What is the anatomy of a strong woman? A strong female character is one who uses words to express herself, whether it is an expression of weakness, of love, or a rallying cry. It is more than the dialogue, rather it is the delivery, the way you can understand and recognize her thought process. When conversations between characters become more about style rather than substance everything falls apart. A lot of the more modern female characters are “wise cracking” and “sassy,” able to dish it out to anyone who gets in her face. I will be the first to admit that I find a woman who is able to stand up for herself to be a lot more appealing than one who can’t, but sometimes having a way with words means more than being at the ready with a quippy phrase.
Ever since ancient times, women have often been used as symbols in art created by men. A woman or girl frequently signifies qualities such as innocence, beauty, or fertility. On the flip side, females are often portrayed as the exotic femme fatale seductress. Either way, none of these representations can represent the diversity of women as a whole. This paradox of the innocent/tainted girl has certainly become tired over the centuries.
A truly strong female character should have eyes that see instead of just wink and gaze alluringly. Her legs exist to take her places, not to be ogled at. Her fingernails are not perfectly painted and unchipped after she has just finished a fight with the bad guy. She could wear makeup and keep up with the fashions, but she doesn’t have to. She might prefer a book and a cup of tea to a wild party, but she might not.
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She could be a straight-A student, or she could be more street-smart. She may like wearing pink. She doesn’t have to wear pink. To sum all this up, a real Strong Female is not fanservice. She is not a tired old trope. Strong Female characters should be realistic: varied, different, possessing strength, but also flaws. Strong Female Characters should be women who real girls can look at and say “hey, that could be me.”
I’d like to share with you a few of their traits, all of which come together to create the anatomy of a strong woman:
- Eyes that shed tears for those who are hurting.
- A mind that possesses the knowledge of life, faith, and family.
- Hands that work diligently to meet the needs of others.
- Feet that run swiftly to the defense of those who need defending.
- A voice that speaks up when injustice demands it.
- A heart of courage to believe the best, even when all reason says she shouldn’t.
- Arms that hold closely—offering unconditional love.
- Laughter that provides hope to a heart in pain.
This is the woman that doesn’t bother listening to the noise from those loud and frustrated ladies. She knows exactly what it takes to possess the anatomy of a strong woman. She’s living a life of grit and grace.