45 Popular Female Characters From TV And Movies Guaranteed To Inspire You Forever – BuzzFeed

We asked the women of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which female TV and movie characters have made them feel proud and seen over the years. Here are the amazing results.

1.

Cristina Yang, Grey’s Anatomy


ABC

“Cristina was independent, strong, and the best female surgeon Seattle Grace had ever seen!”

—sarah122512

2.

Rachel Green, Friends


NBC

“She leaves Barry, moves to New York City, and is able to go from a daddy’s girl to a strong, single mother with a career by working her way up the ladder.”

—daniellem40f7e7031

3.

Olivia Pope, Scandal


ABC

“Olivia showed serious selflessness with the clients she took on at Pope & Associates. Plus, she constantly drank red wine while wearing white ensembles and never spilled.”

—danielles4c2a035ed

4.

Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation


NBC

“Leslie Knope was a woman who knew who she was. She helped me realize that it’s OK to love yourself and your life loudly, from your friends to your ambitions and desires.”

—vidrioo

5.

Minny Jackson and Aibileen Clark, The Help


DreamWorks Pictures

“They were all so strong and tested the social norms while risking their lives to share their personal stories to the world.”

—paigecarrier

6.

Mulan, Mulan


Walt Disney Pictures

“She disguised herself to save her father from going to war, worked her way from being the worst soldier to the best in the Chinese army, and earned respect and honor from all of China as a woman.”

—icehexx

7.

Hermione Granger, Harry Potter


Warner Bros. Pictures

“Even though she got discriminated for being a muggle born, it never brought her down. She was very intelligent with a lot of loyalty, and she was always ready to break the rules in order to defend what she believed in.”

—imanawesomecther

8.

Mindy Lahiri, The Mindy Project


Hulu

“Mindy shows that women don’t have to just be one thing — foolish, beautiful, or funny — you can be all those things at once, just like real women are.”

—jkwalsh8

9.

Jane Villanueva, Jane the Virgin


The CW

“Jane juggled an unplanned pregnancy, starting her writing career, and being a new parent all at once! She never made it look easy, which was refreshing, and when she kept her values regardless of judgement, I felt like I could finally relate to someone.”

—brafeeat

10.

Elle Woods, Legally Blonde


MGM

“As a child I always assumed I’d one day fit into the female gender norms that surrounded me everyday, but Elle taught me you can do anything you want in the world and be amazing at it!”

—emiliaw45c46acbe

11.

Rosa Diaz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine


NBC

“Rosa Diaz never let anyone tell her what to do and I aspire to have that level of confidence.”

—ava123cool

12.

Lana Winters, American Horror Story: Asylum


FX

“Lana was unashamed of her ambition and never abandoned her fighting spirit, even when she was faced with unimaginable obstacles. She went through the wringer and still maintained her humanity.”

—clairemercie

13.

Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones


HBO

“She was kind, empathetic, and refused to abandon anyone if they needed rescuing. All hail Daenerys Targaryen, breaker of chains, mother of dragons, and 1,000 other powerful titles she’s held.”

—angiepereida

14.

Shuri, Black Panther


Marvel

“It was so empowering as a woman to see an all female army protecting a king! Not only that, but Shuri is so iconic. She’s a smart, technological genius — it’s been refreshing to see independent women in films.”

—maddsb

15.

Annalise Keating, How to Get Away with Murder


ABC

“Annalise is complex, has huge flaws, and an incredible amount of strength. I love female characters who don’t care about being likable. I’ve literally applauded her during episodes of How to Get Away with Murder.”

—hannamcg

16.

Miranda Priestly, The Devil Wears Prada


20th Century Fox

“Miranda taught us that you don’t have to be a man to be strong and confront difficult situations.”

—advaitac

17.

Kat Stratford, 10 Things I Hate About You


Buena Vista Pictures

“She was never afraid to speak her mind and didn’t care about what anyone thought of her.”

—brennag4aee6ee1b

18.

Olivia Benson, Law & Order: SVU


NBC

“The way she helped people, especially victims, and fought for others instead of herself made me wish Olivia Benson was a real person. She went through hell and came back stronger than ever.”

—iness41a35c65e

19.

Princess Leia, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope


Lucasfilm

“Leia might’ve been a princess, but she was certainly no damsel in distress! She showed me that I could be a leader and make a difference, no matter who tried to tell me differently.”

—katek444bf14ea

20.

Miranda Bailey, Grey’s Anatomy


ABC

“She made her way up through the surgical program by working hard and standing her ground. She fought for what she believed she deserved, which has made her a truly inspiring character.”

—amberj4ffe70a6c

21.

Princess Tiana, The Princess and the Frog


Walt Disney Pictures

“At the time I was too young to understand the feeling, but now I know that seeing a princess that looked even remotely like me was exhilarating. I love Disney princesses, but having one that was dark skinned and saved herself and Prince was something else.”

—roryfae

22.

Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman


Warner Bros. Pictures

“Whenever I saw Wonder Woman in her iconic getup, and I got chills. She’s been everything I’ve ever wanted to be and I like to think that if she was a real person, she would’ve believed in me too.”

—opalmagic

23.

Maxine Shaw, Khadijah James, Regine Hunter, and Synclaire James, Living Single


Fox

“The ladies of Living Single were the best! When I was a kid, some boy called me Synclaire as an insult, but now I have no problem with it. She was the heart of the group.”

—iwantmypinkshirtback

24.

Jillian Holtzmann, Ghostbusters


Sony Pictures

“Her montage of killing dozens of ghosts made me feel so empowered. Boys have always had these fantastical crazy characters growing up, so it made me so happy to finally have character as a woman.”

—gabig414b0fcc8

25.

Peggy Olson, Mad Men


AMC

“Even through terrible apartments and even worse boyfriends, she kept her head up high and always stayed true to herself. Whenever she argued with Don, I LIVED.”

—courtneyannes

26.

Olive Penderghast, Easy A


Screen Gems

“Olive was funny, nerdy, sensitive, and confident because she’s a real human who felt so many things at once. What a wonderfully written character!”

—abbyc44a4a80a4

27.

Lisa Simpson, The Simpsons


Fox

“Ever since I was a little kid in primary school, she always made me feel cool because she was intelligent and always stood up for what she believed in.”

—hollyenjoysfood

28.

Octavia Blake, The 100


The CW

“Octavia from The 100 has been a strong, female lead in the show. She is a total badass.”

—samanthaf4d02952e6

29.

Catwoman, Batman Returns


Warner Bros.

“Catwoman showed me women can be unapologetically sexy, fierce, and badass at the same time. Even though she bordered on the good and bad spectrum, I always wanted to be just like her.”

—shaughny

30.

Blanche Devereaux, The Golden Girls


NBC

“I’ve felt inspired by so many women on TV, but this one is my Queen. Growing up, she taught me how to be the lady I am today.”

—e4ada6546c

31.

Donna Meagle, Parks and Recreation

32.

Veronica Mars, Veronica Mars


Warner Bros.

“She was both a smart and awesome woman, and the scariest little being on the planet for criminals.”

—katem405562d9c

33.

Poussey Washington, Orange is the New Black


Netflix

“Poussey wasn’t ashamed of who she was, she was open-minded, and she didn’t let anyone stop her from shining.”

—jalissaj

34.

Aunt Viv, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air


NBC

“She’s one of the biggest examples of a married black woman who can hold down the home and pursue her own career — and SLAYED while doing it!”

—maxineblythe

35.

Dr. Ellie Sattler, Jurassic Park


Universal Pictures

“She was an amazing Paleobotanist who survived multiple raptor attacks, and a strong female lead without being the stereotypical love interest. I looked up to her as a young girl, especially when she said, ‘Look, we can discuss sexism in survival situations when I get back.'”

—deniseab

36.

Matilda Wormwood, Matilda


TriStar Pictures

“Matilda taught me it doesn’t matter if you’re little or young: as long as you’re clever and you demand justice, you’re as strong as can be.”

—squidees

37.

Pam Beesly, The Office


NBC

“Pam Beesly’s transformation throughout The Office was INCREDIBLE. She went from being a shy receptionist in a bad relationship to standing up for herself and getting what she actually wanted.”

—ebknoll

38.

Shug Avery, The Color Purple


Warner Bros. Pictures

“Shug Avery taught me about the true value of strong female relationships and how they allow for self-empowerment.”

—gabriellekira

39.

Penny Proud, The Proud Family


Disney Channel

“When I look back, I think of how much culture was actually implemented in The Proud Family given the time period. I was to grow up watching a black girl like Penny Proud play the main character on one of the best shows Disney ever produced.”

—samiyahm

40.

Joan Clayton, Girlfriends


The CW

“Growing up I always wanted to be Toni, but the older I got, the more I realized I was Joan and it was OK because she was an absolute boss.”

—foreverasya

41.

Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer


The WB

“Despite having to save the world every day from vampires and other demons, she still managed to stay true to herself and maintain the strong bond she had with her friends.”

—naraavakian

42.

Issa Dee, Insecure


HBO

“I appreciate and commend her on her relatable ability to embody what it’s meant to be a smart, funny, and lovable black woman.”

—autumnrosew

43.

Katie Morosky, The Way We Were


Columbia Pictures

“Barbra Streisand’s character in The Way We Were was incredible. She was a woman in a love story who refused to put up with being bossed around.”

—reneeg4b6965340

44.

Mary Jackson, Katherine Goble Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Hidden Figures


20th Century Fox

“It showed women excelling at excellent careers despite being black women in the 1960s. They literally paved the way for NASA and didn’t let anybody get in their way.”

—monikap6

45.

And Mary Richards, The Mary Tyler Moore Show


CBS

“Mary Richards taught me a woman doesn’t have to depend on anyone else but herself in order to live a happy, fulfilling life.”

—kaylayandoli

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