It’s International Women’s Day, which is just the excuse I’ve been looking for to fangirl the fuck out of some of my favorite female literary characters. As a child, kids used to bully me because I wore dresses my mom used to buy from garage sales. They literally called me Garage-Sale Gretchen. Obviously I was ahead of the curve (I’m talking to you, thrifters). Now, don’t get me wrong. 26 year-old Gretchen is overly grateful for being put through that torment when I was younger. I firmly believe I am the badass woman I am today because I learned to value myself and say “fuck you” to anyone who thinks I’m anything less than amazing. But 8 year-old Gretchen… she had a rough time. I would sit in my room for hours everyday, consumed by book after book. It was these three fearless women that gave me strength to ignore the haters and boldly wave my middle finger straight up in their faces.
- Motherheckin’ Matilda.
Let me premise this by saying I actually thought I was Matilda when I was younger. The amount of hours spent staring at inanimate objects trying to move them with my mind is nothing short of embarrassing. I wanted goddamn telekinesis. I still want goddamn telekinesis and you’re lying if you say you don’t. But that’s besides the point. Matilda escaped from the bullies of her world, albeit her family, by keeping her nose stuck between the pages of books and exploring imaginary, far-off lands on the reg. Girl was on to something, I’m telling you.
2. Charlotte, Charlotte’s Web
Bet you didn’t see this one coming. Honey, you bet your ass I looked up to a spider growing up, and for good reason. Charlotte taught me the importance of encouraging your peers and being there for one another regardless of the circumstance. Wilbur wasn’t shit without that damn spider saving his curly-tailed ass from arriving on the farmer’s plate as a steaming pile of bacon. Women: saving men even in arachnid form. God damn.
3. Luna Lovegood
While I love me some Hermione Granger, Lovegood is what’s up. Luna’s relentless optimism is inspiring beyond words. She watched her mother die when she was nine years old and remembers the entire thing. That alone should be enough to create the world’s largest cynic, yet she remained fearless and hopeful throughout the entirety of the Harry Potter series. People mocked her for her outfits and her spunky sense of style (HELLO, GARAGE-SALE GRETCHEN). She didn’t give a fuck if people stared and laughed at her because she was too busy doing her own thing. In the face of adversity one of the hardest things to do is remain true to yourself, and she did it without a second thought. She was one of the driving forces behind Dumbledore’s Army and if she didn’t stand her ground in the face of fear, Voldemort may have never been defeated. Side note, Luna is a huge contender for my future child’s name because I want a Luna Lovegood of my own to snuggle and high-five forever.
And there you have it, folks. My list of women who kept me sane while everyone else was being gigantic dickheads. In your faces, because I’m goddamn spectacular. Never forget it.
A very happy International Women’s Day to men and women alike. Go hug your mothers. “Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.”
Subscribe, lover babydolls. xo ♥ G