Movies about inspirational women that will leave you feeling empowered.
By: Naya Dukkipati
"Film is incredibly democratic and accessible, it's probably the best option if you actually want to change the world, not just re-decorate it." Banksy
This animated film features a courageous and strong princess who fights for herself and doesn’t allow marital traditions and gender stereotypes stop her from embracing who she is.
The Devil Wears Prada
Meryl Streep, Fashion, New York, and a girl chasing her dreams -- what else do I need to say. This film shows a woman navigating difficult social situations and cultivating new friendships in her path to self discovery.
This film showcases the story of three intelligent black women who had an immense impact on NASA and altered the history of the United States in their race to put a man on the moon. Katherine Johson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson are names to be remembered as they overcame obstacles as women of color in a male dominated profession.
Million Dollar Baby
A boxer short on resources but big on determination, who wins over a stubborn coach to train her for the ring. Hillary Swank’s character, Maggie Fitzgerald, overcomes near insurmountable odds to pursue her ambition of being a great fighter.
Little Women (2019)
This story follows a group of sisters through the oppression they endure as women living in a patriarchal society. This film adaptation examines this plight through its main character Joe March, as she goes on a journey to becoming an independent woman and published writer while combating the intense pressure to get married.
This animated film portrays the princess as the savior! She defies the idea that women are just meant to be married and bear children by disguising herself as a man and joining the Chinese army. This shows her family, her peers, and most importantly herself, that she is as strong as any man. Mulan chooses to rely upon her intelligence instead of her beauty, to navigate difficult situations.
Finally, a superhero giving young women the onscreen representation they need. This is the first movie of the DC franchise where we see the origin story of a female lead. Apart from great cinematography and effects, this film explores the strength, power and intelligence of women. Gal Gadot’s character continuously defies the norms by doing what is right rather than what is expected, regardless of the opposition she faces. She proves that fighting like a girl is a good thing!
This is the true story of Tonya Harding, a former professional figure skater, who is the first American woman to complete a triple axel. It demonstrates the scrutiny and abuse she faced from her mom during her adolescence. Tonya also had to overcome the adversity stemming from a low income background while trying to measure up against more affluent competitors. It depicts the exciting highs and tragic lows during her professional career, and gives her perspective of the attack on Nancy Kerrigan that destroyed her legacy.
A cult classic film where Resse Witherspoon’s Character “Elle Woods,” shows us that stereotypes of ditzy blondes can be deceiving. She becomes a folk hero in her masterful reinvention from a chihuahua toting, pink obsessed girlfriend to a formidable lawyer.
One of my favorite films over the last few years, not just because of its fun plot and stellar cast, but also the empowering feeling you’re left with. Seeing a diverse group of smart, dynamic characters on screen was inspiring and something I didn’t know I needed.
Comment movies that you'd add to this movie watchlist!