Sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what little girls are made of. Or so the saying goes. But those of us with daughters know that the silly little line is just that — a silly little line. Girls are strong, brave, fierce, and often stubborn as hell. They have faults, tempers, and aren't perfect, but that makes them all the more lovable. And because of this. so many of my friends are terrified to have a daughter. To get amped for having a girl, by picking a baby girl name inspired by the badass women in pop culture.
I know, there's a lot of real-life BAMFs out there who deserve namesakes, too. But there's just something about these fictitious women that makes for great name inspiration. They're created by another person, meaning someone thought to break down the traditional female stereotypes and give us strong, incredible women in our books, movies, and television shows. Your daughter is going to be exposed to these mediums eventually, and giving her a name connected to an incredibly strong character will give her the confidence and courage to go out there and make life happen on her own terms. Whether you're more of a book fiend or a television binge-watcher, there's 21 baby girl names inspired by the BAMFs of pop culture. Each one is unique in her own way and, let's be real here, I'd love to go out for a drink with each and every one of them.
It doesn't get much more badass than Sarah Connor from the Terminator series. She is a warrior, willing to sacrifice everything to save her son, and has no mercy for those who get in her way.
Wicked smart, incredibly brave, and loyal to the core, Hermione is such an inspirational character in pop culture. She's also one you totally want to model your child after with her faith in the important things like love and family.
Not only is Clarice a really pretty name, but it's also connected to Clarice Starling, the FBI agent that bravely speaks to a serial killer in order to get leads on catching another murderer. She seems fearless, but is totally human with real, honest feelings, making her a definite BAMF.
The name may sound sweet wholesome, but it's also tough after Carol from The Walking Dead. It takes an incredible woman to overcome an abusive relationship and losing a child and still become a total hero.
I've always loved the name Buffy, because I think it's quirky and adorbs, but when you connect it to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it gains even more points. Buffy Summers was saving all of us from the underworld while still going to high school and keeping up with a social life. I mean, talk about inspiration. I have a kid and I can barely keep up with my own friends.
The fiercest of the Friends ladies, Phoebe is unashamedly herself. The episode where she goes running with Rachel and refuses to run any other way than like a kid with her arms out all crazy? Yup. That's the kind of BAMF this world needs. Be yourself, always.
She changed the face of mothers in pop culture, and she also has a pretty awesome name. Roseanne encapsulates the mothers most of us are — tired, frustrated, and totally in love with their kids. She shows that struggle is real and it's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, because we're all just doing the best we can.
Before there was Katniss wielding her bow around, there was Arwen. Not only does she bring men and elves together, but she stands alongside her husband in battle, unafraid and full of faith. Plus, her name is gorgeous and should be used over and over again for the sake of the half-elven people.
Seeing some of the most horrific crimes play out in her own backyard, detective Olivia Benson never loses her humanity and is always steadfast and solid for the victims she's helping. I mean, who else could handle all of that and show up the next day, still ready to keep working?
"You is kind. You is smart. You is important," are some of Aibileen Clark's most famous words in The Help, but she is so much more than a quote. She is strong, faithful, kind, and courageous. She is everything I want my daughter to grow up to be and more.
If you haven't started reading the Little House series to your children, it's definitely time to start. Entering into a world full of brave people starting a new life, everything from growing their own food to filling mattresses with grass for bed, is pretty inspiring and so is the main character, Laura. A dreamer with a heart for helping others, she never lets the hard life on the prairie get her down.
Throw your hat in the air because Mary Richards is on my list. Mary is a sweet enough name for your baby girl, but when you connect it to the main character in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, it's even better. Mary moves to Minneapolis after things end with her boyfriend of two years, and she throws herself into a male-dominated career field. Instead of becoming the little sweetheart of the TV station, she earns her colleagues' respect and admiration as she eventually becomes a producer. BAMF? Yes.
Want a name that kills all gender stereotypes? Then you want Murphy. Not only is the name unique, but the character Murphy Brown constantly broke traditions by becoming a hard-hitting investigative journalist and by choosing to have a baby and raise it as a single mom when the father bails. She is strong, determined, and doesn't give a damn what anyone thinks.
Oh come on. You knew Leia had to be on a BAMF list, right? Princess Leia may have a royal title, but she is not as prim and proper as one might expect. She holds her own with the boys as they battle Darth Vader, and never gives up any information even though she is tortured. Yeah. Leia is definitely the baddest.
Wife, mother, high-powered attorney, and her house is always perfectly clean. There's a lot we can all learn from Claire Huxtable, but her lessons on feminism, acceptance, and hard work are the most important ones. There were so few successful women on television back in the '80s, especially black women, that Claire deserves every award we can bestow upon her, including naming your daughter after her.
She may be mistaken for a boy most of the time, but Arya is definitely a kick-ass girl. With her sword fighting skills, her strong will, and her fierce independence, this Game of Thrones star goes against all traditional female roles to be who she wants to be.
No matter which story line you prefer, I think we can all agree that Selina Kyle as Catwoman is a total badass. She's less of a villain and more of a non-traditional heroine, missing that evil streak that most villains have.
Jo March may be one of the best characters ever written, and her story is one to inspire. She is stubborn, fitful, and seemingly unable to settle, but she is who she is and she owns it. Her creativity knows no bounds either, and it's refreshing to read about a woman during the Civil War that still had hopes, dreams, and ambitions.
It's easy to say things like, "I hope my daughter never twerks on MTV," but if she's anything like Blanche Devereaux, you can take solace in the fact that she is not only confident in her body, but owns her sexuality while keeping respect for herself. Blanche is never ashamed of herself, her wants or her needs, and is proud to be a woman who can do what she wants. I can get behind that kind of badassery.
You know I had to include her, right? Lucy Ricardo is a great example of feminism, being who you are, and going against the grain. Sure, she may seem scared of Ricky and his yelling, but that never stops her from doing exactly what she was planning to do from the beginning. And when Ricky insists that she's a mother and her job is to stay home, Lucy always finds a way to prove to him that she is so much more than that. BAMF for real.
And the biggest BAMF in pop culture? That would be Sofia from The Color Purple. Bestow this name on your little girl to remind her of a few things. One? She doesn't have to take sh*t off of anyone, especially not because society deems it OK. Two? Always have courage. Always.