Randomness

Types of Female Protagonists

June 11, 2016

We all know that there are many, many different protagonists who have different personalities and traits. We do see quite a lot of trends within those characters. So here are a few types of female protagonists I have noticed during my reading life. 
*DISCLAIMER: I love seeing all these characters in books. Although some of them have a lot of cons, they're what make the book interesting to me. I like annoying book characters. Yes, I'm weird. No, I don't love annoying people so please don't take this as an excuse to annoy my in the comments.*

1. The Bad-ass Warrior Woman

There is always that one girl who may look small in stature and size, but when you try to cross her path, D.A.M.N. She knows how to kick some awesome butt and she knows how to fight against anybody who abuses her. She can beat anybody at a brawl, male or female, and she is brave, outgoing and extroverted. 

Unfortunately, sometimes, this is the character who ends up falling for some guy who she's supposed to protect and suddenly loses her badass-ness in a moment of weakness when the guy is involved and starts making stupid decisions for the guy. *sigh* Not always though. Sometimes. (see bad decision maker and I-NEED-GUY-TO-LIVE below)

PROS:
  • She'll probably protect everybody else we like from danger (unless she turns into a dumb weakling because of aforementioned love interested.)
  • She will not underestimate anybody else with a small size and stature knowing her own nature, making her more foolproof
  • She will provide us blood-thirsty readers with the action scenes we crave and give us enemy blood to feed on by beating up the bad guys. Just kidding. Or am I?
CONS:
  • She will probably hate the love interest at first, making us readers scream in frustration and throw the book at the wall when they "fight" and procrastinate for 50,000 centuries until their clueless brains figure out they actually like each other (and then they start acting dumb.)
  • Since her good fighting skills are constantly emphasised, she will probably mess up and ignore said fighting skills at an extremely important moment.
2. The Goody Two Shoes

This is that one girl who is literally the picture-perfect role model/ You usually find her in contemporary novels, the girl who gets straight As, knows French, Spanish and Latin, never does anything wrong, always obeys the rules, that kind of the thing.

Usually, this girl also finds a love interest that helps her break out of this goody-two-shoes shell and do outrageous, reckless things to show people that's not all she is. She usually also does this at a vital moment and creates a huge problem.

PROS:
  • Being a straight-A student, she probably won't be stupid for quite a big chunk of the book until she magically realises she's "too good" and starts being the opposite. 
  • She is just so cute to read about, because of her goody-two-shoes-ness and naïveté (See, I know French too!) 
  • She is very relatable to us book-nerds, as she probably is one herself. Even if she isn't, this girl prefers to sit at home doing nerdy stuff rather than going out (ME ME ME !)
CONS:
  • She's the smart role model so obviously, she'll fall for someone who's the complete opposite. This, again, will make us wait 50,000,000,000,000 millennia until she stops overthinking it and they finally get together.
3. The Bad Decision Maker

This character wants to make you facepalm every time she opens her mouth. If you were with a group of people and you asked them to choose between potatoes and broccoli, she'd choose broccoli. Yep, that's the bad decision maker for you. 

*at cliff* "Guys! Let's jump off! I know it'd be totally dangerous but it would be a great experience before we die, right?"

*stranger with gun asks you and friends to enter his car* "Guys! Let's go with him! We need a ride home anyway, and I really don't want to take a bus and this car seems comfortable. I'm sure the gun is just for thug credit. It'll be a great experience before we're kidnapped!"

*OCTILLIONS OF SUPER MEGA FACEPALMS* 

For some horrible reason, this character's decision don't just affect her and the reader, but everybody else in the book. Her decisions are the most important ones ever, but she screws them all up because of her complete inability use that little thing called a brain some people tend to have. 

PROS:

  • She gives us very strongly opinionated book-nerds an excuse to rant for three or four hours on their bookish social media platform
  • Gives fellow readers and book-nerds a good laugh when they read/watch aforementioned rant inspired by the character
CONS:
  • Well... She makes THE. WORST. DECISIONS. She gets people killed or severely injured due to her bad decisions! 
  • She endangers the health of book-nerds and humans in general as enhanced book-nerd rage leads to murder of random humans who interrupts rage/rant/facepalm.
  • The health and beauty of the book she's part of is at stake , as they might or might not end up being thrown at the wall/out the window/ into the pool/ into a bag of Cheetos

  • Everybody's faces will be red after facepalming for hours. After a while, the print of our palm will dig a palm-shaped hole in our foreheads and our hands will go right through.
4. The I-NEED-THE-GUY-TO-LIVE 

This is the girl who literally cannot live unless her boyfriend, girlfriend or love interest is with her at all times! She could be in the middle of a mass murder, on the floor at the airport pretending to be dead but still wishing she could kiss her boyfriend and that he could she her outfit. 

