It’s time, ladies! Women’s History Month is all of March! To celebrate, I created a list of 12 Movies of Strong Women to Watch for Women’s History Month. And while I believe it’s important to remember that we always stand on the shoulders and sacrifices of the women before us, these movies are bold ways to continue their work. I intentionally curated movies for all ages, some for impressionable girls and some for strong women. This list can be used to teach girls how to be empowered women and can inspire strong women to step more fully into themselves. What movie do YOU love about a strong woman? Comment it in the box below on this page!
01.The Help (2011) PG-13
There are plenty of strong, intelligent, and dignified women to root for in this film set in 1960s Mississippi. When Skeeter, a college graduate returns home from school to become a writer, she sets out to write a book and tell the stories of the black women raising the children of wealthy families. Her work was a risk. People hated her, but she persisted because she knew it was right to advocate for the women she met. Skeeter was a huge inspiration to me as teenage girl who loved to write.
02. I Feel Pretty (2018) PG-13
This mainstream comedy is a huge social-change-education piece focused on empowering women to love themselves. And it’s hilarious! When an insecure woman falls off her bike in a Soul Cycle class and wakes up with unrelentingly high self-esteem, she starts living her life fearlessly with abandon. Great lesson on confidence!
03. Mulan (1998) G
As a little girl, Mulan taught me that I could be strong and fight for the people and causes I loved. She taught me a very early lesson about how to sacrifice myself for other people — that it’s a brave and noble thing to do. And of course, she taught me that I can do anything and to never let someone tell me I can’t do something because I’m a woman.
04. Wonder Woman (2017) PG-13
I love this movie because Diana (aka Wonder Woman) depicts all of the wonderful parts about being a woman. Unfortunately, most women in entertainment are painted as either a bulldozing, crazy jerk or a vulnerable, emotional weakling. But that’s not the case in this film. She is strong, is optimistic, is passionate, loves babies, is confident, lets herself love, is vulnerable and maturely learns from her experiences. Also, I’m thankful she doesn’t have cLeAvAgE coming out of her costume — not because I would ever shame a woman for what she wears, but purely because her body shouldn’t be what’s important in this movie.
05. Hidden Figures (2016) PG
Octavia Spencer (who also stars in The Help), Taraji P. Henson, and Janelle Monáe star in the Academy Award-nominated film that tells the true story of three black women who were crucial to putting a man on the moon during the 1960s. Growing up , I never learned about the women who were a part of this in history class. Never. (Sounds like a man wrote those history books, amiright?) The female leads overcome racism while proving that they’re just as valuable and capable as their male coworkers.
06. Legally Blonde (2001) PG-13
A classic for my generation, teaching us all that beauty and brains is a thing, to never judge a book by its cover, and never underestimate a woman. Otherwise, she’ll look at you and say, “What, like it’s hard?”
07. Ocean’s 8 (2018) PG-13
I just watched this movie on a plane and think it’s so fun that a series of movies which historically starred men stars 100% women in 2018! Anne Hathaway, Rihana, Mindy Kaling, Sandra Bullock and others exhibit their intelligence, skill, creativity, and confidence. They pull off a huge heist — minor detail (; — without the help of any men (bye, George Clooney)!
08. Frozen (2013) PG
What I love about this movie is that, even though there is some innocent love interest, the man does not save the day at the end. And the girl’s happy ending wasn’t because she fell in love. Instead, 2 strong sisters saved each other and their home. I remember being so surprised and feeling like it was an unexpected “twist” in 2013. I’m so glad that this is more normal now, and that when I raise a daughter, a woman being the damsel and the hero will be more of a norm. Plus both girls are quirky and cute and relatable.
09. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) G
If you’ve been following me for a while, it’s no secret that I love Audrey Hepburn and her work. Even though Breakfast at Tiffany’s is not my favorite Hepburn movie (Funny Face and Roman Holiday are waaay better), I love this complex female character. She is strong, independent, confident — but throughout the movie she is taught that she has a lot to learn about vulnerability and letting a man love her. I like that she’s imperfect and shows girls it’s okay to learn and grow.
10. Moana (2017) PG
Similar to Frozen, this movie’s ending is saved by a strong girl. Not a man. There isn’t even a love interest at all. Which I think is perfectly okay in a child’s movie. Moana exhibits tons a bravery when she leaves her home and family to pursue her calling. And if I’m honest, I blasted “How Far I’ll Go” in my car before moving to Washington, D.C. on my own. (;
11. Eat Pray Love (2010) PG-13
Again, if you’ve followed me for a bit, it’s no secret that Eat Pray Love is my favorite movie (and book). I don’t love that she turned her husband’s life upside-down due to restlessness. However, the journey she goes on (4 months in Italy, 4 months in India, 4 months in Bali) is extremely inspiring. She learns how to be comfortable with herself and love herself, finds a connection with God, and learns how to heal and let someone love her. Any strong, independent women who want to love themselves thoroughly will be inspired!
12. He Named Me Malala (2015) PG-13
After the Taliban shot her for speaking out on behalf of girls’ education, Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai emerges as a leading advocate for children’s rights and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. As an advocate at heart, I am so moved by her bravery and persistence to stand up for others, even at her own life’s risk. She is one of our time’s most courageous women. Any women with hearts to empower other women will be motived by her story!
There you have it! My list of 12 Movies of Strong Women to Watch for Women’s History Month! If you’re not sure where to watch these, when you Google the title, icons should come up saying you can watch them on Amazon or Hulu or Netflix. You can also rent movies on iTunes for like $3. 100% worth it!
What movie do YOU love about a strong woman? Comment it in the box below because I’d love to know more! Happy Women’s History Month!
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Maybe it’s just the English major in me but I feel a little happy whenever I read something similar to how you described Frozen. It’s important to understand that its story is not just a deconstruction of common tropes in fairy tales but a call to move on from what problematic about the current clichés of storytelling. The more women empowerment is normalized in pop culture, the better.