7 Female Animation Characters Who Inspired Me
We all have role models in one form or another. Sometimes we are fortunate to know them from personal experiences or being related to them, in which case it feels like winning the jackpot that you could share blood with someone who is so mind-blowingly amazing and inspiring. As a kid, I didn’t notice the adults who were around me to be completely honest. I didn’t come to appreciate them until I was older, but that didn’t mean I was without role models. They just took the form of animated characters. All I wanted when I was younger was to be a cartoon. Actually no, I still want to be a cartoon. Being a cartoon looks like it would be amazing and I would gladly jump into that two-dimensional life if given a chance. Sometimes I daydream that I am just a dream version of my cartoon self. Given that I have such a love affair for animations, it makes sense that I was inspired by many female animated characters as a kid. In fact, a lot of the personality traits that I still have today I think can be traced back to the strong animated female characters I looked up to and adored as a kid. All of these women embodied something I wanted to be and still strive to do, and for that, I appreciate them and their role in my childhood for each of their individualistic impressions they had on me.
Cindy Lou Who from How the Grinch Stole Christmas
I love How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Cartoon and live action. Everything about it makes me happy from Max to the Whoville art and design but especially, little Cindy Lou Who. I always admired her ability to see through the scary and just go with the flow for fun. She was fearless because of her kindness, and I always wanted to share that quality with her. An open heart for all isn’t something to take for granted. The part where she gives Max some for the food still speaks to me on multiple levels. Always give your dogs their own plate at the holidays people. It's what Cindy Lou would do.
Belle from Beauty and the Beast
When I was younger, I struggled with reading. I actually couldn’t read until about the second grade. I always watched Beauty and the Beast and was so sad because Belle always made reading look so much fun. When I finally got the hang of the skill, I couldn’t be stopped. To this day, I still read nonstop. I make it a point to read every day, and I try to read a vast majority of titles and genres. My reading wishlist is never ending because there is always amazing works and worlds being published and I believe that initial drive and love for reading came from the joy I saw Belle have for it.
Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas
There was nothing more badass to me than Sally knocking out Dr. Finkelstein with that stinky worms wart soup (because of the deadly nightshade). It made me want to cook, not to poison people but because she was just so sneaky and had the power because she made the food. She also picked and jarred her seasonings!! To this day, when I open my spice cabinet, and the aromas hit me, I immediately think of Sally and how she must have felt preparing all those meals. There was just something so romantic about Sally cooking to me. The picnic basket she packed for jack and the jars she used to keep her spices.
Shirley McLoon from Tiny Toons
Shortly before my dad passed away, he asked my mom “when did Sophie get so new age?” The truth is my interest has always been peaked thanks to Shirley McLoon. Also, my horrible habit to say “like” all the time, a trait I am not entirely proud of. I remember when I started doing it, and at first, I thought it was funny. But then it didn’t stop. And, like, it kept like, getting worse. Finally I, like, realized I seriously had like, a problem. I had to watch myself because I had taken on her pension for prepositions. Even though everyone called her Shirley the Loon I always thought she was cool for meditating (which I also pretended to try and understand because of her) and the fact that she was clairvoyant just made me love her even more. If you think I’m crazy too then, that's fine because you’re coming back as an avocado anyway.
Helga Pataki from Hey Arnold!
How could any young girl not love this strong, fearless, artistic young woman? Helga Pataki embodies everything every woman should want for herself. She was ruthless. She was strong. She was poetic. She was determined to achieve world domination. Of all characters, Helga always spoke to me the most. If I were an animated character, I would probably be Helga because I relate to her on so many different levels and I always wore my eyebrows as they are (still do). She spoke her mind, wasn’t afraid of what people thought of her and was always a leader. The episode where she couldn’t conform to the typical beauty standards and instead ignites a girl riot is how I try to live each day.
Madeline from Madeline
This girl had fashion down. Sure she was French, and a redhead and always got into trouble (and my worst fear was having to have my appendix out) but this girl could rock a peacoat and a short bob cut like no one else. It is why I cut my hair like hers for a majority of elementary school and went as her for Halloween 3 years in a row. Eventually my mom had to talk me into a new costume, but I still think about going as her every once and a while. Only not for Halloween, just for any old Tuesday. Oh yea, did I mention she was FEARLESS?
Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service
I always admired Kiki for her entrepreneur spirit. She moves away from home at 13 and starts her little delivery service. How freaking cool is that?! She goes into business for herself and even though she suffers from an artistic block (something I have experienced from on and off again throughout my life) she overcomes it and continues to kick ass and take names. Kiki is the spirit that I try to embody as a professional creative, relentless to give up and making it on her own.
I know each character isn’t perfect and before you start screaming at me BELLE HAD STOCKHOLM SYNDROME (which I am not denying) I just want to say that no one is perfect. Even our real-life role models. That’s why I think you can’t put all of your eggs in one basket. You find the bits and pieces that you admire in your role models, and you strive to add that part to yourself anyway right? Let’s not knick pick on the people and examples around us and instead embrace each for our own personal set of pros and cons and try to learn from each other. Or at least try to.