In the old days, girls were secondary characters in movies, one dimensional, superficial, sappy, weak and reliant on men to save them. Those days are over, and now we see a whole array of women and girls, who are girlie but strong, romantic but realistic, who fall in love easily while remaining fiercely independent.

For your viewing pleasure, we have put together our favourite speeches by our favourite heroines from our favourite movies. Enjoy!

1. The Help

“You is smart, you is kind, you is important.”

We start with a short one, but its gorgeous. It shows that sometimes women come in and out of our lives and leave impact that will last forever. Viola Davis plays a nanny who cares deeply for the little girl she cares for.

“Do you remember me…” 

We would love to have just one moment in our lives like this. To go back to those who judged or underestimated us and give them the ultimate F You. In this one Julia Roberts goes back to the luxury shop that refused to serve her laden down with bags. With a smile she says “You work off commission, right?”

“I’d rather be like that, than be like you.”

Rejection is so tough. Ginnifer Goodwin thinks she’s in a great relationship with Justin Long, but he shuts her down, and she’s devastated. This monologue is her reminding herself of her worth, and refusing to be beaten down by pain. She reminds herself, and all of us, that we have to never give up on finding love that is worthy of us, and that its always worth the risk.

“You must always have faith in yourself…”

Most of us have rewatched “Legally Blonde” during lockdown. Its a masterclass in defying the odds, the obstacles, and the judgment of others by absolutely refusing to let them stand in the way of our dreams.

With enough passion, and self-belief, you can do anything…

5. Princess Diaries

“My thoughts, and the thoughts of people smarter than me, would be much better heard. And just maybe, those thoughts could be turned into actions.”

Not many of us have been asked to take be queen of a country at age 16, but we can still identify with being terrified by a big task or risk we’re not exactly prepared for. Here, Mia says that she doesn’t necessarily know what shes doing, but she has good people around her who she can ask for support. She has an opportunity to change lives, and she won’t let fear stand in her way.

6. Never Been Kissed

“You’ll spend your lives trying to keep people down, because it’ll make you feel more important.”

Drew Barrymore plays a journalist who gets to go back and relive her high schools days undercover. She becomes prom queen but is still blown away with just how mean schools kids are. In this speech she reminds her classmates that being cool in school is not the most important thing, it doesn’t last, and will bring them nowhere.

7. Hidden Figures

“I work like a dog, day and night. Living off coffee from a pot that none of you want to touch. So excuse me…”

Taraji P. Henson’s character Katherine gets shouted at by her boss for not being at her desk. She decides to stand up for herself for once, and boy does she give it to him. Despite being such an important member of the team in terms of input, she’s treated like a second class citizen, and she’s had enough.

8. Erin Brockovich

“Think long and hard about what your spine is worth.”

Erin Brockovich is a must-see if you’re every looking for inspiration. Even better, it’s a true story, and Julia Roberts won an oscar for this performance. In this scene, she takes it to big pharma, standing up for her clients and refusing to be bullied.

9. The Blind Side

“This team is your family, Michael. You have to protect them.”

Sandra Bullock plays the ultimate sport Mom, but she should actually be coaching the whole team. Another real life character who loves her kid fiercely and knows what he needs to hear. Worth a watch when sports gets back on track.

10. Mean Girls

“How many of you have felt personally victimized by Regina George”

Another lockdown favourite, and one that inspires all the work we do at Shona. We all need to consider our own behaviour when it comes to how we treat each other in school. We’re all under pressure to fit in, but taking down other girls is not the way to do that.

11. Clueless

“It does not say RSVP on the Statue of Liberty”

Cher wins a debate hands down, by using a party as a metaphor. As if!

12. Gone With The Wind

“As God is my witness, I will never be hungry again”

This is an all time classic, in which Vivien Leigh loses everything she has, and has to pick herself up and start again. If you haven’t watched this movie, treat yourself.

And finally, Emma Stone’s audition scene from “La La Land”

Did we miss any? Let us know….

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