Female representation in movies has changed a lot over the past few years, women are no longer portrayed exclusively as the damsel in distress, but rather they are being shown as the strong and capable role models for young girls, and inspiring, inclusive, diverse roles are opening the doors for a lot of female actors.
Although we still have a long way to go in representing a diverse selection of female-led films, we are so here for these films and their strong, kickass protagonists!
How to Get Over a Breakup
Maria Fe is an ad copywriter living in Lima, Peru; after her breakup, she starts writing a blog for single women getting back into the dating world. It’s honest, funny and refreshing.
‘A princess who respects herself, rescues herself.’
The role that Moana plays in her island is anything but traditional, not only does she have a place as the daughter of a chief, but she also makes a place for herself by following her true calling (from the sea). She represents the importance of women within her culture, the strength that women have, and their capacity to stand out. The fact that the male characters fall into the background in this movie gives props to Disney.
‘Okay, first, I’m not a princess, I’m the daughter of the chief.’
Tracy is a girl who doesn’t let traditional beauty standards or segregation define her life, she and her friends defy a society that doesn’t want different bodies to be represented in television. Even though the movie is a little older, it feels very modern to us in terms of inclusiveness (bonus: John Travolta plays Tracy’s mom).
To The Bone
Trigger Warning: this film portrays anorexia.
Lily Collins’ performance for the film led her to one of those astonishing Hollywood transformations where she lost a lot of weight to play Ellen. The film gets into the details of the 20-year-old struggling with anorexia nervosa and her relationships with the people around her. It’s heartbreaking to see how a young woman turns her unhappiness into hatred towards herself, but her battle proves how strong survivors are.
Jamilah has her whole life figured out. She’s the president of her sorority, captain of their champion step dance crew, is student liaison to the college dean, and her next move is on to Harvard Law School. Until her sorority puts her reputation in jeopardy. Dancing and girl power commingle in this one.
The Incredible Jessica James
The funny, witty and incredible (duh) Jessica James is a New York City writer going through a break-up, but what she discovers is that there is a lot more to life than just being someone’s perfect fit (you have to put yourself first).
Jessica – ‘Do you have more than one vibrator?’
Tasha – ‘Uh, has one man ever fulfilled *all* of your needs?’
A classic to inspire little girls and women who have forgotten that they have magic in them, Matilda tells the story of a young girl who discovers she has the power to move things with her mind. She has the worst parents ever and the worst school principal imaginable, but books and her wonderful teacher show her the beauty the world can offer.
Mona Lisa Smile
Based in the ’50s, an art history professor (Julia Roberts!) teaches her students to question the roles that society has imposed on them.
‘Not all who wander are aimless. Especially not those who seek truth beyond tradition, beyond definition, beyond the image.’
The film featuring Cate Blanchett and Roney Mara portrays the forbidden love affair between an aspiring photographer and an older woman going through a divorce. It shows the struggles of LGBTQ+ society in the early ’50s, and the power of two women to pursue their love despite it. It’s an inspiring film about being true to yourself.
Sierra Burgess is a Loser
Everyone loves a good Noah Centineo movie, right? Sierra is probs our favorite female character in the films that Noah has acted in these past few months. Not only is Sierra (Shannon Purser) untraditionally pretty, but the movie highlights the needs for female friendship over the competition.
Take away: Be a sunflower because ‘For the record, I think roses are the bitchy supermodels of flowers.’ ~Jaime
So go make some popcorn and get watching 🍿
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