Badass women of pop culture who empower us

March is Women’s History Month, and March 8th is International Women’s Day! In honor of that, we are going to talk about some badass, empowering characters from our favorite pop culture outlets. I reached out to people on Instagram about this. I asked people to tell me who their favorite female character is and how she is able to empower them. Also, I will be putting my answer in here as well as Jennifer’s. (The owner of the Nerdy Vegas Chic shop)

13th Doctor from “Doctor Who”

Doctor Who, empower us to be better
The 13th Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker. Image from Doctor Who BBCA

Personally, the 13th Doctor (played by Jodie Whittaker) from the BBC TV show Doctor Who empowers me. A little background on the character: The Doctor is a time traveler who uses a ship called the TARDS (Time And Relative Dimension in Space) that looks like a 1960’s police call box. The show began in 1963, and the character was played by men. The Doctor is a “Time Lord,” and to cheat death, they change into a different version of themselves. There have been 13 different actors. Every actor who has played the part has done an incredible job portraying the character. The Doctor travels through time and space, helping people and saving planets. Spoiler alert: The Doctor’s home planet has been burned to ashes. That is something they have to work through as they try and do their best to help those they come into contact with. The 13th Doctor, now a woman, has to navigate not only figuring out who she is, but she also is doing so in a completely new way. She travels optimistically, full of hope, and full of wonder. Sure, there are definitely moments where she could easily be knocked down, but in spite of learning who she truly is/was in her past lives, she uses that to get stronger. Nothing breaks her down. Just when all hope seems lost, her friends come through for her and she bounces right back! The Doctor empowers her friends constantly, and her attitude and outlook empower me.

She-Ra from “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power”

She-Ra empower
She-Ra, “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” Courtesy of DreamWorks

Adora is an orphan who has been raised by a group called the “Horde.” She is taught to fight against the “Resistance.” This is all she has ever known. She fights side by side with her best friend, Catra, until one day she finds a magical sword. This sword shows her the truth and turns her into She-Ra, the Princess of Power. Once she realizes she is on the wrong side, she relinquishes allegiance with the Horde and pledges herself to the Resistance. To learn that you have been on the wrong side of a fight and accepting that is empowering in of itself.

@erinsgogragh on Instgram says that She-Ra is her favorite badass, female character who empowers her.

I love She-Ra because she is a redemption character. Adora, while she was growing up, thought that she was on the right side. It took finding the sword of protection for her eyes to be opened and to see that she was fighting for the wrong side.

Upon lifting the sword and uttering the words, “For the honor of Greyskull,” she turned into She-Ra, a warrior princess, was was able to make up for her evil past by doing good.

She is the essence of self growth. She knew she made mistakes in her past but saw her potential to do better. By taking action and acknowledging her actions, she was able to help herself and others!

Cara Dune from “The Mandalorian”

Cara Dune, played by Gina Carano in “The Mandalorian”

Cara Dune is a former Shock Trooper for the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars who turns mercenary. She is a strong, independent woman who can take care of herself. Cara starts off only caring about herself. She is surrounded by others (mostly men) who do the same, so she has to be strong and grounded in who she is. She knows she is strong and perfectly capable of anything. Once she meets the Mandalorian and begins to work with him, we see that she does have a sweet and caring side for others, but she has to trust them first. What makes her a character that can empower other women is that she ultimately does the right thing and does not back down from fighting for it. Plus, it is a breath of fresh air to see a powerful, strong, kick-ass woman who LOOKS the part!

@vspeirs13 says:

She [Cara Dune] is strong, good, and beautiful, and she’s not a stick figure. I mostly admire her because she can take care of herself (including taking down men in fights!), but she’s not prideful about it. She is a good friend and does what is right.

Jessica Jones brings empowerment

Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones, played by Krysten Ritter. Image from Netflix

Jessica Jones is a fierce, powerful woman. She has super-human strength and was once a super hero. In the Netflix series, her life was full of devastation when the horrible, villainous Killgrave controlled her and forced her to do terrible things. Because of that, she is no longer a “hero,” but rather has turned to being a private investigator. Yes, she is still helping people. The PTSD she has to work through is incredible. Jessica has to fight through serious mental pain to stay strong. This character can empower us in such a different way than a lot of others.

@dinobot90 let me know how Jessica Jones empowers him:

Jessica Jones is an amazing character in comics and the Netflix series. She empowers me because she is a survivor. She dealt with horrible things, and after all that tragedy, she finds strength to continue helping people. That’s the reason why Jessica Jones empowers me.

