In Kool Kanya’s theme for December ﹘ Challenging Gender Roles ﹘ we unpack the stereotypes and biases that govern women in the workplace.
If someone paid us every time we heard, ‘you know they’re just a fictional character, right?’, we’d be rich. And there’s no doubt we’d use those riches to obsess more over these iconic characters. What pop culture-loving human hasn’t been mildly upset that these characters don’t exist in real life? You may want to be those characters because our lives aren’t half as interesting as theirs. Or you might just want to be their BFFs.
Unfortunately, we can only read or watch the incredible lives of these iconic characters and live vicariously through them. But, if we could bring them to life, here are our favourite picks –
1. Anne Shirley from Anne with an ‘E’
Oh, who wouldn’t want to be a bosom friend to Anne? Ostracised early on at Green Gables by family and neighbours alike, Anne won the hearts of every single person in town with her quirky behaviour. Always seeing the best in people and looking out for her friends, Anne brought unique ideas to the table, be it for games or in singing. An older Anne would definitely stand out in the corporate world, but she definitely would stand up for you when you needed support.
2. Vijayalakshmi from Queen
What’s not to love about this fiercely independent character? She’s kind and definitely a badass. She’s protective of her friends and would be the one to help you realise your potential at work. We know we could use a Vijayalakshmi who sees the best in us and shows up for us. Someone to pour our hearts out to once we get drunk. Even at work, you bet she would make an effort to make your life better and get you out of your comfort zone.
3. Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation
Who hasn’t been jealous of the attention and care that Ann gets from Leslie? Despite this political leader’s busy schedule, she still finds time for all her friends and has the most inventive ways to surprise them. She even made the ever-grumpy Ron smile once in a while! She gave the most thoughtful gifts, loved binge parties, and was the ultimate cheerleader to those who worked with her. What better qualities would you want in a work BFF?
4. Radha from English Vinglish
Helping Shashi realise her true potential – especially in a climate where she was looked down upon and discouraged – is Radha. She supports her aunt like any good friend would, and constantly lends her support in Shashi’s endeavours when she needs it. Radha would fit right in with our girl gang at work by offering unconditional support and advice when we need it most.
5. Rachel Green from FRIENDS
Despite all the flaws we see in Rachel initially, there’s no denying that she would make a kind and honest friend. She always had the gang’s backs when they needed support and even gave some helpful advice from time to time. She showed a lot of emotional maturity as she helped Ross with his love life after they broke up, and you know she’s going to support you the same way with no hard feelings. And those personalised goodbye messages before her flight to Paris just prove she’d also make an amazing writer if you ever need one!
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6. Peeplika from The Married Woman
We all need brutally honest and unbiased advice every once in a while. And who better to approach for this no-filters advice than Peeplika? With a great sense of self-identity, she’s the go-to person when it comes to feeling confident in our own skin. Breaking barriers and norms of what is acceptable in society, she is fearlessly honest and stands up for what she believes in. Toxic coworker bothering you? Let’s see what Peeplika has to say about that!
7. Elle Woods from Legally Blonde
Elle is a badass female character and would make a fantastic friend who always supports you, even if she’s going through a rough time. With her commitment and drive to learn something new and excel at it, she would undoubtedly stand out from the crowd at work. Being true to herself, she would probably tempt us into her pink world, but honestly, we wouldn’t mind getting a makeover from Elle. Finding a way out when anyone gives you grief – now that’s a friend we won’t mind having!
8. Aditi from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
Aditi is the kind of straightforward friend we all need in our lives. From wearing what she wanted to calling people out when they crossed a line, Aditi would probably be a voice that stands out in the office. The fact that she does not go through a makeover to please anyone but herself stands to confirm that she’s true to herself. And we all need someone to prove that you can be fierce and feminine at the same time.
9. Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls
Don’t we all deserve a Lorelai in our lives? Someone to show up with ice-cream and wine when we have a bad day? Pulling one-liners out of thin air, she always knows how to cheer someone up, be it Rory, Sookie, or even Kirk. Friendly with everyone in town and constantly lending a helping hand, Lorelai would make a great colleague who’s always got your back.
10. Tara Khanna from Made in Heaven
Tara is brave enough to admit her faults, and even denounce her husband and the luxury that comes along. Making people realise their faults and holding them accountable is something we would love to see in a work bestie. She realises her worth, and although she maintains a firm stance for the most part, there is a soft side to her as well. Her hustle, ambition, and drive, are also some great things to aspire to in a friend.
11. Eleanor Shellstrop from The Good Place
She’s relatable, just like all of us, and this woman knows exactly what she’s worth. She knows what she’s capable of doing, and although she may be a bit lazy to do it (can’t blame her, same!), she still gets the work done. Eleanor asks all the questions we’re thinking about but haven’t voiced, and you just know she would make even the most boring online meetings fun. She isn’t afraid to be honest and call others out on their mistakes, and who better to have on your side to handle a sexist coworker?
12. Jo March from Little Women
Here’s another writer we’d be fans of. Besides Jo’s courage, honesty, and big heart, we find her bookish soul a bit too close to home. Breaking down traditional roles and making her way in a man’s world on her own terms — that’s the kind of inspiration we want in a work bestie. Her kindness and ambition would definitely inspire us to think differently and make our professional lives less stressful.
Well, that’s our pick of favourite iconic characters we’d love to be friends with. These women embody the spirit of girl power, and they’d be with us through thick and thin. Who’d you want as a BFF?
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