I’m rewatching Once Upon a Time, which is totally not shocking to anyone. Even though I just watched the pilot episode, I was struck with the realization that Emma Swan is a fantastic example of a feminist hero that we need more of on TV. I already knew that, but yesterday, it just really hit me. Emma is amazing, and we could all benefit from having her as a female hero in the media.
Relationships aren’t her #1, and that’s okay
It’s okay to admit that during high school, college or beyond, we assumed being in a relationship was the number one priority. I know I felt like that at times because everyone else thought that as well. However, Emma teaches us that it’s okay to focus on yourself. It’s okay not to have a relationship, especially if you’ve been burned in the past.
Emma didn’t go around Storybrooke seeking a boyfriend — that wasn’t her main focus, and that was totally okay. She didn’t let that define her. After all, she didn’t need a knight to save her because the only one who saves her is herself. Girl power!
However, when she did settle down, she did it with someone who loved her unconditionally and who lifted her up. She didn’t settle for the next guy walking down the street, but someone who she would let her walls down for. So, it’s okay to not have a significant other; that doesn’t define you as a person.
Let your emotions out, ladies
It’s okay to cry; it’s okay to scream; it’s okay to laugh uncontrollably. It’s okay to be happy, but it’s also okay to not be okay. Emma really illustrated that, as she let herself be vulnerable. Sometimes letting it out is empowering.
Sometimes we hid behind a mask, much like Emma did at times, but she showed us that emotions are strength. It’s what makes you who you are. One of the reasons I love Emma is because she doesn’t pretend to not be vulnerable — we all have moments of weakness.
When she was grieving Killian’s death, she let herself cry in his arms. She found comfort in those who support her. She didn’t blink and put on a strong front, she let those tears fall. Emma’s emotions are what made her a relatable character. Believe it or not, we all have emotions and we all can benefit from showing them from time to time.
Selfless, brave and all around fierce
I will never be over Emma’s selflessness and bravery! Honestly, these traits are what makes Emma a real hero. She may not be able to fly or turn invisible or have a suit or armour, but she has what really matters. Although, her magic does help her a little bit.
It’s Emma’s willingness to put others before herself that makes her admirable. It’s her ability to be able to take risks for the sake of saving her town, family and friends that make her strong. Of course, Emma sometimes didn’t think before she acted, but she did it because she was following her heart.
We define heroes on the powers or gadgets they have, but Emma has sometimes unlike other heroes. I am so here for it.
She’s who she is
Here is a character who doesn’t change to conform to society. She will tell you how it is and act the way she wants to act. She doesn’t look at what the in-crowd is doing that week. We’ve all been there. High school was just like that, so don’t feel guilty about it.
She dated how she wanted to date. She said what she wanted to say. She dressed how she wanted to dress. I love characters who don’t try to fit in to appease anyone. At the end of the day, Emma didn’t care what others thought of her. It’s an admirable trait to have, one we may struggle with frequently.
So, yeah, Emma Swan is the perfect example of a female we should look up to. I just love when I see interviews or conventions of fans telling Jennifer Morrison that Emma was a great role model. And I totally agree. Whether you be a child, young women or whatever, Emma is a great role model. We need more characters like her on TV!
What makes Emma your hero? Sound off below or fangirl about her with me on Twitter!
Feature image via fanpop