Women are amazing. We know that for a fact.
Take a look at mothers, for example. They carry a baby in their wombs for nine months and then endure labor pains. For the next several years, they have to handle child-rearing while managing to keep a life of their own. It’s a lifelong, 24/7 job, and they deserve a full-on mommy makeover whenever they want.
Women have been through a lot, and they still go through a lot—and they continue to fight. As this fight continues, it’s important to see powerful women in media because they set an example for everyone, especially kids, that women are not—and should not be—bound by the patriarchy.
Astrid Leong in Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Who could forget Astrid Leong’s iconic line? “It’s not my job to make you feel like a man. I can’t make you something you’re not,” she says after ending her marriage filled with hiding jewelry, shoes, turning down jobs—basically being rich.
Astrid is not an isolated case. According to a study published in the American Economic Journal, “married women were twice as likely to be divorced three years after their promotion to CEO level compared to their male counterparts.” This is true even in the most gender-equal countries like Sweden. The more successful women are in their careers, the more likely their relationships with men are going to suffer.
Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Another example of a CEO losing her marriage, Miranda Priestly is unapologetic about being a boss, and she deserves it. She is the best in her field for the right reasons. She redefines attention-to-detail; she knows everything about fashion. People admire her but are also afraid of her. Most of all, she recognizes talent and doesn’t pit women against each other or pull another woman down when they’re good at what they do.
Pitting women against each other is an age-old trope that needs to stop. In the age of women empowerment, this catfight-esque trope is only a step backward because one woman’s achievement does not, in any way, invalidate another’s. Women can get to where they want to be on their own. They don’t need competition.
Elle Woods in Legally Blonde (2001)
Society somehow has a prejudice that pretty girls can’t be smart, but Elle Woods proves that to be false. At the start of the film, a saleslady tried to trick her into buying a sale item because she’s blonde and rich, but she refused, leaving the saleslady embarrassed. Although presenting herself to be a stereotype, Elle managed to get into Harvard and eventually become an excellent lawyer.
In an article by Independent, the writer revealed what happened when a user scoured Reddit for answers to the question, “Do you have any stories where your attractiveness has actually been a disadvantage?” The common answer: nobody would take the pretty girl seriously. People in the workplace assumed they were stupid and that they would find better success as being a trophy wife. Well, they’re wrong.
These iconic women in movies resonate well with the struggles of women in the real world. This is why women continue to fight for gender equality.