Hello, hello! It’s Elizabeth – IggleWorms co-leader & Treasure Box/Art Attack blogger extraordinaire – with a new and exciting column for +5 Charisma. Like me, I’m sure all Iggles love seeing awesome ladies in their media, whether they’re good or evil, smart or a bit ditsy, loyal or not so loyal, nice or snarky, etc. After all, women in real life come in all different shapes, personalities, races, sexualities, genders, etc. – so why not have awesome representation everywhere, especially in geeky media? We seek out our favorite books, TV shows, movies, etc. as places of solace and comfort, and we want – and need – better representation of all the different ways ladies kick ass. This monthly (every two weeks if I’m feeling especially wordy!) column will focus on all of the awesome ladies already represented in geek media, in hopes for more representation on the way. As this quote explains it the best,
“Screw writing “strong” women. Write interesting women. Write well-rounded women. Write complicated women. Write a woman who kicks ass, write a woman who cowers in a corner. Write a woman who’s desperate for a husband. Write a woman who doesn’t need a man. Write women who cry, women who rant, women who are shy, women who don’t take no shit, women who need validation and women who don’t care what anybody thinks. THEY ARE ALL OKAY, and all those things could exist in THE SAME WOMAN. Women shouldn’t be valued because we are strong, or kick-ass, but because we are people. So don’t focus on writing characters who are strong. Write characters who are people.” – via Lori at The Mad Tumblr
Powerful, right? Makes me want to create amazing women characters right now. Appropriately with Potter Week (a fun Harry Potter themed week IGGPPC is doing with Common Room, go check it out!), I get to focus on one of my favorite characters in the Harry Potter world – Luna Lovegood. Luna shows up in the series in Goblet of Fire and makes the series, already amazing, exceptionally better. Read on for just five of the reasons that make her an amazing character and an integral part of the series.
1. She owns her weirdness – and doesn’t let anyone make her feel bad for being a bit odd.
Luna is most definitely out there – but in the best way. However, most of the Hogwarts students, even her fellow Ravenclaws, exclude her for being different. But this doesn’t bring Luna down – oh no, she would rather be happy in her own delightfully enchanting world by herself than conform to her peers’ expectations for what a teenage girl should be like. She’s a perfect example of a life lesson everyone should follow – don’t struggle to fit in, stand out in your own way. After all, being yourself and being happy is better than fitting in with the ‘popular’ kids and being miserable. In the end, Luna wins over Ginny, and then the rest of the gang with her odd ways, loyalty and sweetness – just goes to show you that you’ll always find your own people.
2. She shows that sticking by your beliefs is important – and that you can’t give up hope.
Luna, like her father, believes in some slightly odd things (even for the Wizarding World’s standards), such as Nargles, Crumple Horned Snorkacks, amongst other unusual creatures and even some conspiracy theories. However, while she’s ridiculed for believing in things that (maybe?) don’t exist, she still firmly sticks by her beliefs and doesn’t let anyone sway or bully her out of how she feels, still faithfully carrying a copy of her father’s paper, the Quibbler, wherever she goes. This strong belief also lends to her still having hope – whether it be that her things will come back to her when they’re stolen at Hogwarts or that Harry and his followers will succeed in stopping Voldemort for good. Luna is an optimistic believer, helping Harry to never give up hope himself -after all, she firmly believed in Harry when he said Voldemort was back while most of his other friends were doubtful.
3. She’s one of the many Harry Potter characters that portrays the power of supportive friendship.
Harry Potter’s world is full of amazing friends – Ron, Hermione, and Neville are just a few – but I think Luna is one of the characters that really shows the beauty of friendship. Being constantly picked on and quite lonely before finding her new friends during her fourth year, she cherishes each of them and truly shows them that she cares, whether through listening to them, supporting them, or just having loads of fun with them. In one of the most heartbreaking scenes in Deathly Hallows, Harry walks into Luna’s bedroom and sees a painting of hers on the ceiling of him, Hermione, Ron, Ginny and Neville, encircled with the word ‘friends’. Luna has made her friends a focus in her life, showing how much each and every one of them matters to her. That kind of love is powerful.
4. She’s there for Harry in a way that his other friends can’t be.
Luna and Harry especially have a strong bond – out of the core group he’s the one who treats her with the most kindness. While the others like Luna, they still find her odd and a bit annoying in her ways. Harry, on the other hand, understands her loneliness and grief and doesn’t. Both have lost someone important to them and have also had to deal with bullying in some form or another – they understand each other in ways the others can’t. She also shows Harry it’s okay to believe in things when he’s told not to – when he’s confused at seeing the thestrals, she explains to him why they both can see them. In this way, Luna gives Harry the support and understanding that he’s needed all along to finally face down Voldemort.
5. Last, but not least, she has amazing style.
A lion hat. Radish earrings. Converse. Unusual patterns. What girl with a penchant for the odd (and amazing) accessory wouldn’t want to raid Luna’s closet? I call dibs on the striped socks.
That’s it for now! In the spirit of Potter Week, who are your favorite HP characters – or even female characters? Do you love Luna too – what’s your reason(s)? Any favorite female characters in geeky media? Tell me about them! I can’t wait to post about my next awesome female character….let’s just say she’s got an affinity for water.