Why We Need More Confident Female Characters // Sprinkles of Dreams

Bookish Musings & Discussion Time // Why We Need (More) Confident Female Characters

There’s been a steadily increasing amount of books that follow the what can almost be called “trend” of portraying strong female characters in books—girls like Katniss from The Hunger Games, who are physically strong and skillful, and just as capable as their male counterparts, if not more—but something I haven’t seen promoted and talked about enough, as well as represented in books, are female characters who are confident.

Female characters like Hermione, who is smart, and doesn’t hesitate to showcase it, and Luna, who stays true to her beliefs and opinions, despite what others think, and despite the ridicule she faces as a result thereof.

“You can laugh! But people used to believe there were no such things as the Blibbering Humdinger or the Crumple-Horned Snorkack!”

Luna Lovegood GIF

Female characters, in short, who are unafraid of being themselves, don’t worry about fitting in, and don’t bend to societal norms and expectations.

Why am I putting an emphasis on confident female characters?

Because boys, on the whole, have been raised, and are taught to be confident, to “be a man” (which is pretty much synonymous to “tough, confident, and self-assured” in most scenarios), while girls are taught to be “likable”.

Whereas boys, and later on men, are admired and respected for saying “I’m good at [insert a skill]”, the same sentence, coming from a girl, or a woman, is much more often met with raised eyebrows, accompanied by a not-so-subtle—at times unconscious—thought: “well, aren’t you a bit full of yourself”.

Consequently, men in powerful positions, or at work in general, can be tough, and ruthless, and are lauded for their grit, while women are often labelled far less favorable adjectives, and speaking out about issues, and raising a voice, can easily earn comments that range from “maybe it’s that time of the month” to “well, someone’s overreacting/overly emotional” and “wow, what a binch*”.

*I have a severe dislike for the word that is actually used, so I’m censoring it … in a way.

(And this kind of judgement doesn’t even merely come from males, which is so sad, because what happened to feminism, and girl power?)


The fact is, that as a female, you grow up learning that it’s oftentimes much more beneficial to stay silent, be easy-going, and modest in order to be likable—something that is so detrimental for girls, especially when it comes to being able to develop our personality, as well as discovering, and being confident in who we are.

I still remember how a female classmate of mine once said “I’m a very good dancer”, when we had to introduce ourselves to the rest of the class, and tell them a fact about us. I didn’t think too much of it, until the girl sitting next to me started talking about her derisively to another girl, after she left the room, and one of the words she used were “stuck up”.

Whom she didn’t talk about was the male classmate who’d said “I’m a great football player”.

But, looking back, what strikes me about witnessing this scene—next to not saying anything, when I should have, because I didn’t want them to dislike me—I actually took note of what made her their topic of discussion in the first place, and it only reinforced my already deeply ingrained notion of not making the same “mistake” of so openly declaring my talents.

(And I’m cringing silently, while typing this, because that means I’m alluding to having talents, which immediately makes me go “AHHH will this make me seem stuck up??”)

See the vicious cycle?


I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in doing these things:
(Yes, I’m talking in the present tense, because I still do them, but I’m working on it!!)

  • I achieve something (pretty great), and the first thing I do, when someone congratulates me, is follow up my thank-you with “I couldn’t have done it without [lists a million people, who may or may not have directly or indirectly had the tiniest influence on me in the course of my entire life]
  • Instead of saying “Thank you”, I say “Oh, no, it’s really nothing. Anyone could do it!”
  • I get a high score on an exam/win a competition, but I’ll say “I was lucky”, “[he/she/they could have done just as well, but probably had a bad day” … &c.
  • I hide/don’t talk about my test scores, when I know that I’ve done better than others
  • I hold back from raising my hand in class, when no one else does, because doing so feels like being a show-off, or saying “I know something all of you don’t!”
  • I don’t correct classmates in a group assignment, because I don’t want to come off as a know-it-all, or as if I’m lecturing them, and if I do
  • I always start my sentences with “I think …” or “maybe …”, or “in my opinion …”, even if it’s a fact, or I know that I’m right

Hermione Granger GIF


I still don’t feel entirely comfortable with thanking, and thereby accepting praises or compliments I receive, because saying “thank you” means I agree with the person, and “does this sound like I’m bragging? Is this making me unlikable?”.