Peggy Carter

Peggy Carter, played by Hayley Atwell, in “Captain America: The First Avenger”

Peggy Carter is the essence of a strong female in a man’s world. WWII military is all men, that is obvious, yet she is one of the toughest agents around. She was fearless, strong, confident, and brilliant. Later in the comic books and into her self-titled TV series, she went on to help start S.H.I.E.L.D. The definition of “empower” is to make someone feel stronger, more confident, and like they can control their own life. Peggy does that, hands down.

@gissanesophia shared with me why she loves Peggy Carter so much.

Essentially, in a time where women weren’t at the forefront of fighting wars or even respected for any of their opinions, she stood steadfast in the belief that no one else’s opinion of her mattered as long as she knew her own value. She understood that it’s important to compromise when you can but where you can’t, you have to “plant yourself like a tree” and continue fighting for the things you believe in. She earned her place in the SSR and later SHIELD through hard work, determination, nobility, and always saw the best in people. And she did all this in high heels and red lipstick. A true queen.

Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman

Catwoman (Selina Kyle) from DC Comics

Selina Kyle is a character I am honestly unfamiliar with, but that’s nothing a little research can’t fix! Also known as Catwoman, Selina is more of an antihero rather than a villain. She does what is wrong, but she has good intentions behind them. From a young age, as an orphan, she had to fend for herself. She was abused, prostituted, and when she would confront the “bad guy,” she would end up with someone attempting to kill her. As an adult, she becomes a career thief. However, she mostly steals to help others who are in similar situations as either she was in or is currently in.

@101cosplaystosee says she can empower others due to the fact that she is the most realistic anti-heroines out there.

Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) is my favorite because of everything she has been through in life. She was abandoned as an orphan, grew up on the streets, and had to learn how to adapt and survive from all of that. It shows that no matter how dark things may seem in the moment, you can come back from that. Very street-wise and considered an anti-heroine, but she is able to “be bad” which really is by “doing good.” Examaple, when she would steal, she gave it to orphanages or to save cat charities all over the world. She’s essentially a female Robin Hood. She always had a plan, ready to act.

Growing up in Gotham, there was a lot of crime all around the streets. So, she had to adapt to that to protect herself. She’s doing what she has to do to survive. Selina Kyle represents a strong feminine power which bounces off the complicated, masculine power of Batman. She can be soft, she can be gentle, but never afraid to show her power and how independent she really is.

Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff)

Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff, played by Elisabeth Olson, in “Avengers: Age of Ultron”

Wanda and her brother, Pietro, were both some of the few survivors and products of Hydra’s genetic experiments. Wanda can manipulate reality while her brother has super speed. Also known as “Scarlet Witch,” Wanda was originally considered a villain. Her character is first seen on screen in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” She and her brother were supposed to be working with Ultron. Also, her home was being attacked by the Avengers, and she was going to do everything she could to protect it. However, when she realized that she and her brother were fighting for the wrong side, they wanted to make it right. Especially when her brother was killed by the machine the two of them once fought for, she knew there would be nothing stopping her from protecting her world. Wanda is truly a strong woman and had to endure so much hardship.

@bethwendt_ says that Scarlet Witch empowers her!

The reason I love Scarlet Witch is that she didn’t let anything stop her. She was scared to death to fight for the Avengers. I don’t know her comic book character, so I know it’s different. However, I loved that she had the opportunity to hide and not get involved, but she believed in the cause so much. She believed in protecting those people, protecting her family, and fighting with her friends that she was willing to put her fear aside and fight. She became a better person because of it. Also, she grew in that and she eventually became such a strong member of the Avengers!

Margo from “The Magicians”

Margo, empower women
Margo (played by Summer Bishil) from “The Magicians”

Margo Hanson from SyFy’s “The Magicians” is a powerful, gifted young woman. Sure, she likes to party, but her magic is incredible. Nerdy Vegas Chic’s owner Jennifer feels like Margo is definitely a badass who is definitely one to empower.

Margo is unapologetic, fierce, and tough. She doesn’t take no for an answer, and “ovary ups” to all responsibilities. She fights for those she loves and will make the hard decisions and sacrifices. She empowers me to be strong and not take crap from anyone.

The one thing all of these pop-culture babes have in common: they are STRONG. These ladies fight for what is right and true. It is refreshing to see strong, confident, and also kind women in TV shows, movies, and comics who do not mess around when it comes to what they believe in.

Who empowers you? Let us know!

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