As self-identified geek girls, lovers of pop culture, and general all-around fangurls, we couldn’t resist jumping on the #threecharactersthatdescribeme challenge.
These are my #3fictionalcharactersthatdescribeme! I chose Mindy Lahiri, because we are so similar it’s crazy. We feel fiercely, can be overly dramatic, and are fun-loving, but also incredibly grounded and smart and assured. I chose Sansa Stark because of her character arc, which represents my own: from scared, over pleasing young girl to strong, fierce woman. I chose Abbi Abrams because she represents the goofy, more laid-back side to myself, the side that wants to stay at home and eat cereal. Abbi is also smart, creative, and a loving friend.
This challenge was hard for me! When I saw Ghostbusters 2016, I was initially drawn to Melissa McCarthy’s character Abby because she visually reminded me of myself, but after watching the movie, her character was the one who reminded me the most of myself beyond the superficial. She’s intensely loyal and just as smart as Erin despite the fact that she ended up at a for-profit university instead of Columbia. But she was happy there and had the freedom to do her research her way, and that was more important to her than academic status. I love that.
It’s that kind of intelligence and independence that also drew me to Lucy Liu’s character Joan Watson on Elementary. Joan used to be a surgeon, but she walked away from it. She started a new career as a sober companion, where her medical knowledge would be useful, but that was focused on helping people. And then later, she started another career as an investigative consultant, on her own merits, based on what she’d learned working with Sherlock. Joan reminds me that I, too, can find a fulfilling career after having walked away from my first.
The third character I chose is Peridot from Steven Universe, who was introduced in season two as the villain—and she was very villainous. But through Steven’s friendship and unconditional love, she’s recognized that the prejudice she was indoctrinated with is wrong, and she’s learning to become her own person—one who is awkward, and a little obsessive, and artistic, and still has other prejudices to overcome. But Steven’s acceptance and empathy gives her the space and the support needed for her to do that. Peridot reminds me of myself at my worst and my best, and her emotional growth reminds me that acceptance, empathy, and friendship are invaluable gifts.
Overachieving scholarly Hermione was an easy choice. I’ve been “the Hermione” in every class I’ve ever been in. I chose Eowyn for her fighting spirit and desperate need to prove herself, as well as her dangerous tendency towards melancholy and depression. The third character was the toughest to think up until I remembered Leslie Knope. I was a late Parks and Recreation fan, but both I and the roommate who introduced me to the series agreed that I am very much Leslie: Eager, earnest, a bit awkward, and the best gift-giver ever (though I am much more of a geek than Leslie is). If Hermione and Eowyn reflected my anxiety and depression, Leslie reflected the part of me that is still hopeful.
There was no way I couldn’t start with Lois Lane. She’s my not-so-inner combative need to be right and to follow the truth. Lois is my independence and certainty in my own skill and intelligence, and she’s the bullheaded stubbornness that keeps getting me into trouble. CJ Cregg is someone I’ve identified with ever since I was a kid, back when The West Wing first aired. Her self-deprecating humor reflects my own when I’m uncomfortable or out of my depth, and she and I share an ability to think on our feet and then put that same foot in our mouth in the next breath. Emma Swan is my prickly, awkward, emotionally unaware, and underdeveloped side. Emma tries so hard, but things so rarely go her way, and she’s not really equipped to talk about feelings or deal with her problems in any way other than punching them in the mouth. If Lois is my aggressively moralistic high-ground holding super-ego, Emma is my instinctive, self-conscious, vulnerable, and spiky id, and CJ, my Press Secretary ego, is just trying to make sense of it all.
Of course, if you put these three together, I feel like maybe you come up with someone else.
I picked these three because they represent three aspects of myself. Elizabeth Bennet, the Jennifer Ehle version in particular, has “a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous.” She can seem extroverted, though she is really an introvert, which means her playfulness shows up strongest in situations and settings with people and places she is most comfortable with. She likes to think she isn’t all that romantic though she has many romantic ideals. Like all three of these women, she is very rarely intimidated. Zoe Washburne is pragmatic, likes finely-honed systems, and prefers consistency. She’s logical, level-headed, and gets. shit. done. This is where I most identify with Zoe: When it comes to work. I don’t have time for fools, I want to focus on the project at hand, and I have no patience for feelings getting in the way. Additionally, while Zoe is fully capable of being a leader on her own, she prefers deferring to someone she respects and who respects her. Finally, Dorothy Zbornak is probably the closest to my overall self-identification. An INTJ like myself, she is a lover of learning, and her well-read mind means she has many opinions on things. She can be harsh and judgmental, but she is fiercely attached to those she loves. She also has a sense of social justice.