From friendship, to work ethic, to emotional wellness, these ladies teach us how it’s done. Here are the lessons we have learned from our favorite female TV characters over the years!
Marnie, Jessa, Shoshanna & Hannah, Girls
Although these girls individually might have some self-work to do, their friendship as a whole is pretty incredible. These girls teach us that friendship doesn’t have to be typical. It’s totally OK if your friends are different than you and have different views – as long as you are all there for each other. These girls have been through a lot and even after arguments, moves, breakups and work issues, they are able to support each other through it all. It’s also important to note that each girl brings her own set of skills to the group. If you want straight up honesty to go to Jessa. If you need a cheerleader, turn to Shoshanna. Want some deep insight? Turn to Hannah. And if you need a listening ear, Marnie is your girl. They aren’t a one size fits all friendship – just like real life. You can’t expect everything from your best friend, and these characters do a great job teaching us that it’s ok to reach out to different people for different needs.
Olivia Benson, Law & Order SVU
Despite a tough upbringing, Olivia has made a name for herself and worked hard for the promotions she has received. Despite constant setbacks and personal catastrophes, she’s always strived to be empathetic and helpful for others. However, what Olivia has taught us the most, is that putting yourself first is not only better for ourselves, but it’s better for others. When Olivia wanted a child, she didn’t stop to think about others in that moment. SHe had to fight for what she wanted, and now she has a child that she cares for and has a sense of true fulfillment. And, she continued to work while being a single mom. Props to this girl!
Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation
Oh we love Leslie Knope. Just love. She goes after what she wants, she’s everybody’s favorite cheerleader, and she is an exceptionally kind friend. Leslie Knope rocks feminism and class with such charm that we can’t help but listen to every word she says. The best lesson Leslie ever taught us, was that helping others accomplish their dreams only helps us chase our own. She could never have won the City Council election or decided to run for Governor without her squad – and they wouldn’t be as successful as they were if it weren’t for her, either. Even April. She shows this pattern in her friendships, and her relationship. Leslie and Ben might be the best TV couple ever – and it’s because they support each other unconditionally.
Jess, New Girl
Needing a new start after the end of a toxic, cheating relationship, Jess had the courage to reach out and live with Cece. After a while though, living with a model got tough so she put herself out there to find new roommates on Craigslist (not the safest, so maybe don’t try this at home) but she made it work. She is quirky and full of personality as well as passion. Living with 3 men can’t be as easy as she makes it look but you can tell she is a fierce friend that would always be there for you!
Say what you want about Rachel, but this girl had the courage to leave her dispassionate engagement to find a new life for herself. Could she have walked out in a bit more, um, mature way? Sure. But at least she did it. And she had the courage to reach out to old friends and actually give this whole ‘adult’ thing a shot. Through her ambition, although reluctant at times, she was able to transition to a high power position at Ralph Lauren, and eventually was offered an incredible opportunity in Paris. But, one of the best lessons we learned from Rachel, is that she lives through her heart and isn’t afraid to assert herself. She goes after what she wants – no matter if it makes a fool out of herself – (London, cringe) – but she has no regrets.
Mindy Lahiri, The Mindy Project
Oh, Mindy. Let us count the ways. You’re smart. You’re funny. You’re unabashedly yourself. And, you have a great body that happens to not be a size 0. Not hating against size 0 – y’all are beautiful – but it’s nice to have some other body shapes on the TV screen. Mindy Lahiri teaches us that you can have the job, the friends, and eventually, the RIGHT guy, if you continue to not settle for less. We don’t have to conform to the ideal body type – we are totally fine rocking our exact figure without compromising.
Liz Lemon, 30 Rock
Liz Lemon knows how to be herself in a man’s world. As the head writer on the variety show TGS with Tracy Jordan, Lemon is in charge of a team of all male writers. She holds her own with the conservative president of the company Jack Donaghy, she keeps her writers on schedule, and she has the most hilarious female friendship with Jenna Maroney. But probably the best lesson we learned from Liz Lemon, is that a female doesn’t need a male romantic interest in order to be fascinating. Liz dates on and off throughout the show, but her storylines are almost more captivating without men in the picture. If that’s not inspiration to be independent, we don’t know what is!