But I also know that I shouldn’t.

Which is why I think it’s so important that young girls can find these kinds of characters in books; so that they realize that it’s okay to be proud of their achievements, and say things such as “I’m a great dancer” without feeling like they’re bragging—and so that others who hear it, will only admire them for their self-assurance, instead of judging them for it.

So that they can voice their opinions, without feeling like they need to justify it, or be afraid of it coming off the wrong way. So that they know they can be themselves, and don’t have to try and fit in, because the right people will love and accept them for who they are.


Also, please keep in mind that I’m talking about confidence, not arrogance. Confidence has only to do with how you see and feel about yourself, and nothing about you in relation to other people.

blue-watercolor-wash-texture-5Let's Discuss! // Discussion Post @ Sprinkles of Dreams

Do you consider yourself to be a confident person?

Do you talk about your talents, skills, or achievements without feeling a twinge of discomfort?

Have you ever made yourself “smaller”, so as not to stand out?

What kind of personality traits do you wish were more frequently represented in characters?

Bonus question: A girl answers the question “Do you think you’re beautiful?” with “Yes, I’m very beautiful.”—be completely honest: does this reflect negatively on your opinion of her (even if only a tiny bit)?

xx, Lily

99 thoughts on “Bookish Musings & Discussion Time // Why We Need (More) Confident Female Characters

  1. Lily! This post is amazing, and I’m honestly just sitting over here screaming at how crucial and wonderful to read it was.💓

    You’re so right! We need more Hermiones and Lunas- more characters (and people) who know who they are, what they believe in, and what they’re good at. I have always felt so much discomfort at talking about things I’m good at. I even feel strange typing this comment and saying that there are things I’m good at. And that’s not okay, and I need to work on that.

    This is something that I haven’t really ever thought about, but now that you brought it up, I know that I won’t stop thinking about it anytime soon. Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh Olivia!! You’re so wonderful, I’m crying!! Thank you so, so much, that means so much to me!! 😭💘

      I feel the exact same way, though I can guarantee you that hearing you say that only makes me want to hear you talk about everything you’re good at—and I really hope that one day we’ll both be able do that without any kind of discomfort, or bashfulness.

      That’s such a lovely compliment, and I appreciate it a whole lot! Thank you so much for your kind words, and I hope you’re having an amazing weekend! Sending you lots of love. 💕🌷

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely love this post! This is so beautifully written. Everything you said is so relatable and true, omg. 😩 In social interactions, I always make myself seem smaller (whether consciously or subconsciously) and I always try to go along with the flow in order to not cause conflict (because I hate conflict), even if I strongly disagree with something. I’m definitely *not* a confident person haha; I honestly have no self-confidence or faith in myself & I often hate myself a lot. 😅🙈 (I probably have social anxiety, but I’m not quite sure.)

    Anyway, thank you so much for this discussion, Lily! I really enjoyed reading this post and I completely agree with you; we definitely need more confident female characters in books. It’s so important for us to have these role models. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Dezzy! 💞

      I’m really sorry to hear that! 😦 I relate so much to going along with what others want to do, because I don’t want to seem “difficult”, or as you said, cause conflict. Even when I’m with family, or good friends, I more often than not let them choose what to do/where to eat i.e., and don’t “challenge” their opinion on a matter. I do have (social) anxiety though, so that probably plays a part in it, too.

      (And I’d totally recommend getting diagnosed, and learning more about yourself, if that’s what you want & you think that’d help you overcome feeling and behaving this way! 💗)

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this post & thank you so much for your wonderful comment! 💝

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh wow… you hit on so many things that I can relate to on a personal level… it’s happened so many times when I was working , where I knew that I was being appreciated for the good job that I had done but I always did end up attributing a lot of it to the support I got from my peers. Never thought about it this way though…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m glad you could relate, Sahi! But also, not … I hope you know what I mean. 🙈

      It’s great and important to appreciate and acknowledge people for their support, but I definitely believe that we should all feel comfortable with accepting praise, and not diminish our own achievements! That’s really what I hope we will all be able to do one day. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post, Lily. I do consider myself a confident person, but only because I’m in my mid-forties. For some reason it seems to take women/girls a long time to feel good about themselves, and I’m no exception.

