Television is full of inspiring women. I’ve watched my fair share of television series and I’ve learned a lot about who I want to be as a woman in this world from the examples I’ve seen. These are a few of my favourites.
The Gilmore Girls
Yes, all of them. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve watched this series because of how much I admire these woman – all for different reasons.
Rory’s dedication and determination is beyond inspiring. I’ve never been one of those people who has my life all figured out. Rory, on the other hand, knew what university she wanted to go to before she was born (granted, that changed because life is never as predictable as you think). She knows what she wants and where she wants to be and went above and beyond to get there.
Lorelai raised her daughter all by herself after running away from the high-class life she grew up in. Getting pregnant when she was still in high-school led to a very rocky relationship with her parents and Rory’s dad is flaky as anything. But she still gave Rory everything she ever wanted in life. She balanced raising a child with running an Inn, and later going on to buy and run her own Inn! Single mothers are always inspiring and what they do is unfathomable (shout out to my amazing mother, love you!).
Emily is often interpreted as snobby and image obsessed but I can imagine living a life where your teenage daughter cuts off all contact with you is incredibly difficult. Emily and Lorelai’s relationship is like a rollercoaster ride, full of ups and downs. Through the constant bickering and disagreements, Emily watches the relationship between Lorelai and Rory and wonders why she never had that with her own daughter. She does everything she can to support her husband and to help Lorelai and Rory navigate their way through life.
I’m going to assume you’ve seen Sex Education on Netflix. And if you haven’t, I’m going to assume you live under a rock. Maeve is the leading lady of the show and she is great. She spends the series being called a slut and cock biter – basically being bullied. Her parents have left and her brother is a drug-addict who disappears all the time.
Despite the hardships, she gets on with her life and helps other people with their problems – even the girl who tormented her endlessly when her nudes get leaked. She owns everything life throws at her and doesn’t let anyone know it bothers her. Except for when she befriends Otis who she slowly opens up to. As the series goes on, she realises that it’s okay to lean on other people from time to time.
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Due to her family circumstances, she envisaged herself with no future. But by the end of the series, she works to get her education back on track and give herself the chance to go onto university. I can’t wait to see what season 2 holds for Maeve.
From ‘my daddy buys me everything’ to merchandising manager for Ralph Lauren, Rachel is career goals. I don’t think anyone saw her climbing the career ladder after she was laughed out of 12 interviews in one day during the first episode of Friends. Side note: I would love to know how she managed to get 12 interviews in one day…
She started off taking orders and pouring coffee for customers at Central Perk before she quit to pursue a career in fashion. Starting off as a personal assistant at Fortunate Fashions, she worked her way up to a well-respected job for one of the most esteemed fashion brands. Her hard-work and passion for fashion get her noticed in the industry and even after a load of push-backs, she never gives up. From the girl who was marrying a rich guy so she didn’t have to support herself to badass fashionista.
Meredith hasn’t had an easy life. She lost her parents, sister, friends, husband and her person (Cristina, who is also empowering as heck). She’s a single mother who still manages to be one of the greatest general surgeons Seattle has ever seen. The now longest-running medical show has lived with Meredith through bad mental health and possible suicide attempts, recovering from a dreadful plane crash and still flying on planes to save other people’s lives.
She looks out for the people she loves and the latest season shows her starting to look out for herself again as she balances work, family and finding it in herself to fall in love again after months of trying to convince people she didn’t need anyone. There’s no doubt that she couldn’t boss her way through life alone, but that doesn’t mean she has too.
It’s quite possible that Rachel Berry is one of TV most annoying characters ever. But that doesn’t make her any less inspiring. She dreamed big and wasn’t afraid to do whatever it took to get where she wanted to be. Granted, she has some questionable qualities and yes, she does tend to tear other women down but she learned from her mistakes and by the end of the series she realised the value of having your friends by your side when all your dreams come true. To this day, she is one of my all-time favourite TV characters (along with most of the characters in Glee…).
Which TV female inspires and empowers you?