April 16, 2014

A Strong Heroine Is...

So often, I feel as if some people feel a heroine isn't strong unless she's physically strong and can beat up a guy with some type of weapon. These same people may dismiss Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and even later princesses who don't use weapons (but that can send me on a whole other rant). To me, a strong heroine is so much more than a girl who is physically strong or good with a weapon.

A strong heroine exhibits great emotional strength in the face of adversity. A strong heroine cries because she is a girl, and women cry more naturally than men. A strong heroine is kind to her enemies (those who aren't immediately trying to murder her) and is caring, loving, gracious, humble, loyal, and most of all, a beautifully flawed human being. A strong heroine can care about pretty dresses and shoes and kick butt when needed. A strong heroine surrounds herself with a group of loving family and friends. A strong heroine is perhaps smart or clever rather than physically tough.  

A strong heroine may be shy, or naive, or afraid of a lot. She may crumble under pressure. She may not always speak kindly. A strong heroine may make bad choices or say things she later regrets. She may not always have an abundance of confidence.

A strong heroine is more than Mulan. She is more than Katniss Everdeen.. A strong heroine is more than Black Widow. All of those heroines matter, and I adore them. But they are not the only role models for young girls out there. So who do I classify as strong heroines, who don't seem very courageous or tough at first glance? (Note: I'll only be listing a few, and they're all from books. If I made a comprehensive list, this post would take hours to read. I also had a much longer list to start with, but I cut a few so this post doesn't take half an hour to read.)

A Strong Heroine Is...

Cress, who was naive, sweet, tech-savvy, and loving.
Isi, who blossomed from a shy, uncertain princess into a queen who used her words and powers more than weapons.
Cammie, who didn't just depend on her physical training but also her smarts and friends.
Addie, who made the hardest choice of her short life when she decided to save her friend's life, even if it put herself in danger and prevented her from being with the guy she loved.
Hazel Grace, who battled cancer, and who fell in love and didn't dump a guy just because he was dying (but didn't stay with him for that reason either), and all while she was dying herself.
Elisa, who blossomed into a beautiful young woman who fought for her country, her friends, and those she loved; who couldn't see herself being queen but became one anyways; who wasn't stick thin and didn't care.
Penny, who didn't let a jerk guy win her over and realized that not all guys are bad.
Skeeter, who stuck up for what she believed in and changed her world.
Allyson, who didn't stay hung up on a guy, yet didn't let go of him, and who found what she was passionate about and stood up to her mother.
Kestrel, who chose to not go into the army, but was excellent at strategizing and protecting her country.
Cassie, who was intelligent and didn't need a guy to save her.
Cath, who realized she could have friends apart from her sister, Wren, and yet still have a strong relationship with Wren, and who found out it's okay to be introverted.
Elise, who was strong enough to call for help after she tried to commit suicide (even if she was calling the girl for attention) and who found something that made her powerful.
Nyx, who was willing to sacrifice herself to save her people.

The above girls are from, in order, Cress, The Goose Girl (and subsequent Books of Bayern), Gallagher Girls, Pivot Point, The Fault in Our Stars, The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, The Lonely Hearts Club, The Help, Just One Day, The Winner's Curse, The Naturals, Fangirl, This Song Will Save Your Life, and Cruel Beauty.

And I'm sure there are many more than those I listed. It was hard containing this list to only 14 heroines, so I want to hear who your favorite strong heroines are, ones that are known for more than their physical strength (because, let's be honest, we'd all name Katniss if I didn't place that specifier there).


  1. Great post. It's definitely easy to get hung up on physical strength and skill and overlook the other ways a heroine could be strong.
    A few of my favorites, borrowing your format:
    -Vrell Sparrow, who risked her life to help Achen and to stop Gidon.
    -Lucy, who believed when no one else did, who stuck to that belief, and who never gave up hope.
    -Imraldera, who loved the unlovable.
    -Ela, who served as the Infinite's prophet despite everyone who tried to stop her.
    -Bonnie, who never stopped having faith in God and who willingly put her life on the line time after time to protect and help her friends and family.

  2. I really love this post. I'm always big on strong female heroines. I love characters who can kick butt whether they are physically strong or not.


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