Mulan

Name: Mulan

mulan

Who is that girl I see, staring straight back at me?

Fictional: Yes (possibly was a real person, but any truth is probably buried in legend at this point)

Universe: Chinese Legend/Disney

Bio: Mulan is a woman from a family with no sons (some stories say she had a brother but that he was very young). When the Chinese Army orders one man from every family to serve, Mulan saves her elderly father’s life by cross dressing and entering the Army in his place.

Why I have a crush on her:

From what I’ve read about the legend of Mulan, this may be the closest Disney has come to staying true to the original story…that has nothing to do with why I have a crush on her, it’s just interesting.

Mulan is the only Disney Princess who isn’t actually a princess. Seriously! All of the other women featured in the Disney Princess brand are royalty either by blood or marriage, but not Mulan. That’s not to say she didn’t EARN her seat at the cool kids’ table. She didn’t defeat one bad guy, she defeated THOUSANDS OF BAD GUYS! All Snow White did was bite an apple.

Mulan also showed strength (mental and physical), ingenuity, courage, and humility; remember when she was offered a job as the Emperor’s right-hand person and she turned it down because she wanted to go back to her family? She didn’t dress like a man, join the army, become the pack leader, start an avalanche that destroyed the 99% of the Hun army, and then storm the palace to defeat the main bad guy and save the emperor because she was ambitious. She did all those things because they were the right things to do (except dressing like a man, which was the only thing she could do in a misogynistic society).

And although she may have had a crush on Shang, and a romantic relationship was hinted at the end of the movie, the plot was not dependent on it, and Mulan was not dependent on him. So for everyone who says that Elsa is the first Disney heroine to not need a man, remember Mulan! (Also, Merida)

C.J. Cregg

Name: Claudia Jean “CJ” Cregg

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Claudia Jean is the Jackal!

Fictional: Unfortunately yes

Universe: The West Wing

Bio: C.J. Cregg begins her career in the Bartlett administration as the Press Secretary, but later goes on to be the President’s Chief of Staff.

Why I have a crush on her:

I’ve recently been binge watching The West Wing, and I have been reminded how much I love Claudia Jean. She’s snarky and quick-witted and she doesn’t take crap from anyone, including the President. She’s also an incredibly real character; she struggles (rather unsuccessfully, in fact) to find a work-life balance, she has complicated romantic relationships, and she can lip-sync with the best of them! My favorite quote from C.J. comes from an interaction she has with Josh in the episode 3.17 The U.S. Poet Laureate

[C.J. is mad at Josh for posting to the message board of a Josh Lyman fan web site]

C.J. Cregg: If they discover you’ve been there, I’m going to shove a motherboard so far up your ass… What?

Josh Lyman: Well… technically, I outrank you.

C.J. Cregg: SO FAR UP YOUR ASS…

Ultimately, it’s her incredible ability to remain (mostly) calm under pressure that makes C.J. Cregg a crush-worthy woman!

Rey (Spoiler Free)

Name: Rey

Rey

Rey leads Finn away from the explosion (and gives him crap for when he tries to take the lead).

Fictional: Yes

Universe: Star Wars

Bio: Rey is a scavenger fending for herself on the desert planet of Jakku.

Why I have a crush on her:

It’s hard to describe why Rey is awesome without revealing too much about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and since I don’t want to have any spoilers, this is going to be pretty bare-boned. We knew that Rey was going to be the hero of this new movie based simply on the artwork; she’s been front and center on all of the posters. I’m happy to say that she didn’t disappoint. She is strong, confident, and truly a good person.

If you haven’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, do it soon…I don’t know how long the internet is going to be able to keep spoilers away from you. And if you are living in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, you can use the code GEEKYODA to get $2 off a ticket to see the movie in IMAX 3D at the Virginia Air and Space Center.

Lake Bell

Name: Lake Bell

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Meet the voices behind those movie trailers

Fictional: Nope

Universe: Hollywood

Bio: Lake Bell is an actress, writer, and director originally from New York. She got her start (at least I first saw her) as the sidekick in a couple of romantic comedies. Recently she’s appeared in some goofy adult shows, Children’s Hospital and Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. She’s also done serious work such as this year’s No Escape. In 2013 she wrote, directed, and starred in In A World…

Why I have a crush on her:

I had seen Lake Bell in various roles here and there. She was one of those actresses who I would recognize but I couldn’t tell you her name or what I had seen her in before. That was until I saw In A World…

In A World… is a brilliant movie that Bell wrote, directed, and starred in. I won’t spoil the movie for you, but it centers around a group of voice actors who are all vying for the same part. Voiceover work is something I’ve always been interested in, so I geeked out over that, but more importantly this movie tackles issues of how women’s literal voices are used to drown out their figurative voices.

Lake Bell created an amazing movie that has quickly become one of my favorites. She handles issues of feminism and empowerment without being preachy. And the relationships that are portrayed are so real and raw that it sometimes feels uncomfortable (especially with Demetri Martin) but that’s part of its charm. If you get a chance to see In A World… I highly recommend that you do. And hopefully Lake Bell will continue making quirky, charming, female driven movies!

Ahsoka Tano

Name: Ahsoka Tano

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You hold that lightsaber however you want, girlfriend!

Fictional: Yes

Universe: Star Wars

Bio: Ahsoka is a skilled Jedi padawan assigned to Anakin Skywalker. She fights in the Clone Wars. She is clever, swift, and very headstrong.

Why I have a crush on her:

I have to give credit to Star Wars: Clone Wars; they do an awesome job of addressing sexism and feminism by not addressing it at all. Nobody ever points out differences between men and women, or treats either gender differently than the other, particularly in the Jedi Order. Women give commands same as the men, and the response is the same regardless of gender or alien species.

My favorite of the characters in Clone Wars is Ahsoka. As Anakin’s padawan she picks up a lot of his “bad” habits such as following her instinct and speaking her mind, but she does it always to protect others and complete her mission, unlike Anakin who often gets distracted by his relationship with Padme. Overall I think The Clone Wars is an excellent series, and almost all the characters are far more likeable than they are in the movies (except for Jar-Jar…he just sucks always). I haven’t seen Star Wars: Rebels yet, but as soon as I saw that she was in it, I knew I would have to!

Plus Ahsoka uses a reverse grip on her lightsabers, which is totally cool!