*World is ending* "Damn, he is so hot. I wish I could kiss him. I know the sun is hurtling towards the earth at a 100 miles per hour but who cares? He is hotter than the sun."

*in the middle of fight with assassin* "Where is he? Why isn't he here? I wonder what he's wearing... Oh he looks SO good in red and bla-" *gets stabbed* "I NEED TO KISS HIM BEFORE I DIE!"

PROS:
  • Ranting excuse. Like, the best ranting excuse EVER, amirite? (Yes, I am, because you are reading this post right now which is kind of ranty and this is one of my excuses.)
CONS:
  • Again, health of book-nerds, humans, book, etc. is in danger. NOBODY IS SAFE.
  • You end up hating the love interest, who is probably a decent guy/girl but because he indirectly ruins everything and makes us facepalm for 50 years, we are unable to look at him for who he is.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post. Do you agree with what I've said, and do you have something to add? Have you noticed any other types of female protagonists or characters in general? Do you think I should do a male version? Let's chat in the comments down below!
-Rekha

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14 comments

  1. Ah yes, the warrior woman. I really don't mind this type of protagonist because I like good action sequences, but it depends how the love interest is handled. I think warrior women should have a soft side (like most characters) but that definitely shouldn't make them stop thinking. You can still care for someone while kicking some butt. Anyway, great post! XD

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    1. I personally love the Warrior Woman but from what I've seen, especially recently, the warrior woman's "soft side" causes her to completely forget her priorities. That's kind of what inspired the post, but it turned into a completely different thing. I do agree though, that you can be badass and caring at the same time. Thank you!

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  2. Ahahaha! This post is hilarious! Need-a-guy-to-live characters are probably my least favorite of them all...

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    1. True, true.. it's just... YOU HAD A LIFE BEFORE HIM AND YOU CAN HAVE A LIFE WITHOUT HIM!!! Thank you :)

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  3. This was fun to read! It's kind of true that we can divide characters into stereotypes... And especially the warrior woman tends to be the one we call a 'strong female character' because we find it hard to understand that being strong doesn't actually always mean being *physically* strong. Haha. Sorry. Ranting.
    Anyway, thanks for writing this! It's all so true ;D

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    1. Thank you! Stereotypes are a huge feature basically everywhere. Yeah, usually the Warrior Woman is the "strong" protagonist but usually, they do have vulnerabilities as well. Every character does. Dude. Ranting is totally acceptable. Everyone, especially book-nerds like is, take extreme pleasure in it. Thanks again!

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  4. I hate it when the book characters have no brains. I end up shouting at them internally. A lot.

    What is worse is when the stupid decision girl is hybridised with the must-have-dude-to-live girl *coughs* Bella Swan *coughs*

    Soooo many times I'm there like: no. This is not smart. This is the stupidest decision you could make. It's like horror films where you absolutely, positively, know that they a) shouldn't split up, and b) totally shouldn't GO IN THERE. But they do. And the face-palm-age is mega.

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    1. YES! YES YES YES! Those two are THE. WORST. COMBINATION. My forehead begs me to put the book down when one of those is present, and so does my palm. Characters like Bella Swan should not be allowed to exist! It's like they have brains, and their brains are working fine, but the nerves are kind of all wishy-washy and completely ignore what the brain says so they end up doing the STUPIDEST things.

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    2. Ha, the nerves-to-brain thing kind of reminded me of when my friend called me stupid... then walked directly into a post. And it was so sweet - because clearly karma cared that day! XD

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    3. Haha that's hilarious! It's kind of like when my friend called someone oblivious and walked right into a trashcan. Such irony! Ah, the good days when Karma is actually our friend...

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  5. I probably read about bad ass warrior woman the most, but to be honest, I'm kind of sick of it. I think lately a lot of YA show that the strong female lead always has to go with being a fierce fighter, but that isn't always true. I think I'd like more goody two shoe type female protagonists, but without the cheesiness and all the perfection, that would get annoying.

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    1. True, the Warrior Woman is always considered to be strong, but it's not fair that they're saying the only way to be strong is to be physically strong. Strong can mean other things. The goody-two-shoes are ones that I enjoy reading about, but the cheesiness is annoying, I agree.

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  6. Clearly type #4 is the worst of all. Did everyone think of Bella Swan right away when you read about type #4? I clearly did, haha. She's just a bad example, imo.
    I'm not sure I know a character with type #3 characteristics though! Nevertheless, I guess it'll be hilarious to read about her bad decisions and the troubles following XD

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    1. YES! I was thinking about Bella Swan the whole time while writing #4. I was tempted to put a Bella GIF in there. She's the worst character I've ever read about. If you've read a lot of YA dystopians, you know #3. *America Singer* from the Selection series is the best example I can think of. It's hilarious, but frustrating. Very. Frustrating.

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