The psychological definition of the word “introvert” is:
“a person characterized by concern primarily with his or her own thoughts or feelings.”
But here on the good ol’ Internet, introversion has taken on a slightly different definition. Introverts are seen, generally, as shy, quiet, and having a strong preference for Netflix marathons over parties. If you find this relatable, trust me, you aren’t alone.
A lot of us are introverts, and thankfully, online support for introversion has increased by a whole bunch over the last few years, from discussions on the nature of introversion to funny introvert memes. Some might even call introversion trendy! So why does the media still prefer to have loud, people-centric protagonists, especially when female? Just look at the recent line-up of Disney Princesses: Rapunzel, Anna, Moana….they are all almost identically outgoing and spunky.
This has a lot to do with the way some have taken the phrase “strong female character” and corrupted it, but that’s a different story for a different article. Instead, here’s a countdown of some intelligent, independent, introverted female characters who show that there’s nothing weak about being a little meek.
Eliza Schuyler Hamilton
In comparison to her older sis, the fiery and outspoken Angelica, Eliza seems more mild and passive. While that may be true on the outside, she has a core that’s just as steely and strong.
Eliza has zero trouble standing up for herself and will not tolerate betrayal – you need only to listen once to “Burn” to know that. Her greatest strength, however, is her enormous heart. Eliza’s love for her sisters, husband, and children is endless, and after Alexander’s untimely death, what does she do? Let Eliza herself tell you:
“I stop wasting time on tears/I live another fifty years”
Fifty years in which she tells the story of her husband for the rest of the world to hear and opens the first private orphanage in New York City. Sweet she may be, but Eliza is far from helpless.
Sherlock Holmes may be the most famous introvert of all time, but in this beloved modern iteration of the character’s adventures, his wit and smarts are matched by adorable Molly Hooper.
A shy mortician, Molly doesn’t feel the need to show off her mind in the way Sherlock does, but her brilliance is every bit as obvious. What’s more, she’s unafraid to (literally) slap some sense into the eccentric detective when it’s needed:
“How dare you throw away the beautiful gifts you were born with! And how dare you betray the love of your friends! Say you’re sorry.”
Anyone can see Molly Hooper’s inner strength. It’s elementary.
From: Beauty and The Beast
Without Belle there to guide us from our early childhood on, many of us introverted gals would never have discovered the magic that reading an absorbing book can bring. Who needs to party when you can dance with Mr. Darcy or cast spells with Hermione?
While her small-minded fellow villagers see Belle as strange for her bibliophilia, she’s confident in her passions and in her dreams of a more exciting life:
“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere!/I want it more than I can tell…”
You see, introverts want adventure as much as any extrovert; we just tend to express these desires inside our own heads. Or in a field of dandelions.
From: Parks and Recreation
April Ludgate is weird, abrasive, and not a people person… and she doesn’t care who knows it.
Her distaste for other people has reached infamous heights, but she has a kind heart deep down. Very few get to see it, except for Andy, her eventual husband, and her greatest passion, animals:
“All these cats and dogs should be rewarded for not being people.”
Even then, though, April never loses her sulky edge, and that’s why we love her. Not all of us were meant to be people-pleasers, and for those of us who’d rather spend our time around puppies, kittens, and/or Chris Pratt, April is our champion.
From: Bob’s Burgers
Almost every fan-fiction writer identifies as a proud introvert, but Tina Belcher, being the creator of “friendfiction,” is the queen of them all.
Tina wouldn’t be Tina without her love of horses, boys, and inappropriate comments, as well as her lovable awkwardness. She’s the epitome of the odd, introverted tween girl who’s still figuring herself out. Yet she does have a strong sense of who she is:
“I’m a strong, smart, sensual woman.”
If anyone can show the world how confident and bold introverts can be, it’s Tina.
From: The Hunger Games
Leave it to Katniss Everdeen, the Girl on Fire herself, to have the most introvert-y quote of all time:
“Okay, maybe I don’t go around loving everyone, maybe my smiles are hard to come by, but I do care for some people.”
While introverts are often seen as emotionally stoic, as Katniss undoubtedly proves, the softest heart can be hiding behind the hardest outer shell. After all, it takes compassion and a love for humanity, at least some of it, to want to lead a revolution against a repressive regime. Katniss is the Queen of the Introverts, and I love her for it.
What do you think?
Do you readers identify as introverts? If not, that’s okay! But if you do, which of these fictional female introverts do you identify with most, or perhaps there’s another I missed? Please leave me a comment below, and don’t you dare forget to share this! Until next time, keep up that introvert pride!