th, and celebrating women everywhere and every day, I’m paying tribute to the five fictional queens that have inspired me the most over the years. From childhood to present, I’ve been lucky enough to witness some pretty badass girl power on the screen. Thanks to my parents for exploiting me to such television shows and movies like Grey’s Anatomy and Star Wars, I’ve been able to find heroes that I look up to on a day-to-day basis, regardless of their gender. To me a hero is somebody who shows the world who they are and uses all they have to save those around them for the greater good, despite the fear and darkness that lies ahead. In no particular order, these are the five fictional heroines that empower me the most.

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Meredith Grey (Grey’s Anatomy) ~ If you don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy you are seriously missing out. This show has given me so many things, one of them being a new character in the fictional universe to look up to. When I’m watching Meredith, I feel like I’m looking in a mirror. Okay, maybe not exactly. But this character and I definitely have a thing or two in common. Meredith is a Chief of General Surgery, who started out as all surgical wannabes start out: an intern. Over the past 15 seasons of the show she’s moved up in the ranks of the surgical field, she’s kicked ass in the O.R, and followed in her mother’s footsteps in winning a Harper-Avery Award for her surgical skills. But, Meredith has had her fair share of tragedy and loss.

Plane crash. Drowning. A mass shooting. A miscarriage. These are just some of the trials and tribulations Dr.Grey has endured, and I’m just scratching the surface. Again and again, she has come through the absolute worst a human being can take in. I myself have been through my own trials and tribulations, not to mention devastating losses. Over the coarse of watching this series, Meredith has shown me what it truly means to rise above. After surviving the plane crash at the end of season 8, she chooses to live every day like it’s her last, living in honour of her little sister Lexie, who perished in the crash. In the midst of a mass shooting, which involves insanely high pressure and anxiety, suffers a brutal miscarriage of her first ever child yet chooses to persevere and operate on her friend’s gunshot wound and save his life, unfortunately not being able to save her child’s. Once recovered and able to get out of bed after being brutally attacked by a patient, she meets with him in person and chooses to forgive him, rather than respond with hatred and grow an ever-lasting grudge. In the end, Meredith is literally the perfect human. She perseveres, she fights back, and she leads with grace. As she famously said herself, “What’s broken can be mended, what’s hurt can be healed. No matter how dark it gets, the sun’s gonna rise again.”

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Dory (Finding Nemo/Finding Dory) ~ My childhood consisted of a lot of female leads. Although Dory wasn’t a lead in her 2003 film debut, she sure got her leading moment in the 2016 blockbuster Finding Dory. From the moment she bumped into Marlin and was introduced, I knew for a fact I was going to love this character. And now I love more than I ever have. Dory states in the film that she suffers from short term memory loss, but eventually pulled through when it came to finding Marlin’s son, Nemo. She tells Marlin that when she’s with him, she remembers everything, and that’s why she doesn’t want him to leave her. She’s an example that friendships can truly bring out the best in people. But Dory’s story hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows.

In Finding Dory, we get an insight into Dory’s past life and how exactly she lost her parents. It’s her short term memory loss that got her stranded in the first place, leading to her fateful meeting with her now clown fish best friend Marlin. With the help of Marlin and his son Nemo, she goes on an adventurous quest to find her mother and father. In the end, she makes us all cry when she reunites with her parents and discovers the true meaning behind her motto: Just keep swimming. Dory has taught me to never give up no matter what, or as she says, “Just keep swimming.”

Black Widow (a.k.a Natasha Romanoff) {Marvel Cinematic Universe} ~ I remember walking out of my viewing of the first Avengers movie in 2012. My Dad was getting into all my thoughts, asking very specific questions, especially about each character. I remember my answer when he asked me what I thought about the Black Widow: “She kind’ve reminded me of a combination of Kim Possible and Ahsoka Tano!” Those will be the next two that I mention. Natasha definitely won my heart over with her badass fighting skills and comedic comebacks and one-liners. Her original MCU debut was in Iron Man 2 where she serves as Tony Stark’s personal assistant. In The Avengers, she joins Stark once more, along with Captain America, the God of Thunder Thor, the incredible Hulk, and her partner in crime Clint Barton, whose alias is Hawkeye, to hunt and take down the God of Mischief Loki.

A Russian spy. An agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. The Black Widow. These are all things that match with  and describe Natasha Romanoff. She is fierce, she is highly skilled, and she’s got red in ledger, she’d like to wipe it out. If Gamora wasn’t the fiercest woman in the galaxy, Natasha would definitely take that title. What inspires me about Black Widow is her strength and how she acts tough around both her friends and enemies. She has a certain wit and inner warrior about her that is so attractive and inspiring. Black Widow is the definition of what it means to be a powerful woman, not to mention badass.

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Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars~ If you’re a close family member or friend of mine, you know about my uncontrollable love for this queen of a character. Introduced in the 2008 film Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ahsoka became a fan favourite for many, especially me. I’ve been blessed enough to been able to watch her journey from her early days as a Padawan to her middle-aged era as a wise warrior assisting the less-fortunate. Ahsoka has truly grown over the years as a character, even after both The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels has gone off the air. All jokes aside, she ages like fine wine. In the 2016 novel written by Candian author E.K Johnston we learn about Ahsoka’s days without the Jedi and as a normal civilian. I can honestly say it’s one of my favourite novels of all time. Such a great story told and beautiful addition to Ahsoka’s journey. And that’s it. Ahsoka’s journey, that’s what inspires me the most about her.

Believe it or not, Ahsoka and I have a lot in common. She left a religion she no longer felt that she belonged to, she was stabbed in the back by her best friend more than once, and she’s been underestimated by her peers. These are just a few things I can relate to when it comes to Ahsoka’s trials and tribulations. The fact that I am inspired  by and can relate to a fictional character from a galaxy far, far away such as Ahsoka speaks volumes. Our similarities and relatable situations help me find different ways to deal with the things we’ve both been through. I often ask myself nowadays, “What would Ahsoka do?” She literally guides me through my day-to-day basis.

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Kim Possible ~ This is a particular character that is near and dear to my heart. I still watch this show to this day. I’m still in love with the character and its show just as much as I did when I first discovered it as a little boy. Kim Possible is something I’m going to be passing down to my kids, guaranteed. Just ask my parents, I would watch this show on repeat when I was little. I loved it so much, I had a Kim Possible birthday cake! That is something I am still very much proud of. Long story short, I really love this character.

It’s indescribable. The effect she’s had on my life is beyond words. She’s such a hero to me and has helped me to find the hero in myself. There’s times that I have doubts about my ability to be my own hero and help others, and that’s when I turn to the show and watch Kim in her own day-to-day life. She’s such an all around good human, you can’t not want to be her. I mean, who wouldn’t have fun traveling the world fighting bad guys with a goofy sidekick and naked mole rat by your side? Kim Possible created girl power.

In the end, all these women and so many more on screen have helped in more ways than my fingers can count. They each have come into my life at different eras and without them there to guide me through those certain times and even now, I’m not quite sure I’d be the person that I am today. Thanks to them, I have some sort of belief in myself. And I sure as hell believe in them.

 

 

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