Whenever anyone calls me a bitch (which is often) a part of me is offended, albeit a very very small part. The other part of me, scoffs, because quite frankly, why is being a bitch a bad thing? Is it because I speak my mind? Is it because my big-bad vocabulary makes you uncomfortable? Or is it because you can’t possibly fathom the thought that a woman has managed to make you feel like less of man…even if for a mere 30-seconds? Granted, it’s usually women calling other women bitches, but I figured I’d throw a little feminist pizzazz (melodrama) at the screen.
While the ladies below may be fictional, they represent something important and can very well be seen as archetypes for strong, independent, beautiful women everywhere.
We take women in literature seriously, why not TV?
Blair Waldorf, Gossip Girl: Before there was Beyoncé, there was Blair, the original Queen B with style and class that rivaled that of real monarchs. She wasn’t exactly sweet. In fact, she’s one of the most manipulative, evil women to have ever graced the television screen, but you know what? That’s what was so awesome about her. In the beginning her bitchiness was that of a petty schoolgirl, but eventually she lost the pettiness, and simply became a boss–well dressed, entrepreneurial, wealthier than God, and married the love of her life. She took no shit, was viciously defensive of those she loved, and ended up living her happily-ever-after.
Joan Holloway, Mad Men: Joan is proof that a pretty package doesn’t always mean there’s sunshine and roses on the inside. She’s beautiful in a way that most women can’t even dream of, like something out of an old Hollywood movie. She knows it, and uses it to her advantage–but tactfully, like a war general. She smiles and appeases the men in her life, but all the while she knows who’s really in charge (her). Her “bitchiness” comes from her ability to put people in their place with a single look. Her tagline, even if corny, should be, “Breaking hearts and cashing checks.”
Marnie Michaels, GIRLS: Most people perceive Hannah to be the, “bitchy” one, but that’s because people don’t realize, “narcissistic” is it’s own insult. Marnie is genuinely a representation of a millennial woman. She struggles with her relationships, but beyond that she struggles with the trouble in deciding whether to follow your dreams of make a stable life. She speaks her minds, she believes in her craft, and has no problem telling those around her why she’s better than them.
Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones: I cannot tell you how many Game of Thrones quizzes I have taken on which character I am. I’d say at least 10. Each and every time I get Little Miss Cersei. I was disappointed at first because: 1. I take those quizzes VERY seriously and 2. I wanted to be Khalessi. Duh. Then I started analyzing and paying closer attention to Cersei and guess what? She’s really not half-bad! Bear with me here. She lives in a world where literally you either win or die. There is no in-between. She does whatever she has to do to stay two-steps ahead of her enemies. It’s all politics. If she were a man, she’d be the fiercest character on the show, but because she’s a woman, everyone hates her. Yeah, she sleeps with her brother, and that’s not cool, but aside from incest she is a bad-ass who has taken a life of being told what to do by men, and turned the tables back on them.
Fiona Gallagher, Shameless: Is she a bitch in the conventional sense? No..but she is no stranger to laying down the law when necessary. She’s selfish, impulsive, afraid of commitment, and attracted to toxic men ( a woman after my own heart) but beyond that, she’s just someone who is trying to make the best out of a bad situation. She loves strongly and without apprehension. She is able to see life as it clearly is and she knows to save the optimism and silver-linings for Disney Princesses and rich people.
Miranda Hobbes, Sex and The City: Miranda is sometimes considered the, “ugly duckling,” of The SATC foursome. Not because she’s ugly by any means, but because her values are vastly different. She doesn’t helplessly chase men (mostly just sex), she doesn’t believe in a big-frilly-life with a white picket fence in the suburbs. She’s strong-willed, incredibly dedicated to her work and even when it’s not appreciated, she’s not afraid to tell her friends they’re being dumb (which is often.)
Leona Lansing, The Newsroom: Jane Fonda in real life is the epitome of a great bitch and her role on this show isn’t any different. She walked the fine line between being a politically correct mogul and speaking like a truck driver. She was unsolicited, unpredictable, wildly inappropriate, but wildly entertaining no-less. She was elegant, regal, but knew how to say, “Fuck you,” and when to say.
Gloria Pritchett, Modern Family: Gloria is what I call a, “quirky bitch.” Much like Joan Holloway, she’s strikingly beautiful but also endearingly comical. She almost doesn’t mean to be bitchy, at least that’s what she wants you to think. She’s headstrong, witty, has the most amusing accent on the planet, and is surprisingly equal parts wise as she is ditsy.
Skylar White, Breaking Bad: Skylar is definitely the most hated character on this list. There’s no doubt about it. Most people could NOT STAND HER. I didn’t share in that sentiment. At times I thought Skylar’s bitchiness was annoying, but in retrospect her husband was a drug-lord, lying, conniving, manipulative, murderer who constantly put her and her children at risk of being slaughtered at the hands of his enemies. She had every right to be behave the way she did and she didn’t care what anyone had to say about it–not her sister, not her son, not the DEA.
Galina (Red) Reznikov, Orange is The New Black: There are a lot of examples of women on OITNB that I could have used, but Red has always been my absolutely favorite. She’s what I’d like to call, “maternal bitch.” She gives love, but most of the time it will be in the form of an insult or slap upside the head. She’s intelligent–she doesn’t plan…she plots.