    Although I grew up gravitating towards books with strong female leads or books as women as the main characters so I knew this was a possibility, a passion, and a desire. When I was 15, traveling around Thailand to visit my family, I discovered Sidney Sheldon who always wrote as a woman. Prior to that I was into my YA books that we’re written by women for girls – I particularly liked the Sunfire series.

    As far as tendencies, I totally relate to not taking a compliment -had to really work on that one! Still do! But what I have definitely slayed is not speaking with a lilt in my voice, as in, I’m not sure of what i’m saying so I will end on a high note. UGH. Hate that. Of course, when you are trying to relate to someone or want to be humble, I get it, but – well, you know what I mean!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Lani! ❤

      I'm so happy to hear that, and I'm glad you could find writers and books that inspired you in that aspect, when you were younger. And I'm so glad to hear you're comfortable with accepting compliments now, I'm getting much better at it (online), but in real life it's still such a major struggle.

      Oh my goodness, the lilt! I didn't even think of that before, but I always do that as well, and I really need to work on that, too. I remember my (male) teacher once joking; "are you making a statement, or asking a question?", and I think he meant well (?), but I was so mortified.

      Thank you so, so much for your thoughtful and insightful comment, Lani! I loved reading your thoughts on this. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lily, this is such a great post. I completely agree with you. i think confident female characters are really needed, someone like Annabeth to correct the boy when they are wrong! And it is so true, girls don’t show off and just play off their wins. I think girl should be given a lot more credit.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is SUCH an important issue and I am glad more and more people seem to talk about. I have always been that kind of girl that was willing to dim her light in order to be likable and it has really taken a toll on my self confidence. It took me years to build up that courage to just say what’s on my mind and even now, it’s not always working. Or even if I just say things, I later analyze if it was too much, too loud, too annoying, too me.
    I like that you put “smaller” in quotation marks, but I have found that I literally made myself smaller. As in, I have terrible posture and my mum keeps complaining how I never stand or sit straight. And while it is getting better, it’s still years of unlearning to not be noticed.
    So, if a girl said “yes” to thinking that she is beautiful, I would admire her for that. Seeing yourself as beautiful is strength and agreeing to compliments doesn’t make us a bad person.
    Thanks for this amazing post, Lily!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, this exactly! I’ve done the same, and still do, and while it’s a comfort to hear that I’m not alone in this, it makes me so sad as well. Re: analyzing, I do it all the time, and always wonder whether anyone will think me unlikable, if I was “too [loud, opinionated, &c.]”.

      Definitely!! I love that you see it that way, too, and I will always defend and support women who love themselves and know their worth, and don’t hesitate to show it.

      My pleasure! Thank you so much for your comment and sharing your story with me, Kat! I feel so honored, and appreciative. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lily this post is SO relatable!! I’ve seen this come up like a million times in school and it’s so true that girls are taught to be less assertive and sure of ourselves. Some of the things you mentioned, like hesitating to raise my hand or correct classmates, are things I still do subconsciously. Generally, I really dislike bragging and people talking themselves up, but you are totally right that boys are so much more likely to get away with this. Thank you for bringing these issues to attention! ❤


    1. Yes, exactly. And ahh the next time you hesitate to raise your hand in class, please conjure up an image of me cheering you on in your mind!! 👏🏻

      I dislike bragging as well, and boys and men definitely don’t get side-eyed or called out on doing it as much as we as girls and women would! But I think bragging and speaking highly of yourself are two things, and the latter is so, so important.

      Thanks for your input, Annie! I really enjoyed hearing your thoughts on this. 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a fantastic post. I’ve always struggled with self confidence and reading about characters like Hermione or Bridge to Terabithia’s Leslie who weren’t afraid to assert their competence definitely helped me. I hope this “trend” continues and more and more strong female characters inspire future readers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Tara! 🌷

      I’m so glad you found literary role models that helped you become more self-confident! And same, let’s hope we get more and more female characters we can look up to. ☺️

      Thank you for your lovely comment! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I SO agree with this! And I hate that confidence is so easily called arrogance…when gahhh it’s alright to be confident and proud of yourself. Like every time I hit a milestone with my blogging or social medias, I tend to not say anything because I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging? And while it definitely can come off that way…it also sucks because we should be allowed to cheer ourselves on too? And like you said, with how boys are taught to be confident and assertive, and girls are taught to be likeable — it’s so wrong and it really needs to be fixed for women.

