Films To Empower Women

Movies to Empower Women

Even before the release of Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In, the news cycle was buzzing with stories of women’s empowerment and the demand for more women in positions of power across the globe. For young women, sources of inspiration to step up and make a difference can be found in a variety of places. Here are some of the best films to make you feel inspired, and proud to be a lady!

The September Issue: Anna Wintour is arguably the most powerful woman in the fashion industry, one of the largest consumer industries in the world. She is the editor in chief at Vogue, and when she came to the magazine in 1988 it was a sinking ship. This documentary takes you behind the scenes of Vogue as they plan and prepare the September issue of the magazine- the most crucial issue of the year. Perhaps the most interesting part of this film is not Wintour herself, but her interactions with co-workers and family, both male and female. It might be lonely at the top, but Wintour makes it look downright glamorous.

A League of Their Own: It can be hard to see beyond the all-star cast of this film- Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna, and Tom Hanks to name a few. But, the story is equally awe-inspiring. A professional all-women baseball league is formed in 1943 when most of America’s baseball players are overseas fighting WWII. The team faces misconceptions and stereotypes about women from fans, the press, and even each other. While the narrative is fictional, the league did exist, and just like they inspired women during the war, it still inspires us to know that we can do anything men can do.

Erin Brockovitch: A single mother with no formal education, against all odds, becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply. Julia Roberts, the ultimate girl’s girl, stars in this drama based on a true story. That’s right- Brockovitch exists, and currently owns her own consulting firm, among other projects. No one thought she could do it, and she did. Don’t let the haters stand in your way!

The Secret Life of Bees: Adapted from the novel by the same name by Sue Monk Kidd, Secret Life tells the story of Lily Owens, a 14 year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother. To escape her lonely life and troubled relationship with her father, Lily flees to a South Carolina town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. Taken in by the intelligent and independent Boatwright sisters, Lily finds solace in their mesmerizing world of beekeeping. This beautiful story not only shows us the distance a mother’s love will go and the racial tensions of the American south, but also the value of women helping other women- we won’t succeed without each other.

Mulan: Most classic Disney movies don’t exactly scream women’s empowerment. Then along came Mulan, the story of a young Chinese woman who desires to help defend her people and her family from invaders. Mulan disguises herself as a man and eventually proves to be one of the greatest warriors in her company, even saving the life of the captain (who, in true Disney fashion, ends up falling in love with her eventually). Though we don’t suggest disguising yourself as a man to try to get that job you want, Mulan’s dedication to her family and her dreams are things we could all glean encouragement from.

There are hundreds of movies out there about women overcoming the odds and succeeding. What films do you watch when you’re looking to get inspired?


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