Today we celebrate, guys. We praise those who run the world: GIRLS!

This goes out to all the superheroines around the globe: You are AMAZING. You do a GREAT job. Not only today, but every day. But as it is International Women’s Day I just love to grab the opportunity and scream it out loud: YOU FUCKING ROCK!

Not surprisingly when a bookworm like me thinks about women who have had a great impact on my live I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of them are fictional.
Granted, it is not easy to find a lot of independent, badass female characters in books, but there are some. And I would like to cherish them today. I want to thank those awesome Ladies for showing me the importance of independence, hope, strength and – which strikes me as especially important – love for oneself.

So here they are: The heroines who strike me as 5 of the most powerful female characters in literature.

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Alice from Alice in Wonderland

Hell, I wish I would have been so damn cool when I was seven years old! In a story about a land where mice talk, cats vanish and playing cards paint roses red for a bloodthirsty queen, there doesn’t seem to be much place for sanity but then we meet Alice.
Thrown in this crazy-ass setting by accident, Alice doesn’t seem the least surprised. She hardly bats an eye at the obstacles lying in front of her and never questions her ability to overcome them.
Not only does she have this unswerving belief in herself but she is also the most honest person I ever came across while reading a novel. I love the fact that she always says what she thinks.

How much easier would the world be if we all were like Alice?

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Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series

I guess most of you have expected to find a character from the Harry Potter Books somewhere on this list but I bet a lot of you are surprised not to find Hermione Granger being the subject of discussion. Don’t get me wrong: I love Hermione and she definitely kicks ass. But so does -unfortunately highly underrated – Luna. Her character touched me so much more than Hermione’s because she is just so different. And she loves it.
For me Luna Lovegood is the definition of loving yourself, because there will never be a person who thinks, breathes, believes and lives just like you. Other people might think you are crazy but that doesn’t mean they are right. That only means they have their own issues. Maybe they are jealous, wanting nothing more than a piece of the awesomeness you possess. Maybe they wish they could be as content with themselves as you are.
Luna knows all those things and is therefore able to even meet people who have done her wrong with incomparable kindness.

How can anyone not wish to be like her?

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Pippi Longstockings from the Pippi Longstockings books

I don’t know how familiar you guys are with Swedish literature but Pippi Longstockings, main character in a series of children books by famous author Astrid Lindgren, is someone you should know. If you don’t know her, get to know her ASAP!

Nine-year old Pippi is creative, curious, unconventional and has some sort of super strength which allows her to lift her horse with just one hand. She is playful and unpredictable, always making fun of adults and their worries. She lives alone in a big house because her father is a pirate and rarely home. She knows how to take care of herself even though she is not what one would call responsible.

What Pippi may teach us though, is to always look on the bright side of life. She mocks adulthood showing that a lot of things we “grownups“ worry about could be handled so easily if we just smiled and got over it. Besides, Pippi is the best example that girls (and women) can be strong. They can lift horses and make impossible things possible.

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Irene Adler from A Scandal in Bohemia

Irene Adler is one of the most influential female characters in the whole Sherlock Holmes universe. Not only extremely beautiful but also having the mind “of the most resolute of men“ Adler is able to gain Sherlock’s interest.
I am lost for words here, guys… I mean what more is there to say? Who wouldn’t want to be beautiful, resolute and intelligent? And to be of interest to the famous Sherlock Holmes? Sign me up right now, please!

All joking aside, the great thing about the character Irene Adler is that she shows us being beautiful doesn’t mean you can’t be smart at the same time. And being smart doesn’t mean you have to be what people call ugly. More importantly, what I have learned from Adler is that dominance is NOT a manly trait and that it can be sexy as hell without being reduced to sexuality.

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Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series

The heroine of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series is crazy, an outsider in every way and life has fucked her up pretty bad. She has been abused, emotionally and physically. Her family never loved her. Frankly, lots of things happened where other people would have just thrown their hands in the air screaming: “Fuck it! I am out of here!”
But this is not what Lisbeth did. She never gave up. Instead she turned herself into one of the most skilled hackers in Sweden trying to bring justice to misunderstood people like herself.

So what’s the lesson to be learned here? If life hands you lemons, squeeze them in other people’s eyes! (At least if they deserve it.)

What are your favourite fictional badass heroines?
Tell us in the comments!

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