    It’s pretty much one of my top goals as an author to write girls who are confident, in themselves and their capabilities. 😍I wanted to be that person as a teen (but I wasn’t), so I want to remind other teen girls that it IS ok to be confident and believe in yourself and be proud of what you’ve done!!

    (Loved this post so much!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THIS, EXACTLY. It’s so important for us to remind ourselves that it’s okay to talk about our accomplishments, and be proud of them, and encourage other girls and women to do the same! ❤

      And that is so, so great to hear & I adore you for saying that!! And same, I hope that this message will be found in books more and more, and inspire girls not to hesitate to speak out and "take up space". :')

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comment, Cait! You really brightened my day with your words. 🌻☺️


  10. This is SUCH a fantastic post, Lily, I love it so, very much. thank you for writing it. ❤ I recognize myself in a lot of things here, like I'm not entirely taking a compliment at times, or/and I always put an emphasis on others that helped me reached this goal, instead of being completely confident in my abilities to just do all the damn things I managed to do. I don't know why and I know that it should be alright to cheer for ourselves and be confident, but I never want to seem like I am bragging or anything like that, so… sometimes, when I reach a milestone or something, I just don't mention it haha. It feels a bit stupid, but… I don't know.
    We definitely need more confident characters like these in our books to inspire us better for sure ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh wow, I’m so touched, thank you so much for your kind words, Marie! ❤

      Everything you wrote resonates with me on such a deep level, and it makes me so sad that so many of us feel this way? Which is why I will always make sure to cheer on others who are confident enough to do that.

      Also!! If ever there was someone who should be proud of themselves, it's you!! We may "only" be "online friends", but I could already fill pages listing your talents, wonderful traits, and accomplishments, so please never hesitate to talk about them, and accept very well-deserved compliments!

      I hope your week is absolutely wonderful, Marie! 🌷✨

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re so, so welcome, thank YOU for writing this thoughtful post, it really made me think ❤ ❤

        You're honestly the sweetest, I don't know what I ever did to deserve you, thank you ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ I'm trying my best haha, I'm so awkward hahaha. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow Lily, this post has definitely given me much to think about! I definitely agree with the need for more confident YA females (or honestly, any gender except a cis male), and love that I’m seeing it more in books!

    I would say I’m pretty confident when the situation calls for it, but mainly that has to deal with my own upbringing and my friends and family being supportive in whatever I do. I think environment has much to do with this kind of behavior, as you mention in your example.

    A book I’d recommend with a confident mc (maybe too confident at times) is From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon. It’s a contemporary romance that follows a girl who wants to be a producer! She’s awesome 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that’s honestly so flattering, thank you, Aila!! 💗

      I agree with you, and I think it essentially really applies to everyone who grew up being taught that being modest and demure, and “likable” is more valuable than anything else. I’m super glad to hear that you grew up in an environment that was so supportive and encouraging, and I agree that confidence is a trait that is hugely shaped by the people you’re surrounded by.

      And thanks for the recommendation! I’ve seen the book around, but I feel much more inclined to give it a try now. 🙂

      I hope you’re having a great week, and thanks so much for your wonderful comment! 💓


  12. Yes yes and YES! Even with Hermione and Luna, you see people make snarky comments about their confidence. But all the male characters who are fully confident in their quidditch skills? No comment. Wonder why? *rolls eyes* it’s such a double standard situation. I don’t get why people recoil if a female says she’s good at something. My automatic reaction is to go “YAS GAL SLAY IT”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh really? Thankfully, I’ve never seen those. And yess, exactly, same!! We should all be supportive of each other, and celebrate each and every one of us who’s confident and not afraid to talk about their strengths and accomplishments.

