Growing up, I found myself drawn to stories about women who weren’t necessarily strong to start off with, but who, after time and effort, cultivated their own sense of purpose and strength.
Since today marks the first day of the year according to the Chinese calendar, I am dedicating the new year to these three women in fiction:
Princess Weiyoung – I love her will to live. She taught me that even if your entire family is massacred, or you have just been demoted to a servant, you should always believe that your life is worth living, and that you deserve to live well. Which makes it that much more satisfying when she ends up becoming queen of Great Wei.
Mulan – The scene where Mulan’s dad wakes up in the middle of the night calling her name, gets to me every time. It makes me think of my dad and what would happen if he had to go to war. Mulan definitely showed me a selfless side to bravery, that it isn’t all about proving your strength, but protecting your family as well.
Alanna – this one is a childhood favourite of mine. I first read Tamora Pierce’s book, Alanna the first adventure at age 13, and it has stuck with me ever since. She taught me that even if I suck at something, I can still become better, if not great, through sheer practice. Alanna was the reason why, as I child, I wanted to become a female knight, until I realised that a knight was not a viable career option and even if it were, it just wouldn’t be the same in a modern, non-medieval era.
These are the women in fiction who have shaped who I am, and sometimes when I lose sense of direction I turn to them and ask, what would they do?
So, if you don’t have any strong female role models in your life, think of a character in fiction that you admire and strive to be like them.
Maybe my next role model will be someone closer to the 21st century?