Top Five TV Heroines | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Top Five TV Heroines

Emily Calder takes us through the female TV characters that she finds most inspirational and empowering

As we recently celebrated the International Day of the Girl, it seems fitting to look at how women are represented on television. I believe that girls should be celebrated every day, and should be represented in the media as the bad-ass, incredible gender that we are. Therefore, in celebration of girls everywhere, here are my Top Five TV Heroines.

Lisa Simpson, The Simpsons

‘Why is it when a woman is confident and powerful, they call her a witch?’

I know she’s an eight-year-old cartoon character, but Lisa smashes the patriarchy over and over. She creates her own feminist doll to fight against sexist products, and inspired hundreds of girls in the 90s to pick up musical instruments. She has the desire and capacity to do whatever she wants, but her moments of relatability and insecurity mean we identify her as a real girl fighting real issues. The Simpsons even predicted that she will succeed Trump as President, and I hope they’re right about this one too.

Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

‘If you wanna bake a pie, that’s great. If you wanna have a career, that’s great too.’

Leslie earns her place in my top 5 as a self-proclaimed feminist who gets stuff done – she stands up against sexist beauty pageants, becomes the first Councilwoman of her city, creates her own Girl Scout Group and rocks a pantsuit. With her genius invention of ‘Galentines Day’ to celebrate and support the women in her life, and a wall of inspirational women that includes photos of herself, Leslie’s positive spirit, confidence, and love for waffles makes her an absolute heroine in my eyes.

Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls

‘Babe, guys are always going to be there, okay? This school isn’t. It’s more important.’

Independent and empowering, Lorelai is someone every girl needs in their lives. She flourishes as a single mother after a teenage pregnancy, opens her own business, and even names her daughter after herself because men do it all the time, so why can’t women? Aside from all her successes and iconic one-liners, she also gets her heart broken, cries, and eats pizza in bed. Lorelai is human, but she’s a bad-ass icon too.

Raven Baxter, That’s So Raven

‘People come in all shapes and sizes and they’re all beautiful.’

A psychic diva with a passion for fashion, Raven exudes joy and boldness and isn’t afraid to chase her dreams. She is hilarious and feminine, unapologetically black – as explored in the show’s anti-racism episode - and dances, sings and does whatever the hell she wants. When photo shopped modelling her designs for a magazine, she walks the runway in her own clothes and kicks beauty stereotypes to the curb. Her attitude and energy should definitely be celebrated.

Karen Brockman, Outnumbered

‘You shouldn’t be prejudiced against fat people, thin people, men who’ve turned into women, women who’ve turned into men, gay people, ginger people...’

A British TV icon: Karen is incredibly curious about the world, wishes to post her unwanted broccoli to African children, aspires to be both a vet and an astronaut, and batters her Dad with a fruit when he dares to suggest that girls can’t throw. She is full of sass and spirit, and is so unapologetically herself throughout the series that we all need to be more like her.

Food and Drink Print Editor, English Literature Student. (@emcalder_)


2nd December 2018 at 7:00 am

Last Updated

1st December 2018 at 3:36 pm

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