      Thank you so much for your comment, Ashleigh! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This post is so good and SO important!!
    I grew up in a pretty good community (because I’m homeschooled, and because of my family, and the people my parents chose to spend time with, I guess…), and so this affects me a lot less than it could, but I definitely struggle with some of this stuff a lot still.
    I feel like there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and even though I don’t think I’m anywhere near arrogant (I have exactly zero self-confidence), it’s always been a line I’ve been worried I’m going to cross. Even though I really don’t think I’m in any danger of that.
    So yeah, I could relate a lot to this.

    And we definitely need to see more confident female characters in books. Because it helps. A lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Iris! That means a lot. 💗

      I whole-heartedly agree with you! I think crossing the line from being confident to arrogant definitely factors into my being afraid of being confident as well, lest it be construed as arrogant. I’m glad you grew up in an environment that didn’t further this, though, and that you obviously have great parents!!

      Thank you so much for your comment, and for sharing! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Yes Lily!! This is such a fantastic post because I always see girls getting a lot of hate and being labeled as a binch for being confident, assertive, or just seeming sure of themselves. Meanwhile, it’s something we applaud a lot in boys. I see it so often when people talk about female characters in books, movies, and tv shows, and that definitely has extended to real life.

    I also think shying away and not bragging? if that’s the right word is something that is heavily emphasized in Asian cultures. It’s seen in a very similar light to being arrogant. Lovely post, and @authors give us more strong female characters!! Hermonie is definitely one of my favorites, and Aelin from TOG is a recent love too ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do, too, and it honestly makes me so sad, even more so, when I see that mindset in women/girls. 😦

      This is so true! I feel like we’ve been talking about the positive sides of Asian culture and upbringing a lot, and while I love many of the “virtues” that are praised (being on time, for example, haha) I think this is one aspect that I don’t like so much, and hope will shift a bit.

      Hermione is the best!! I’m not in that particular fandom, but I’m super glad to hear that you’ve found other female characters to look up to! 😊

      Thank you so much for sharing, and for your lovely comment, Tiffany! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  15. This is such a lovely and IMPORTANT post, thanks Lily! Confident female characters, whether they’re understated and just existing (Luna) or declaring it boldly because YES I am fab (Toph Badass Beifong from Avatar the Last Airbender) or both (ummmm Suki from AtLA, lol I need more lit examples, Lizzy Bennett!!), are so needed.

    And people need to be kinder and more encouraging and far less harsh on strangers, themselves, and family. Like, I’ve had coworkers talk about how some people shouldn’t wear certain clothes because they aren’t “thin enough” or look “good enough” to be in them, and at the time I said to them, just jokingly so they would stop being so rude, “I wish I had her confidence!” And that sentiment is true! But also, LORD let people wear what they want and feel comfortable in their own skin and YOU DON’T KNOW anything about her, why are you???

    We need more stories about confident ladies, and more stories about people supporting each other. Thanks for the honest thought-provoking post. None of us are perfect, and we’re all too hard on ourselves, but we can at least try to be better. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Mmm, excellent post. I myself am consciously trying to come to accept female characters who are a bit more rash and overconfident, because I actually don’t mind those traits in male characters! Like you say, society teaches girls to be “likable” by being easy-going, and sadly, even girls tend to critique other girls who aren’t like that.

    And the thing about saying thanks? I agree. I myself hated being complimented (or saying thanks), but it’s something that females especially should feel more confident doing. This is such an important discussion, so excellent thoughts! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. “I always start my sentences with “I think …” or “maybe …”, or “in my opinion …”, even if it’s a fact, or I know that I’m right” omg that hit me so hard with how much I relate to this

    this was the best discussion post I ever read ever ever ever and I hope you’re proud of yourself for writing something so poignant ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I love this post! I actually am experiencing every single one you’ve listed (especially starting most sentences with “I think”). I always get really inspired whenever I read about strong and courageous female characters. They motivate me to try to evolve into a better version of myself. I really hope we get even more books with characters such as those. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Lily this post is so incredibly amazing! I have become increasingly more aware of this dichotomy in the workplace as I have been actively trying to advance my career and even the advice that I receive from male colleagues is a stark contrast to that of female colleagues/what I would think! I read a book earlier this year called ‘Women Don’t Ask’ about the gap in negotiation in the workplace being a possible contributor to the gender pay gap (super good book, btw) that talked about the passive things boys are taught, and all the various ways we unconsciously undersell ourselves, but the most telling thing for me was the discussion on strong females being characterized negatively whereas men with the same traits are praised. And I realized that I was even guilty of thinking of that! UGH! I have been actively trying to remove “I think” from my vocabulary and it is so hard.

