Women in K-dramas are often portrayed as ridiculously attractive and almost flawless. Sometimes they appear to be fragile, a little bit helpless, and in need of someone else to help them magically fix things in their lives. But as we all know, this isn't an accurate representation of all women.
So in honour of International Women’s Day, it’s time to celebrate some of the K-drama leading ladies who are kickass, unique and strong! Thankfully as the years have passed, we’ve been able to see more types of female leads, all of whom have won a place in our hearts in their own special way.
Behold, some (but not all!) of the strong female leads who are changing the game.
Kim Bok Joo (Weightifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo)
There are so many reasons to love Bok Joo – her voracious appetite, ‘swag’, and utter adorableness are just some examples. She’s also amazing for showing that weightlifters and strong women can be feminine and vulnerable as well. Throughout the drama, Bok Joo struggles with feeling self-conscious about weightlifting and her seeming lack of femininity. She overcomes these with the help of all her supportive friends and family and shows us to embrace who you are and what you love.
Do Bong Soon (Strong Woman Do Bong Soon)
Do Bong Soon literally smashes stereotypes. And by literally, I mean she can beat up ignorant goons who laugh at her for being a small ‘weak’ female. Bong Soon is so femininely pink, petite and cute, but she simultaneously has an insane amount of super strength and can vanquish a whole gang without breaking a sweat. She’s so full of contradictions, but that’s half of why we, and Ahn Min Hyuk, love her.
Yoo Hye Jung (Doctors)
It’s hard to not fall in love with a female lead who makes the most out of her unfortunate circumstances and works hard to fulfil her dreams. Tough as nails, Hye Jung managed to transform from a high school delinquent into a highly-skilled neurosurgeon working at one of the most respected hospitals in South Korea. If that’s not role model material right there, I’m not sure what is, apart from maybe this scene of her absolutely schooling these gang thugs who were causing problems in the emergency room.
Kim Yoon Hee (Sungkyunkwan Scandal)
Don’t let anything come between a woman and her education is the lesson that we learn from Kim Yoon Hee, who literally dresses up as a man just to be able to access a university education. She’s smart, she’s independent, and she calls out weird gender discriminative government policies that contribute to the lower social status of women in the Joseon Dynasty. Heck yes, girl power.
Choi Ae Ra (Fight For My Way)
Ae Ra is unconventional in some of the best ways. I’m talking walking around (in front of the male lead!) with her peel-off eyebrow tattoos still on kind of unconventional. Despite failing so many times, often because of the unfairness of the system, Ae Ra doesn’t give up on her dream and really warms our hearts with how she fights for her way. She has some amazing sassy lines in the drama, and even better verbal dressing downs where she gives obnoxious people a much needed taste of reality.
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