An awesome article on the Top Ten Girl on Girl Fights at the Vine has prompted me to consider who my favourite fictional female characters are out of all time. The best heroines in my eyes are the completely independent and brave characters who are free from the bullshit cliches ie. damsel in distress (needs a man to save her), reliant on her beauty (everything falls into her lap because of her looks) and the rest. This is my count down.
10. Ling Xiaoyu, Tekken
Not a lot can be said for Ling, as she has hardly any dialogue, but she is my favourite of all the Tekken characters. For one, her fighting style is beautiful to watch and satisfying to conquer, and another she does all that is within her power to save Jin from his terrible family. She even wins a tourny and buys a time machine to try and fix the past. She loves animals and has her own theme park. If she was Japanese, she’d so be gyaru. I’m waiting in hopes that one day her and Jin marry & live happily ever after.
9. Princess Leia, Star Wars
How could I not include her? Sure she was kidnapped a few times by Darth Vader and Jabba, but she killed Jabba herself in the end, and she was always valuable in a fight. She kept her dignity even in a stupid gold bikini thing (even if she did look amazing) and she never gave up. She was a honest and righteous senator and always voiced her causes, and she was sassy when Han tried to pick her up. Smart and aggressive, how can you go wrong? She kicked Amidala’s ass in awesomeness.
8. Jasmine, Aladdin
Jasmine refused to be exploited for her beauty and status and ran away to escape the oppressive patriarchy that is Palace Life. She fell in love with a street rat, who was penniless and a little bit bad, and fought to save his life.. She refused Ali, Aladdin in prince costume, because he was too arrogant & flashy, and she was outspoken at all times (which she prob only got away with because of royal blood in reality). Jasmine was my favourite Disney girl, she was the most beautiful to me, best singer & I always wanted to get Aladdin at the end of the day too, even if he was a street rat (I’m a street mouse).
7. Buffy Summers, Buffy The Vampire Slayer
I even liked the crappy movie Buffy who got to date Dylan from 90210. The later Buffy managed to be funny, cute, fashion conscious and even though she was the chosen one and all of that, still was human enough to be endearing. She fucked up like everybody else, she could be self centred and demanding (qualities I sometimes embody), she had secret love affairs (who hasn’t?) and pined over the lost love of her life, who hurt her in crushing and unbelievably tortuous ways for an entire season. I liked Faith because she had more attitude, but Buffy won because of her flaws and her championing for good.
6. Esmeralda, Hunchback of Notre Dame
Did you honestly think I could have a count down without including at least one gypsy, curly haired, tarot reading, fate believing, queen of dance? Esmeralda had it all, the attitude, smarts, morals.. She fought for her people and gave up everything for what she believed was right, whether for Quasimodo or her gypsy people. She was the first person to be kind to Quasi, and she was resourceful and street smart, dancing to make money. If I was a disney heroine, she is who I would be.
5. Leila Shahine, Crescent
Nobody will have heard of her, but when I was 15 that book opened my eyes to the wars in the Middle East & Palestine. Leila herself was an ardent Palestinian, a bit of a snob, but learns through her life after losing her love by choosing material wealth and security, that love is worth fighting for as much as your causes. And that you must sacrifice comfort & other such luxuries, because through this you will gain happiness. Leila’s character was based on the life of an actual Palestinian socialite, and both met their end at the blades of Israeli troops, while volunteering in the hospitals of the Gaza camps.
4. April O’Neil, TMNT
April has been one of my favourite cartoon characters for as long I can remember. Theres footage of me at 4 saying the classic line into the camera, “Hi, I’m April O’Neil, Channel 6 News..” and flicking my hair with fury, a hairbrush shoved in front of my face. Maybe she inspired me to my journalism path, but mostly I loved how she always ran shit, no matter what was going on. She could be in the midst of a crazy battle with the turtles and still get the scoop and file her stories on time. Not only that, but she didn’t take shit from her editor & was constantly arguing about the assignments he gave her. She always kept her sources confidential, even if they were the ninja turtles themselves and the world was hunting them down.
3. Leeloo, 5th Element
The supreme being, whose name is the backwards of mine, fifth element.. Crazily smart, strong and adaptable, Leeloo attracts trouble but fights it just as easily. Leeloo is the only person who can save the world, but increasingly becomes disillusioned with it after being confronted with all the war, pain and injustice. What is there left to fight for, when men live for money instead of humanity and the Earth is dying from being plundered over and over? What reason is there to be without love? Its the only thing that holds us together, and in the end the reason why she decides to live.
2. Kaname Chidori, Full Metal Panic!
I can’t help but love Kaname, she’s kinda how I was in high school but a little more straight laced. She does all her homework and is class president, but apart from that she was super smart, had tons of friends, aggressive and stubborn, temperamental and in love with her closest friend, Sousuke. Even though he’s sent to the school to protect her, half the time she ends up bashing him for being overbearing and rash, and her own special abilities save the day in the first series. She’s tough and strong, she just wishes he would turn around and say the words that are on the tip of their tongues.. In the end his actions speak louder than words & one day I think the series will give me a satisfying ending. Kaname is never one to be pushed around, she always does what she wants and she’s not afraid to put someone in their place. She is also very brave, even without any physical abilities apart from general sportiness, she still courageous enough to fight for her life.
1. Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls
I mean the mum, not Rory. I mean Rory’s cool and all, but she just doesn’t have the depth that Lorelai has. Rory was intrinsically good, and battled with decisions where she was lead astray. Lorelai dealt with shit head on, fear of commitment and men cheating on her (kinda, Christopher left her for a woman who he found out was carrying his child), a man who loved her but couldn’t realise it, and then couldn’t admit it until like the last season, and then lied to her and pushed her away when they were engaged.. She went through the rough shit & somehow she pulls herself together every time, like we all do. She talks too fast & can get carried away and sidetracked (like me ey) but she isn’t afraid of who she is and never lets outside judgement affect her. She doesn’t always know the right thing to do, but she does the best she can, and thats real. She is my fav character of all time.
The common themes here are fighting for justice, honesty, open hearts and courage. These are fictional people but in reality life is the same, the good guys do win. Fortune favours the brave, people who succeed are those who are willing to stand up and sacrifice for their beliefs, for what is right. They may not gain the material bounty that comes with consumerism and the business savvy, but they have a clean heart and a mind that is untroubled with the complications of greed, pride and lust. They get their true happiness, even if only for a little while. Most of all, they inspire me to believe in life, they give me hope that through our shared faults and troubles, it is still possible to make it. Who are your favs?