    This is a giant world vomit ramble and I am sorry. But I love this post so much and this is definitely why we need strong female characters! I shouldn’t be considered a braggart if I take pride in what I excel at and I shouldn’t feel like I should just stay silent when I have the expertise. I know with me I wait to be called on (because they all know my particular specialties and proficiencies) and “if they wanted my opinion they would ask for it”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is such a late reply, but thank you so much, Kaleena!! 💚

      And please don’t apologize for what I don’t think is vomit ramble at all?? Thank you for your thoughtful comment, and for sharing, I loved reading your thoughts on this! Like you, I usually stay silent, and wait to be called on, because I’d feel like I’m “too” brash? Even if I know that that’s not really how I should feel. And I totally relate to actively working on seeing the world differently as well.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this insightful message! 🙂


  20. This is such a great + important discussion. I’m guilty of doing almost (if not) every single thing on that list and I didn’t really realize how much of it stemmed from a lack of confidence/fear of judgment. I think a lot of the time confidence depends on the situation you’re in–I’m completely fine about talking, or even boasting, about my achievements to people I’m close with like my brother or parents, but am significantly more subdued and even downplay my achievements with some of my friends. I don’t always utilize my skills for fear of showing off.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Honestly, the first feeling I have when I hear a girl say yes they’re beautiful is this twinge of envy, regardless of whether they say it with confidence or with arrogance. And gosh, making myself smaller is like an automatic reflex for me and I don’t like it, which is why we need more confident female characters to look up to! And I love that you distinguished confidence from arrogance because the sad thing is, oftentimes a confident woman in a TV show or a book is also portrayed as arrogant :/ Great discussion, Lily!
    xx Kate
    (PS. I can’t believe I haven’t followed you yet?????)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is such a late reply, but thank you so much, Kate!!

      It’s definitely such an intrinsic, and instinctive reaction for me to make myself smaller, and to hold back, in fear of feeling like I’m showing off. And yess, exactly! I feel like it’s so important to teach young girls and teens that it’s okay to be confident, and that we should all cheer each other on.

      Ahh that happens to me all the time, haha, don’t worry about it 💙


  22. Oh my god, yes! I just read a book recently that I loved (the wicked deep) but the main character annoyed me in the beginning. She followed that typical “i’m plain and boring and not like my best friend who is so beautiful and like-able”–something that happens waaaay too often in YA. I never understand why they can’t be interesting, or why they can’t find THEMSELVES interesting. It’s infuriating–especially when a boy comes around and they’re shocked that he could every like someone as ordinary as them…and then they decide they aren’t ordinary after the boy tells them they aren’t. I’m so over it. I think authors need to do better–I mean, they quite literally have the power to change the narrative since they’re the ones creating and perpetuating it…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “(…) especially when a boy comes around and they’re shocked that he could every like someone as ordinary as them” – yes, this exactly!!

      Not that that’s a bad storyline per se, but I wish there were more books that showcased how likable, and all of the other traits that are considered positive, confident female characters are, instead of going down the “arrogant” slope.

      Thank you for your comment, and for sharing your thoughts, Natalie!! 🙂


  23. This post in ON POINT, I love everything that you said and it rang very true for me! 💕 Unfortunately, I often feel like girls being confident is seen as too ‘bossy’ and ‘self obsessed’ while it’s praised when it comes to boys 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh thank you so much, Caro!! 💗 I’m so happy you loved it, it really means a lot to me. :’)

      Yes, exactly! I hope that that’s something that’ll change, as men/boys and women/girls become more aware of how wrong that is.

      Thank you for your wonderful comment! 🌷

      Liked by 1 person

  24. oh my gosh, Lily, this is such a beautiful and amazing post and I agree 100%!!! I’m so glad we live in a time when gender is not *everything*, when our identity doesn’t necessarily have to be “boy” or “girl,” and it’s so freeing. But to be a girl should not mean missing out on being as confident and chivalrous and Gansey-like as boys, and we need more of these characters!!!! c:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh thank you so, so much, Malanie! 🧡🧡

      I guess I somewhat skirted around addressing the sex/gender issue, because I felt that it would have overcomplicated what I was trying to express, but I whole-heartedly agree with you!

