Because teenagerdom is a mess, but some people handle it better than others.
10 Female Characters We Love, Even Though They’re Barely Geeky In Any Way
by Jamie Frevele and Alanna Bennett | 12:34 pm, August 9th, 2011
Growing up in the ’90s was a pretty good time to witness some kick-ass Disney princesses. Ariel was an adventurer (let’s not talk about the giving-up-her-voice-for-a-man thing right now), Jasmine wouldn’t allow herself to be bought or sold into marriage, Belle read books (let’s not talk about the Stockholm Syndrome thing right now), Pocahontas probably saved a bunch of people from massacre. And Mulan. Oh, Mulan. She was perhaps the most kick-ass of them all. Never quite knowing how to fit into her society’s view of femininity, her family had all but given up hope that they’d able to marry her off. Everyone around her pretty much just thought she was uncouth and unfit for public display, and in a time when a woman’s worth was measured by her marriageability and her ability to bear sons, this was considered a great shame. Mulan was most definitely another woman on this list who lived far before her time.
But when the Chinese war against the Huns was announced, and her injured father’s name announced as one of the soldier’s required to go off and fight for the crime, Mulan did something undeniably brave: she enlisted herself. Cutting off her hair, tying down her breasts, and stealing her father’s armor, she brought new meaning to the concept of “honor.” She had no romantic alternate motivations; this was a girl who had her priorities straight. She was just a girl fighting for her family and her country all at the same time, and putting her life in danger in multiple ways in the process — she could easily die in the war, and if she were caught masquerading as a man the punishment might be death anyway.
Naturally, she doesn’t get the hang of soldier life right off the bat. With the help (and hindrance) of a tiny ancestral dragon named
Eddie Murphy Mushu and a rather hunky captain, she slowly and surely making herself into the best damn warrior the Chinese army has ever seen (through one of the best training montages/songs we’ve ever seen, by the way).
Unfortunately, when an injury unwittingly reveals her true sex, she loses the trust of her peers. Luckily for them, this doesn’t do one bit to change her personality and she spends much of the rest of the movie saving their asses. In the end she saves all of China (and in the process gets all her male peers to dress in female drag), gets the commendation of the Chinese Emperor, the honor and respect she so wanted from her family and community, AND THEN she gets the guy. (An added bonus, really.) She gains acceptance for being exactly who she is, and who she is is pretty badass. As the emperor said, “you don’t meet a girl like that every dynasty.”
It should also be noted that, in one incarnation of the myth of Mulan, Mulan got pregnant, gave birth on the battlefield, and then proceeded to get right back up and fight. Now that’s what we call dedication.
We should also note that yes, we do cover Disney characters a lot. But come on: what’s more mainstream than Disney?
- 10 Hair-Raising Facts Learned From 'Tangled'
- 5 "Unfilmable" Movies That Got Made Anyway
- 5 Actors Who Play the Same Role in Every Movie
- Game of Thrones Giving It All Away?