June 24, 2012

Strong Women: A Recipe for Success

Today, my family and I saw Brave. We have been looking forward to this movie for so long that I had started wondering if it was ever going to be released. It did not disappoint. I will have a more dedicated review on Mom in Love with Fiction this week.

I have three daughters, so I love "princess" movies that empower women. Mulan will always be one of my favorites as well as Tangled and Shrek. I want my girls to see that women can be strong and self-sufficient and still fall in love and embrace femininity when sthey choose. What I loved most about these titles: the main female characters were not dainty in their beauty. Their beauty was so much deeper.

There's nothing about the "damsel in distress" that I find interesting. Never did.

One of my biggest issues with the popularity of Twilight... Bella seemed so weak and whiny to me. I almost gave up on the series during Book Two. I couldn't understand why two hot men would fight over her, much less a vampire and a wolf-turner (he's not a werewolf, right, so what is he called?!). I didn't see any strength in Bella until she became pregnant in Breaking Dawn, the fourth book of the series.

Compare that to Hunger Games. Katniss Everdeen is an amazing character. She's loving and fiercely protective, going to what seems like certain death for her sister, and quite capable of defending herself. But she also struggles to find love and meaning in the world around her. I found her flaws as interesting as her strengths. One of the best female characters I read in the last year.

Just a few weeks ago, I saw Snow White and the Huntsman. I found myself more intrigued by the queen. I would have loved more of her story: what made her the beauty-obsessed, insecure woman she became.

Please share your favorite female character in the last few years, either book or movie. What made her memorable?

Now that I've opened up this can of worms, I'm going to give some thought to my top five favorite female characters for a future post. Hmmmm...


Jo Michaels said...

By far, my favorite female character was Guinevere from The Dragon Queen by Alice Borchardt. She was mimicked in King Arthur with Clive Owen by Keira Knightly. She's a warrior that saves Arthur's life many times. If you haven't read it, you should :) WRITE ON!

Julie Glover said...

I agree with you about Twilight, but unfortunately I thought Katniss's character became weak and whiny in the third book. (Sorry, Suzanne Collins.)

I loved Belle in Beauty and the Beast! She was pretty, yeah, but she was SMART. All of us book lovers embraced that brave girl who read books, lived with a beast, and got her prince in the end!

P.S. Can't wait to see brave! But I have two sons who don't care, so I need to find time to go myself.

Simply Jan said...

Yes! Brave is fantastic! Tangled is also another favorite of mine. It has been so refreshing to see these protagonists who are strong/brave enough to tackle life on their own. They embrace life and love - on their terms. You go, girls!

I had a VERY hard time with the Bella character. Contrast that to Hermione from the Harry Potter series - smart, independent, brave - and a leader on top of that!

Tia Bach said...

Jo, The Dragon Queen has been added to my TBR pile!

Julie, I have only read the first two Hunger Games. Disappointed to think she gets whiny. Boo! Love Belle.

Jan, Hermione. Good one.

Beth said...

Also a fan of Katniss and Hermione here. Just read Moon Over Manifest and the story is told by 12 year old Abilene Tucker. I enjoyed Abilene's spunk.

Tia Bach said...

Beth, I'll have to read that one. I'm pretty sure Jackie has, so I'll have to ask her. Thanks for the suggestion!