      (And I’m lowkey scared to say that I’m not part of that fandom, oops?)

      Liked by 1 person

  25. […] Post 💝 ➽ Vera’s Circe Review 💖 ➽ Sionna’s Amulet (The Stonekeeper) Review 💕 ➽ Lily’s Discussion on Why We Need (More) Confident Female Characters 💓 ➽ Justine’s Favorite Naked Hardcovers 💘 ➽ LaRonda’s 500 Follower Giveaway (Until […]

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Oh I absolutely love this post! I too say things like ‘I think’ even though I KNOW what I’m saying is right dasgbh I always think ‘but what if I’m wrong??’ and I don’t want to seem like a know it all either :/ Characters like Hermione and Luna have definitely helped me (I got bullied for being serious about school, but Hermione showed me that there was nothing wrong with that) but we still need so many more characters like that! Again love this post ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh that makes me so happy, thank you so much, Michelle!! 💞

      I’m so sorry to hear that you were bullied. 😔 And for something that should be lauded, in my opinion??—but I’m so glad to hear that books (Hermione!!) helped encourage you to stay true to yourself.

      I hope we’ll both become more confident to speak our minds, and less fearful of how others might perceive us, as we go through life. 😌

      Thank you so much for sharing & I really appreciate your wonderful comment! I’m so glad you loved this post. ☺️💗

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Oh my god this is such an important topic and I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen somebody discuss it.

    I am a very shy girl and have discovered that I just cannot take compliments. I’ll blush so much and avoid eye contact and end up becoming do uncomfortable that I wish for the eaeth to swallow me. And this is a problem… I want to be confident but spoiler: I am most definitely not.

    I really want to start working on that and I think seeing more confident women in books will greatly help with that. Loved this post 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so, so much, Charvi! 💗

      I’m glad that this post resonated with you, and I hope you’ll learn to be more confident, step by step. I’m sure you can get there. 🙂

      Thank you so much for your kind message, and I’m so happy you enjoyed this post! 💕💕

      Liked by 1 person

  28. You touch upon such an important issue. I found myself nodding along as I read the whole post. We definitely need more confident girls and women in books, especially in those targeted to younger audiences.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I cannot believe I missed out on this post on the day it was posted. I’m so glad I read this because I think this is an important discussion to have. And I couldn’t agree more with you!

    I think all women are taught to keep our “egos” in check because fragile masculinity is threatened by women who are equally, if not more, competent. I think this is more prevalent in Asian cultures, though, where a lot of traditions are strongly rooted in patriarchy and gender roles. Nevertheless, it’s a serious issue that deserves more attention.

    Personally, I struggle to accept compliments either, and whenever I’m asked about ~*skills*~ and ~*talents*~ that I may have, I just immediately freeze up and don’t know what to answer! I can’t help but think that labeling what I’m good at as ‘talents’ is an arrogant thing for me to do. It’s something I’m still working on unlearning.

    Anyway, thank you very much for this insightful discussion! I do hope we get more confident female characters in books. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh thank you so much, Shealea!! 💗

      You basically hit the nail right on the head in your first paragraph – I definitely believe that my/our/an Asian upbringing contributed to how I feel and act, when it comes to confidence.

      And same!! I’m such an awkward little bean whenever I receive compliments, though it’s gotten better since I started blogging, even if only online. I hope that someday we’ll be both be able to accept and thank people without freezing up, and not knowing how to react.

      Thank YOU for this wonderful comment, I really loved reading your side of things. 💗💗


  30. Hmmm for me something I know I’m pretty good at is writing. But I don’t really talk a lot being good at it, mostly due to self doubt and knowing I’ve only had 7yrs experience….yet 7 more years than others.

    I used to not put my hand up in class and now I still don’t, its a combo of social anxiety tho and not wanting ppl looking at me cause what if I’m wrong? What if I’m right? I just stay silent instead.

