The Fictional Ladies We All Want to Be

We all have our favorite celebrities that we obsess over and wish we could be (need I mention the countless tweets about Jennifer Lawrence?). What about our television show, movie and book character girl crushes? They play as important of a role as celebrity inspiration. They are the characters that we live vicariously through—often times, they will be the reason we keep rereading that one chapter or watching season 2 all over again.

The following are characters that we have grown-up crushing on, and will continue to love.


Penny Lane

Almost Famous (played by Kate Hudson)

Penny Lane is everything free-spirited girls aspire to be. When we buy that 70s—looking crop top, we are channeling our inner Penny. Her world is so far from ours; the movie takes place over 40 years ago sans social media when it was all about the music on the record player.

Recreating Penny Lane’s life in today’s times would be impossible, but it doesn’t mean we can’t watch the movie over and over again to appreciate her way of making anyone she talks to feel special, alongside her originality, her reckless abandon for a conventional life, her command of a room without seeming needy, and how she makes boys fall in love with her just with EYE CONTACT.

She literally just lives on the road with a band, but she is not an annoying clingy groupie. They genuinely want her there and she doesn’t have her mom blowing up her cell phone every minute to see where she is because back then they didn’t have cell phones! ah, the freedom.


Jessa Johansson

Girls (played by Jemima Kirke)

Sort of like your modern day Penny Lane, plus a British accent and minus the whole living on a tour bus and travelling the country with a rock band thing. The best thing about Jessa is that she literally does not give a shit. She is secure in herself, and the absolute essence of originality. She tells is like it is. While I admit that she could use a couple more regular showers, we can all be inspired by her no-apologies originality and the bluntness with which she takes on the world.


Rachel Green

F.R.I.E.N.D.S (played by Jennifer Aniston)

What is there not to love about Rachel? First, she is a perfect human being. That is obvious if you have eyes, but her looks, combined with her witty sense of humor and antics that she brings to the group dynamic is what takes her to the next level of superhuman.

Most of us grew up watching her. Even if Mom and Dad wouldn’t let us watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S in the 90s because it was a little too mature, we watched it anyway. Rachel is a loyal friend to Monica and Phoebe and her relationship with Ross taught us from a young age what it means to be on-again and off-again so much that it is borderline annoying.


Brooke Davis

One Tree Hill (played by Sophia Bush)

We grew up praying to catch the common cold, just so that we could sound like Brooke Davis for a couple days. Her raspy voice was enough to make Lucas Scott fall in love with her and that was good enough motivation for us. Brooke is the most dynamic female in the cast. Peyton was the tortured artist, always whining and dealing with stalkers or love triangles. Hayley James Scott was wifed up from her first date with Nathan, making her the most motherly and boring. Brooke wins by default.

She is ballsy, unafraid to surprise Lucas in his car after the big game completely naked or fight her bad friend Peyton for stealing her boyfriend. Brooke was the type who could pull out the perfect one-liners in arguments, cutting the other characters to the core with just a sentence. She always spoke her mind. She always kissed the cutest boys. She taught us the meaning of hoes and clothes over bros.


Serena van der Woodsen

Gossip Girl (played by Blake Lively)

It was love at first Gossip Girl book with us and Serena van der Woodsen. Her character is practically the face of Upper East Side. Serena gets what she wants before she even knows she wants it. She’s an effortless, long-legged beauty who gets to kiss both Nate Archibald and Dan Humphrey, amongst many many other attractive New York City men. Book Serena had her own signature perfume scent mixed for her, and had us all wanting to wear that signature patchouli and sandalwood blend.

When Gossip Girl became a television show, the producers made the perfect casting. Blake Lively is the book character come to life. She embodies everything that Serena van der Woodsen is, from the blonde bombshell hair to mile long legs. I’m sure that we can all agree that by season 5, we grew tired of TV Serena’s whiney antics and plotline, but we never fell out of love with her impeccable fashion sense and grace.


Blair Waldorf

Gossip Girl (played by Leighton Meester)

Because you can’t have the blonde without the brunette. I can’t talk about Serena without mentioning our love for her cleverer, more manipulative and petite female counterpart. Blair took mind games to the next level. She showed us what it actually takes to tame the bad boy. i.e. Chuck Bass. She had him whipped by season 4, which was no easy feat. Blair redefined ambition—willing to do whatever it took to secure a spot at Yale.

She was clever, constantly messing with eyeliner raccoon-eyed Jenny Humphrey or Dan-obsessed Vanessa (which we loved because Jenny and Vanessa were, like, the worst things to happen to that show). Blair showed us the meaning of manipulating people, and taught us the importance of looking good while doing it.

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