Cartoons are an excellent source of creative and artistic inspiration, but today I’m focusing on young female characters in cartoons who steal the show; through their awesome actions, admirable attitudes, and unique views.
Daria Morgendorffer, Daria
The title character of this 90s spinoff, Daria glides through high school and home life with a subtle resistance and maturity most teenagers could learn from. Her sarcasm betrays how intelligent she is, but rather than fighting the establishment in a ‘me against the world’ way, Daria shrugs off all pressure to prove herself gracefully by making fun of the ridiculousness around her in a voice that’s only meant for herself (or best friend and fellow sass master Jane).
Tina Belcher, Bob’s Burgers
Tina, the eldest daughter of the Belcher family, has become an unsung hero for preteen awkwardness everywhere. Her cringeworthy antics remind us all of a younger, more embarrassing us – but with an enlightening twist. Tina fully owns everything she is, and cowers behind nothing. She accepts her strange and unorthodox nature proudly, and no one will make her feel bad about her love of horses, infatuation with zombies, or talents for erotic friend-fiction. Tina offers viewers a lesson in confidence, even if we are well past that pubescent stage: never be ashamed of who you are.
Lydia Deetz, Beetlejuice
“My revenge will be creative, not personal.”
Not to be confused with the film, Lydia from the animated series travels to the Neitherworld and back with best bud Beetlejuice, getting each other in and out of trouble. Perhaps the most diverse portrayal of a goth girl, Lydia is an upbeat and loving tween with uniquely insightful views on how to deal with nasty people. She offers and accepts heartfelt advice without compromising her steadfast belief in being herself, inside and out.
More inspirational animated young women:
Louise Belcher (Bob’s Burgers), Lisa Simpson (The Simpsons), Tish & Lor (The Weekenders).
Which cartoon girls do you admire? Leave a comment below or tweet me @FreeAndie.