    I definitely agree though, from a young age girls are taught how to act, behave etc and it’s in a way to make us seem less powerful, confident then men. Something to also note though is that whilst this is toxic for girls, teaching guys they have to be touch and all manly is also toxic.

    When I was in school I was opinionated, still am and the fact I’m also sarcastic sorta added sometimes when I felt comfortable speaking out about something that was on mind, usually in my friendship group.

    As for the bonus question Lily whoa…I thought about it. And I’ve concluded it depends how they say it, if they just say it like a passing comment fine, go them for embracing that and knowing they are beautiful. If its said in a way or comes across kinda arrogant or like…idk how to put it but there’s this certain way I’ve seen girls say it or say it to one another which rubs me the wrong way. Like firstly don’t say something to your ‘friends’ when 3 minutes later you’re talking trash about them behind their back. Also don’t say something cause you feel like you have to say it.

    But YES more confident female characters please, just them being them and not trying to conform to what others think of them. ❤ loved this post, you killed it!


  31. This is seriously one of the best posts I’ve ever read. The truth behind it is so bloody real.

    I started doing work experience in a tourism company and I was so damn nervous and didn’t speak up. The other day though I told them about spelling mistakes on their website and I was offered a job. The fact that I was confident apparently impressed them so much!


  32. That’s a very thoughtful post, Lily! And something that we definitely need to talk more about because boys and girls are really raised up very differently when it comes to confidence and what qualities one should have. I rarely ever talk about my accomplishments because I’m a perfectionist and I never feel like I’m doing enough, there’s always more to be done, so people often call me “modest” and while they mean it as a compliment, it always irks me out a lot. Because what’s wrong with being aware of the qualities you have, I’d love to be more confident and flashy with them. I’d love to be not so self-conscious all the time about how I’m not doing enough or analyse all the time what I have to say in order to not make a fool of myself or be considered arrogant or a bitch or whatever. We never give men such a hard time about who they are (even if they are some sexist assholes who should be put in their places), somehow women are always less, yet they are kept to such high standards.
    Thank you for this post! ❤
    It was very inspirational and amazing!


  33. Thank you so much for doing this beautiful post! I loved reading it and I completely agree with your points. I would love to see more confident women in books but also more supportive female groups. Groups who work to bring each other up instead of down. I hate how our culture forces women to hide and feel embarrassed by their accomplishments, and books could do a great deal to change that. If we no longer get the idea that we are supposed to be mean to each other from books, movies and tv shows, then maybe that twisted ideal could disappear!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Yep, I so agree !
    Only characters I had in mind while reading this is Dimple from when dimple met rishi, and Ariel in heavenward. Accordingly, IF an author gives a female character seeable flaws, you’ll see her being refered as an “unlikable character” more than anything; While its the opposite when it’s for a male character.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the recommendations, Kristina! I’ve heard a lot of good things about WDMR, and I really hope I can get around to reading it sometime. And I’ll have to check out Heavenward, I’ve never even heard of it.

      I’ve noticed that a lot of typically “unlikable” traits like being moody and closed off &c. seem to be made appealing in male characters, whereas it’s the opposite for fe ale characters, and they’re usually thought of, or depicted, as somewhat arrogant, in that case? So I know what you mean.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. This is amazing and beautifully written. I agree on all the points you bought up here. When I started reading I wasn’t confident in who I was in the slightest, there are so many book characters that are essentially my role models but weren’t exactly the most confident characters. They ended up molded by their circumstances. I think in this day and age young girls and woman in general need a confident character to look up to and aspire to be. Society needs to stop reinforcing the idea that woman need to fit in and be compliant. They need to be unapologetic in being themselves and it does need to be reflected in books more. Amazing post!!

    Amber ♥ The Book Bratz

    Liked by 1 person

  36. I love this post so much 💖 i struggled with this a lot growing up and it took me a LONG time to own up to my achievements, and i still have some days where it’s still hard but generally speaking, freeing myself from people’s expectations of me being “humble” and “quiet” about them has been liberating and only made me more confident!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. You must not read the books I do. One of my favorite characters, whose series I haven’t (sadly) finished reading yet is one of the strongest, most courageous female characters I have ever read and if I stopped to think about it I could think of many more.


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