Questionable Female Role Models (Fictional)


Margot Tenenbaum

When I’ve been dumped and feel the urge to channel this kind of thing, I have to remind myself that heavy eyeliner makes me look 15, I can’t afford a good fur coat, and it took me a long time to quit smoking.

Laura Palmer

Before things turn sour, she really can pull off a casual blow habit and a nice cardigan (no pun intended…)

Chloë Sevigny in The Last Days of Disco

Like the best poor female role models (and most of Whit Stillman’s leading ladies), Chloë doesn’t do a whole lot but she sure looks great doing it! “You mean it’s a complete cliché? All women recent college graduates drink vodka tonics, or something like that?” Oh, Chloë. I guess she deserves a little credit for that publishing job. I’ll take my vodka tonic now.

Janeane Garofalo in Reality Bites

She was pretty kick-ass, but it’s still not a great reason to romanticize a retail position at the Gap.


My first memory of using a cartoon’s behavior to justify my own involves stepping to the side when a soccer ball was kicked at me in 7th grade and rolling my eyes. Since then, I have also thought about Daria when permitting myself to eat pizza whenever I felt like it, largely avoiding group activities, reading during time allocated for “socializing”, and occasionally standing up for myself in a particularly incredulous tone to unsuspecting frat boys, condescending adults, or general douchebags. I think Daria is kind of a good role model, but she is not a very practical one.

Lorelai Gimore

She sure makes single parenting look like fun. None of the diaper changing, sleepless nights type stuff. It would just be like having a younger friend to hang around with. And oh, the banter!

Beatrix Kiddo/Black Mamba/”The Bride”

Vindictive sexy assassin/bad ass bitch. Not a viable role model, though: cognitive dissonance re: gun control comes to mind. Once, I recited a scene from Kill Bill 2 to my ex-boyfriend in bed. I even did the different voices: “You want to come to the wedding?” ”Only if I can sit on the bride’s side.” (David Carradine slow, pseudo-dubbed quality) “You’ll find it a bit lonely on my side” “Your side… always was… a bit lonely.” Hey, what am I talking about? With wiles like these, who needs role models?

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