As girls or women, when we are struggling with our issues, what helps is having relatable on-screen female characters to motivate us through our darkest hours. Just like us, they too have their vulnerable moments and flaws. That said, their bravery, strength and will to trudge on in the face of adversity is what makes these fictional female characters resilient role models for women of all ages.

If you’re a film buff, you may be keen to find out more about these 5 best strong female movie leads!

1. Beatrice Prior

Film: The Divergent Series (2014-2016)

What makes her a strong female movie lead?

In Divergent, society is split into 5 different factions, with each cultivating a particular value. Every year, all the city’s 16-year-olds will undergo a test to determine which faction they will do best in. After which, they’ll then make the final decision on which faction they want to join. They are able to stick to the faction they grew up in or venture into an entirely new one.

In Beatrice Prior’s case, she learns that she’s a Divergent (possesses traits that are well-suited for more than one faction). Even though this secret puts her life in danger, she continues to display courage while undergoing the difficult challenges in her new faction. Beatrice is also the epitome of selflessness as she willingly sacrifices herself to save the people she loves, no matter the cost. Pair all these up with her inquisitive nature and intelligence, and Beatrice ultimately overcomes her internal identity struggles and fears!

“I feel like someone breathed new air into my lungs. I am not Abnegation. I am not Dauntless. I am Divergent.”

2. Hermione Granger

Film: Harry Potter (2001-2011)

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What makes her a strong female movie lead?

Who can forget Hermione Granger, one of the smartest female characters in Harry Potter? She is well-known for her thirst for knowledge and constantly tops her class with her ambitious, hardworking nature. Not only is Hermione book smart but she is also equally as rational and sensible in real life. A stark contrast to most wizards who depend solely on their magical powers, she goes one step further and uses her logic to deduce information that others may have missed out on.

That said, she does face insecurities like any other girl due to her Muggle-born status and fear of failure. Hermione may also be blunt and tactless at times when she shares her opinions with others. Nevertheless, she demonstrates wit and is able to think up of quick comebacks. Besides that, Hermione is a loyal friend to Harry and Ron and is determined to journey with them through challenging times!

Actually, I’m highly logical which allows me to look past extraneous detail and perceive clearly that which others overlook.”

3. Katniss Everdeen

Film: The Hunger Games (2012-2015)

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What makes her a strong female movie lead?

Possessing a strong and independent spirit, Katniss Everdeen will do anything and everything to protect and defend the ones that she loves! Quick in thinking out of the box, this enables her to deal with whatever life throws at her. However, because she has spent so much time keeping herself and her family alive due to her difficult past, Katniss is often ignorant of people’s emotions and may be unable to read social cues at times.

Even though she is one tough nut to crack, Katniss is nonetheless a resourceful fighter and fiercely determined to stand up to any form of injustice. It just takes the right person to open her up emotionally. All in all, she is a resilient survivalist who can endure hardship. P.S. I’m certain you wouldn’t want to mess with this fiery, badass girl in the Hunger Games world!

“No one will forget me. Not my look, not my name. Katniss. The girl who was on fire.”

4. Mulan

Film: Mulan (1998)

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What makes her a strong female movie lead?

Mulan is a free-spirited girl who finds it difficult to fit into the expectations of what it means to be a young Chinese girl. She is outspoken, clumsy and unable to follow traditions and rules. This causes her internal turmoil as she wants nothing more than to uphold her family honour while staying true to her self. Driven by her love for her father and the determination to prove her self-worth, she decides to serve the army in his place.

Showing a lack of self-confidence in the army camp initially, Mulan eventually proves her physical and mental strength and tops her class. This eventually leads her to earn the respect and friendship of her comrades. Breaking gender stereotypes without ever losing her humble attitude, Mulan has indeed proven that with grit and fortitude, girls can be equally good as guys, if not more!

“Maybe what I really wanted was to prove that I could do things right. So that when I looked in the mirror, I’d see someone worthwhile.”

5. Yasmin Muhammad

Film: Banting (2014)

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What makes her a strong female movie lead?

Yasmin Muhammad is raised in a strict household but wishes to pursue her dream of being a hijabi wrestler. Dispelling stereotypes about Muslim women, the director of the film wanted to show that Muslim women are fun, loving and funny just like any other girls out on the streets!

Breaking conservative barriers to chase her unconventional passion of joining an all-female professional wrestling troupe, Yasmin discovers her inner tenacity and perseverance as she faces opposition from both her mother and friends alike for pursuing her dream. When there is a will, there’s a way, and the very same can be said for Yasmin herself! She is an inspiration for any girl who has ever felt unfairly judged by others for how they dress or look like on the outside.

I refuse to believe that what I wear can stop me from doing what other girls can. And I’m here to show that.”



Courage and grit are vital ingredients to last us through difficult times. No matter what you are going through in life, always remember that your inner strength can empower and uplift you during your rainy days. With these 5 badass female movie leads showing these positive qualities, we hope that you will be inspired to bring out the best in yourself!