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Family fun

08th Mar 2024

Movies with inspiring female leads to watch with your daughter

Jody Coffey


With the passing of International Women’s Day, let’s keep the spotlight on inspiring young girls and women

While movies are a great source of entertainment, they can impart many messages and lessons about life, love, careers, relationships, and finding your place in the world.

If you’re hoping to squeeze in a little extra quality time with your daughter, films are a great way to cosy up together, spark conversation, and get them asking questions.

Luckily, there is a wealth of movies that centre around girl power with inspirational women that you can watch together that will keep you both engaged.

Moana (PG)

If your little lady is strong-willed and spirited, this one is sure to resonate.

As the brave Moana sets sail on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder and fulfil her ancestors’ unfinished quest, she must go against the status quo of her homeland of Motunui.

While her destiny is to always remain rooted in one place and step into the life her father has carved out for her, she is more inspired by a life of adventure and exploration.

The core themes in ‘Moana’ are to follow your dreams and be true to yourself.

Credit: IMDb

13 Going On 30 (PG-13)

On her 13th birthday, Jenna Rink, desperate to be powerful and popular, wishes to skip her awkward teen years and become ’30, Flirty, and Thriving’.

When she wakes up in her 30-something body, she soon realises that, as an adult, the desire to be popular and career-driven has led her to make some poor decisions.

Jenna realises that she has neglected her once-cherished relationships and gone to inappropriate lengths to get ahead at work, which sets her on a path to find her way back to what’s important in life.

’13 Going On 13′ is one of those great movies that reminds us that being good is more important than being popular and that ultimately, friendship, love, kindness, and loyalty are far more important than power and prestige.

It also has a beautiful underlying message for young movie-watchers: not to be in a rush to grow up.

13 Going On 30
Credit: IMDb

Matilda (1996) (PG)

Matilda, a six-year-old genius, was born into a family that fails to accept or appreciate her intelligence and love of learning.

Her wheeler-dealer father, Harry, works as a con salesman, and her mother, Zinnia, thinks women should only focus on their looks, but Matilda refuses to change who she is to meet their expectations.

Despite feeling like an outsider in her own home, she takes every opportunity to tap into the bountiful world of reading, which leads her to manifest new and magical skills.

Miss Honey, Matilda’s sweet and caring teacher, sees that special something in her students and chooses to nurture and embrace her abilities.

This movie tells the beautiful tale of a young girl who isn’t afraid to be herself, hone her skills, and use her strengths to fight injustice, despite the obstacles in her life.

Matila (1996)
Credit: IMDb

Barbie (12A)

It’s likely that many parents and their daughters saw this flick in theatres during the summer of 2023.

However, if you haven’t, it’s worth a watch.

The movie adaptation of the Mattel doll, played by Margot Robbie, focuses on overcoming insecurities and the impact that the doll may have had on a young girl’s self-esteem.

Following Barbie’s exploration into the real world from Barbieland, she is met with the reality that her beauty has had on the world, as well as the inequality between men and women.

The film gives insight into the impact of body shaming and societal expectations on females, as well as overcoming insecurities to ultimately become stronger.

Credit: IMDb

Legally Blonde (PG-13)

Elle Woods is the poster girl for self-discovery and self-empowerment in ‘Legally Blonde’.

She is a beautiful and fashion-obsessed young woman whom many underestimate based on her appearance – something which many movies dictate as a blonde woman’s struggle.

Elle embarks on a journey towards becoming a lawyer after her boyfriend, Warner, breaks up with her because he doesn’t believe she is ‘serious’ enough to lead the life he wants.

Upon scoring a 179 on the Law School Admission Test, combined with her 4.0 GPA, she is accepted to Harvard Law School and has to prove she isn’t who people think she is every step of the way.

In fact, she refuses to conform to the typical image of what a “lawyer” should look like and instead brings colour into the courtroom.

The main message is that intelligence comes in all shapes and sizes and that you shouldn’t have to compromise who you are or your interests to get what you want.

legally blonde
Credit: IMDb