My Fictional Childhood Heroines.


Family shapes us. Early childhood friendships define how we will later interact with strangers. Relationships help us know how to find the line between love and companionship. But which is it that actually aids in us becoming whoever the hell we're meant to be? For me, partly, it was my childhood heroines. My mother was sick throughout a good chunk of my childhood, and because of that, I spent majority of my evenings and free days cuddled up on the couch watching TV with her. It was my happy place, and I'm never not thankful for growing up in that environment.  I had crushes on fictional women years before I even noticed guy characters, I wanted to become them. I wanted to befriend them. And I'm pretty darn proud of that. It set my morals straight. Here are the fictional women who stood stand in the shadow of who I have become today.

Buffy Anne Summers, BTVS
My biggest of inspirations, and not just because we share a middle name. (But pretty cool bonus, right?), let me introduce the woman in the top spot... Buffy Anne Summers. This protagonist of Joss Whedon's cult classic played a bigger role in my childhood than anyone. She taught me how to not place my happiness in the hands of anyone. She taught me that you have to be the prince to your princess, that sometimes you can save yourself. That you often need to just go through the motions of life to reach the destination where you belong. That sometimes all you need is one act of insane bravery to be okay. That you can be both kickass and appreciate a pretty dress. The girl who saved the world a lot, also saved my belief of a better future when I was a little girl.

Tara Maclay, BTVS
Buffy the Vampire Slayer defined too much of my childhood to not have two characters on this list. It was and still is my most rewatched TV show. Buffy herself made me want to be a better person, she gave me strength when I needed it. But Tara, she gave me hope that I'd still be okay if I stayed myself. As a young girl I was painfully shy. I would psych myself out of the most basic of daily tasks if it involved anyone else. I would rehearse conversations before I had them. I would sometimes find myself sitting on the stairs of my Grandparents house working myself up to go downstairs because there was someone other than them there. Nowadays it's more common to have anxiety, whereas back then it was just a thing you ought to 'get over' with age. Tara was the very first adult I ever saw who was quite obviously shy and awkward in social situations. I found that miraculous. And it made me feel less alone.

The Charmed Ones, Charmed
In the style of Buffy, we have another TV show that is the literal definition of #GIRLPOWER. I'm telling you, my mum set me up right for the modern day world. I adored the Charmed Ones, but what I find interesting about my relationship with the show is that as I aged, I grew attached to the different sisters. When I was young, as in, 7 or 8, I adored Paige. I found her goofy mannerisms and almost childish behaviours relatable. In season 4, she is continuously trying to do the right thing, and I often identified with that. She somehow always messed up as she wasn't yet sure how to navigate this new life. Welcome to hormones, past Anne. Then as I grew into my early teens, I saw myself in season 2-3 Phoebe. I found her view of herself inspiring and the fact that she randomly decided to go back to college gave me hope that my future would be in my own hands. Now as a 20-something adult, Piper and Prue speak more to me. I think all of this just proves that Charmed is good for any age.

Sandy Olsson, Grease
Whether fashion, her ability to still be herself despite the cattiness of some fellow students, or the love of a bad guy.. I aspired to be Sandy Olsson. I remember my mum sitting me down in front of Grease when I was 6 or 7, and I was instantly mesmerised by the flippy skirts, collars and birdlike voice of the one and only Olivia Newton John. She was a real life Belle from Beauty and the Beast, books and all. As an adult, I can now see how problematic the story of Grease was, but that doesn't lessen my love for the musical classic.

Belle, Beauty and The Beast
Speaking of Belle.. she had to have her own place on this list. Beauty and The Beast was one of the only animated movies that I watched on repeat. Like any girl that's shy, a little insecure, and liked to read.. Belle was my favourite princess-non-princess. I adored her maid outfit and craved the library in the castle. Her independence was just a bonus.

Gabriella Montez, High School Musical
If you were a teen in the early 2000s and enjoyed math, Gabriella was the girl to be. When I first watched HSM, I was just about to start at a new school and was already crippled with the new girl jitters. This fictional character unknowingly helped me with that. Starting off shy, in HSM you watch as Gabriella slowly comes out of her shell, living the life that all us shy girls longed for. I identified with her, and admired her confidence when it came to being herself.

Evelyn O'Connell, The Mummy
A sassy librarian who willingly goes off to save the world from a Mummy? Yes, god, yes. Evelyn was who I wanted to be in so many ways. First, her wardrobe satisfied my nerdy self. Neck scarves will always be in. Second, she never compromised her own integrity or values throughout the first movie (let's not talk about the second.). She stuck to her guns, won a battle with her intelligence, and lured a man without changing who she was at heart. She carried books instead of weapons. Her character is basically what every side female ought to be when put in a movie with a strong willed 'heroic' action man.

Which fictional female helped you when you were younger?


  1. Aaaah this post was so much fun! I have to admit, I've never watched Buffy or Charmed (I was never allowed to as a kid- strict parents), but I've heard such great things about both shows, that it makes me want to relive the 90's and watch them! And now that I know they have such strong female characters on them...well, now I kind of HAVE to :)

    And I loved Evie from the Mummy and Belle from Beauty and the Beast! No, Evie was never as likeable as Rick, but she real and true to herself (you're right, let's not talk about the second movie...), so I loved her for that. Plus, she pretty much saved their butts by being smart and well read. Rick can only destroy so many mummies, but they had to STOP them and they did with her knowledge.

    Really awesome post idea! It's amazing how certain fictional characters can shape our lives for the better and be there for us when we need them.

    Emily |

    1. Exactly! Buffy is an absolute must watch, it's crazy how good it is at ageing - it hasn't lost any of the magic. I'd love if you also did a post on your fictional heroines! I'd thoroughly enjoy giving it a read. Thank you so much for the comment, Emily.


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