Inspiring Women Icons in Real Life and On the Screen

Note: This article is divided into 2 parts: Part 1 is “Of Fan Favourites and Modern Womanhood” and Part 2 is “Inspiring Women Icons”.

Part 1 – Of Fan Favourites and Modern Womanhood: 

Most of us love Friends and Brooklyn 99. These shows, as loved for their comedy, also offered a pretty intriguing glimpse into relatable life issues, through their female protagonists. Read on to find out more! 


The series is one of the most acclaimed American Sitcoms.

All three female protagonists Rachel, Monica and Phoebe showcase strength in their own ways.  

They all went through unusual forms of pregnancies: surrogacy (Phoebe), single motherhood(Rachel) and adoption(Monica). The three of them see life’s ups and downs and stick together as best girlfriends. 

They emerge as strong characters, as they fight their personal battles.

Monica struggles with societal discrimination when she is always looked down upon for her appearance. Her parents were no different, as they preferred her elder brother over her. She breaks out of it and emerges as a stronger and more confident individual. 

Phoebe struggles with her differences with her sister, and often feels the emptiness of family support. She follows her passion, never gives up, and stays by her friends like a silent but strong pillar.

Rachel emerges as an independent confident woman, and leaves her image of a rich brat way back in her life. She matures with each relationship, and proves to us that self-love is important. 

Brooklyn 99:

-Amy Santiago

A determined and dedicated woman, who has her goals set. Her organisation and never give up attitude, help her achieve all that she desires. She struggles to prove to her family that she is as good or even better than her brothers, but emerges as a stronger individual, both personally and professionally. She derives strength from her 99 family. 

-Rosa Diaz

A reserved, bold and classy Rosa, is the ideal woman in today’s times. Her fearless attitude is inspiring for many. Rosa’s sensitive and emotional side proves to us that one can break off from the stereotype of a bold personality being depicted as rude and fearful.

-Written by: Kaushiki Vohra

Part 2 – Inspiring Women Icons

Thanks to all sorts of societal issues, women often have it tougher when it comes to achieving their goals. Breaking through these barriers need a relentless drive, which the below mentioned women strongly inspire us with:

  • Michelle Obama: As an African-American lawyer having graduated from Princeton University, Michelle Obama was already defying the norm and stigma of African-Americans not being able to graduate from top colleges and even excel in their careers becoming positive role models for any young woman especially African-Americans. Though she is best known as the former First Lady of the USA, she has made a name for herself long before this position. She has been an advocate for poverty awareness, education systems, healthcare, equality, and many more. In her limited time as First Lady, she conducted many campaigns that supported veteran members and their families, young individuals with no previous education opportunities, and young girls with education to empower them to reach their full potential, among many others. Michelle Obama was not only a role model when she was First Lady but still continues to be as she continues to fight against the world’s injustices and empower every individual that she can along the way.
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: She is an American politician and activist. She has been serving as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district since 2019, as a member of the Democratic Party. When faced with challenges, she has always stood up for herself and the people she represented with great dignity and elegance and has quickly become a feminist icon. One such instance is when Representative Ted Yoho called her derogatory names to which she responded with a speech about structural sexism, setting an example for women across the globe, on how to respond to misogyny.
  • Jacinda Ardern: She is the PM of New Zealand who has been recognized worldwide for the empathy she showed to the Muslim community post the terror attacks and again for her handling of COVID-19 crisis in New Zealand. Her act of visiting the affected communities won hearts as a symbol of hope to end race violence and she worked actively towards strengthening firearm laws in New Zealand. Additionally, her poised debate during the 2020 PM election won hearts on being a fair and humble politician whose sole purpose is to serve the nation.
  • Sanna Marin: She is the youngest serving Prime Minister of Finland and the second youngest premier in the world, mother to a toddler and also heads a coalition of four other parties.This shows that women don’t need to quit work to give time to their family. She says, “For me it feels like I won the lottery when I was born as a girl in Finland”. She believes in being vocal about opinions and strives in doing better. 
  • Emma Watson: Emma Watson is the leading feminist at the UN and a role model. Not only is she just the UN Ambassador but also she started the campaign HeForShe which encourages men to support the feminist movement. It aims to raise awareness about violence and discrimination that women and girls experience all around the world. She also emphasized on men to be treated equally- she claimed that men are portrayed in a way that they are strong and independent with no feelings. Watson also launched a legal advice line for women seeking counsel for issues in sexual harassment in their workplace. She believes that the choices women have after being in such a situation is very important so that women feel safe wherever they work

Written by: Taneesha Chaturvedi, Ana Victoria Felix, Anushka Rakesh, Vritti Bhambhvani

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