Miss Independent: Top 18 Power Women From Film & TV

Happy Thursday!

To keep the momentum of #WomensHistoryMonth going, I thought I would share my favorite BOSS women from television and film. If you know me personally, then some of these women shall come as no surprise. Although their characters are fictional (and somewhat dysfunctional), I’ve picked up a few lessons from these women in what it means to be headstrong, hard working, resilient and down right bad ass. Take a look at the list below!

1. Claire Huxtable, The Cosby Show (played by Phylicia Rashad) – Aside from my own mother, Mrs. Huxtable is THE prototype. Successful career woman, loving mother and wife, a FABULOUS fashionista and the O.G. of throwing shade in such a classy way. I still want to be her when I grow up.

2. Olivia Pope, Scandal (played by Kerry Washington) – I’m a #Gladiator through and through, so Liv’s place on this list shouldn’t come as shocker. While she is having a FULL affair with the President of the United States, she is still very good at what she does – fixing problems. And in the words of Daddy Rowan/Eli, “she will always the FORMIDABLE Olivia Pope” — sorry Fitz.

3. Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and The City (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) – Seriously, to live in a penthouse in Manhattan, write books, dress FLAWLESSLY and live in the lap of luxury is my dream. You go Carrie, you go.

4. Claire Underwood, House of Cards (played by Robin Wright) – Or as I like to call her, Queen of the Goons. This chick right here? Man, look — she is my spirit animal. Not only has she built her own world-renowned nonprofit organization, but she has helped herself to become (spoiler alert) the First Lady of the United States. Salute FLOTUS, salute.

5. Jessica Pearson, Suits (played by Gina Torres) – Another feisty lawyer with impeccable fashion sense, Jessica runs the show at Pearson Darby Specter. While she sometimes feels left out of the picture by her partners, she ultimately calls the shots and is always a step ahead of those around her.

6. Olivia Benson, Law & Order: SVU (played by Mariska Hargitay) – I’ve been a fan of this show for the longest, and I love Liv’s vulnerability and how much she truly cares about her job. In recent years, she’s relaxed a little — but she’s still facing some challenges of her past. Keep your head up, Liv! (That’s Sergeant Benson to you.)

7. Jacqueline Broyer, Boomerang (played by Robin Givens) – I recently re-watched Boomerang and couldn’t believe I had forgotten how fly Jacqueline was. Even though she did Marcus wrong (maybe he deserved it?), she still knew how to show her soft side even in the midst of being a power marketing executive for Strangé.

8. Mellie Grant, Scandal (played by Bellamy Young) -Did you really think I was just going to include one Scandal cast member on this list?! While she’s the ultimate team player dealing with her husband’s mistress on the regular (wouldn’t be me), she’s the epitome of a ride-or-die chick, and Fitz doesn’t even know it. Salute to you First Lady Grant – continue to handle your business girl.

9. Mary Jane Paul, Being Mary Jane (played by Gabrielle Union) – *sigh* Oh, MJ. I love her because she’s intelligent, down-to-Earth, and keeps a bunch of sticky notes with awesome quotes in her room. On the other hand, she’s not quite sure of what she wants from two men that are clearly unattainable. Luckily, she has showed some growth in the season finale, and I hope she returns stronger than ever.

10. Jordan Armstrong, The Best Man Holiday (played by Nia Long) – Another one of my spirit animals, Jordan went from chasing Harper in The Best Man, to getting her swirl on in the sequel. A cable industry exec, Jordan is fearlessly independent but is warm-hearted and affectionate when it comes to caring for her friends.

11. Kenya McQueen, Something New (played by Sanaa Lathan) — Aside from her role in Love and Basketball, this is the only other movie I admire Sanaa Lathan’s character. Punctual, precise and and predictable, Kenya decides to take a chance on love with someone she least expects — and it turns out to work for her good!

12. Elle Woods, Legally Blonde (played by Resse Witherspoon) — Funny, quirky and obsessed with the color pink, I’m still convinced that Elle inspired many of my peers to pursue their dreams of attending Harvard Law. I love how she’s really does play the role, yet still stuns her classmates and professors on how really smart she is. 

13. Christina Hawthorne, Hawthorne (played by Jada Pinkett Smith) — I actually really loved this show, and was super bummed when it got cancelled. But I loved how outrageous yet very passionate Christina was about her patients and her hospital. And even though she was SUPER busy, she did her best to be a great mom, daughter and friend.

14.  Bernadine “Bernie” Harris, Waiting to Exhale (played by Angela Bassett) – While I in no way condone burning someone’s things, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Sometimes you gotta let it burn.

15.  Miranda Priestly, The Devil Wears Prada (played by Meryl Streep) – Honestly, I would totally be an intern for Meryl Streep ANY DAY. Just to be in the presence of those amazing outfits, countless magazines and the endless closet of shoes? I’m sure I would learn a thing or two from her about how to be a maven of the Fashion District too.

16. Joan ClaytonGirlfriends (played by Tracee Ellis Ross) — Things I love about Joan/Tracee: their hair, their outfits, and how HILARIOUS they both are. Joan always found herself in the most random of predicaments, and even though sometimes selfish — she loved her girlfriends to the end of the world.

17. Foxy BrownFoxy Brown (played by Pam Grier) — On the lowest of keys, Pam Grier paved the way for all of these bad mamajamas on this list, so I would be careless not to mention her on this list. As she so eloquently stated, “You just handle the justice, and I’ll handle the revenge myself.”

18. Emily ThorneRevenge  (played by Emily VanCamp) — Last, but certainly not least — my girl Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke. If I ever had to avenge my parent’s death, I would hope to be as witty, cunning and kick-ass as she. Shorty has been through A LOT, but still won’t quit until she finishes them. Excited for the new episode on Sunday!

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Hush Puppy, Beasts of the Southern Wild (played by Quvenzhane Wallis)
  • Troy Carmichael, Crooklyn (played by Zelda Harris)
  • Roberta Martin, Now and Then (played by Christina Ricci)
  • Erin BrockovichErin Brockovich (played by Julia Roberts)
  • Fa Mulan, Mulan (voiced by Freda Foh Shen)

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