Sunday, April 15, 2012

Teen Idols

It's been way too long since I've made a list, and this is one I've been kicking around for a while. I think I basically failed as a teenager. Sure, I got good grades, did sports, sang in choirs, acted in plays, went to church (for the first part of puberty anyway), got into a good college, and respected my parents.

But I never put the smack down on anyone in wicked costumes, never challenged any evil government entities, never rode off into the unknown to seek vengeance for a traumatic childhood event. Basically, I was boring. This fact has been highlighted by the following teenage fictional characters who are so frickin' badass that I have self-esteem issues just pondering their awesomeness:

1. Mattie Ross from "True Grit"

I never watch Westerns because I inexplicably loathe that part of history. The only reason I bothered to click on True Grit on Netflix was this girl's face. Hard. Core. She looks like she would eat you and your mother for breakfast if you crossed her and pick her teeth with your pinkie bone. That's not to accuse 14-year old Mattie of being a cannibal. But the girl does what needs to be done with neither muss nor fuss. I don't think we would have been friends back in the day. I'm probably too frivolous for her. But I would have admired her moxie.

Homegirl has a snarl that could rival Billy Idol.

2. Janis Ian from "Mean Girls"

Janis Ian is exactly who I wasn't in high school. Brutally honest, creative, hilarious, and always had the perfect cutting remark for anyone she didn't have patience for (see below). She's intensely loyal to her friends, and manages to look super cool even in a purple ruffled tuxedo. Plus, she does a mean Xena warrior cry. And anyone who even attempts a Xena warrior cry is Aces in my proverbial book.


3. Katniss Everdeen from "The Hunger Games"

Honestly, I'm a bigger fan of Katniss from the book than the movie just because we got to see into her head. Her thought process for a lot of the things she had to do were so complicated and slightly warped out of necessity for survival. She's dark and cynical, but noble and resourceful too. This one is kind of obvious, so I'll stop the gushing here.

I want to be on Katniss's team during the zombie apocalypse.

4. Olive Penderghast from "Easy A"

Olive's ass-kicking is more metaphorical than some of these other young ladies. She does wear a costume, but it's snarky rather than functional. I heart Olive because she has excellent taste in movies (she's almost as big of a John Hughes fan as I am) and an amazing vocabulary. I also love that she's a capitalist who profits off of the socially unfortunate. However, she has a compassionate heart and genuinely wants to help people without being taken advantage of. And the best part of all is that she pulled off a huge saucy musical number in the middle of a pep rally complete with participation from the school marching band and a guy in a woodchuck costume. And she rides off into the sunset on a riding lawn mower. Good for you, Olive Penderghast. Good for you.

"Are you really that repulsed by lady parts? What do you think I have down there? A gnome?"

5. Hit Girl from "Kickass"

I don't know if she's actually a teenager yet, but Hit Girl is seriously the most badass of all these women. I want to be her when I grow up, even though she's at least ten years younger than me. She is ruthless and deadly by any standards and she looks damn adorable when she's beating the shit out of people. And call me sentimental, but I just love it when children swear like sailors. Hit Girl stole the movie and stole our hearts and it would be an honor to fight by her side.

Look at that face. You don't mess with that face.

I'm sure there are more amazing fake women who have not yet reached adulthood, but I'm drawing the line at five. Feel free to suggest more in the comments. Just remember, that even though you may love a character, consider as to whether or not you actually want to BE them. You will be shot if you mention Bella Swan. Unless you make the argument that she totally sucks and yet has reasonably attractive menfolk swarming all over her beeswax who are willing to die to protect her scrawny, boring, lame ass.

PS. There are many characters I left off the list intentionally because while I love them, I really don't want to be them. Anyone played by Molly Ringwald is a prime example.

PPS. Added much later. Honorable Mentions: Bliss Cavender from Whip It, and Maeby Funke from Arrested Development. 


  1. I fully support this entire list. Well said, Hutch, well said.