Like we needed an excuse to celebrate all things woman, but it IS International Women's Day and we’re feeling particularly staunch about being a lady. So whilst you’re reflecting, marching, standing up for or freeing the nipple, we’ve compiled a list of fictional(ish) heroines we can always turn to when that patriarchy gets you down. So, grab your gang and get those empowered feels with these leading ladies that are saltier than the popcorn you’re scoffing.
Happy International Women's Day!
Julia Stiles as Kat Stratford (10 Things I Hate About You)
And the award for best eyeroll goes to… Kat Stratford is the poster girl for the art of not giving a f*&k, especially when it comes to the male species (even if they are Heath Ledger). With her affinity for sweaty sports, no-bra-needed crops and Sylvia Plath, Kat is definitely the gal you want to head to Club Skunk with.
Parminder Nagra as Jess Bhamra (Bend it Like Beckham)
Disagree with everything society ever expected from you? Good, this one’s for you. Passionate, determined, and playful, our favourite rough-and-tumble tomboy Jess, bucks tradition to do the one thing she wants most - to bend it like Beckham.
The whole cast of The Runaways (The Runaways)
Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart make the rock ‘n’ roll bad-assery of Cherie Currie and Joan Jett look like light work in this bio-pic. Expect all the head-banging urges from this killer soundtrack.
Uma Thurman as Beatrix Kiddo (Kill Bill)
Is there anything Uma Thurman can’t do? No. The answer is no. Here, you can watch her basically just f**k sh*t up with a samurai sword which is incredibly satisfying to watch if anyone’s even once looked at you funny before.
Mulan as herself (Mulan)
Would you volunteer to serve in the army if your dad was sick? Would you? Would you cut off your hair too? Risk… like, everything? Mulan does! Because Mulan is LIFE.
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)
Speaking of volunteering, who better than to play kick-ass, braid-sporting, arrow-wielding Katniss than everyone's imaginary best friend Jennifer Lawrence?
Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis as Thelma & Louise (Thelma & Louise)
The yin to the other’s yang, two ordinary women become outlaws and execute the GREATEST MOVIE ENDING OF ALL TIME.
Zoe Bell as herself (Death Proof)
Kiwi stuntwoman Zoe Bell is, how you say, a legend in the stunt community. And in this movie. If you’re ass-kicking abilities are pretty poor - just watch how Zoe does it in this all-woman Tarantino masterpiece.
Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Not many characters can sustain two separate, star-making performances… buuuut both Noomi Rapace (in the 2009 Swedish version) and Rooney Mara make Lisbeth Salander an unforgettable mix of steely determination and vulnerability.
Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods (Legally Blonde)
BOW DOWN. Our favourite blonde is the perfect example of revenge; rallying her resources, killer wardrobe, loyal gal pals and slotting right into Harvard Law. Plus, the girl’s got moves (bend and snap, anyone?).
Keisha Castle-Hughes as Paikea (Whale Rider)
Despite the views of her Maori tribe, Paikea defied those goddam gender norms to prove herself as the Whale Rider. FYI this role helped Keisha Castle-Hughes become the youngest ever Best Actress Oscar nominee.
Emma Watson as Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series)
The sass queen herself needs no introduction - with her quick wit, serious smarts and overall heart of extreme gold, Hermione Granger is one girl we wouldn’t want to be the on the wrong side of a Petrificus Totalus curse.
Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling (Silence of the Lambs)
Did you really think a Jodie Foster movie wouldn’t make the list? From nervous FBI rookie to bad-ass Hannibal-Lector catching agent, we’ll definitely be enlisting the help of Clarice Starling next time we’ve got some psychoanalysing to do.