I love the ongoing trend in YA fiction of strong female protagonists. Katniss Everdeen did not start the trend, but since her creation, other writers have followed suit, penning young female leads who know their own mind and don’t need to be saved by anyone. In the last year alone, we have been immersed in the world of Lena Haloway (PANDEMONIUM), June Iparis (LEGEND) and of course, Tris Prior (DIVERGENT/INSURGENT). Each a strong, young teen who uses her own will and resources to overcome an uncertain fate.
In real life, I am pleased to say, we are beginning to see teenage girls who emulate many of the traits of these characters. Case in point, teen activist Julia Bluhm, who started an online protest over fashion magazines using Photoshop to airbrush young models. She, along with 84,000 other people who signed her online petition, demanded that magazines stop promoting unrealistic body images of young women –http://www.change.org/petitions/seventeen-magazine-give-girls-images-of-real-girls.
Julia, who is just 14, has succeeded in bringing a major change at a global publication (Seventeen). This proves to me that young women are indeed becoming true heroes in our society. Let’s just hope that publishers continue to embrace this trend. All young girls need to learn that they too can be a force for change, not just by reading about the ideal in the pages of a good book, but through emulating their own peers in our society.
What are your thoughts? Are you enjoying the trend of strong, young women in YA fiction? Do you think they are empowering our newest generation? I’d love to hear your thoughts.