back to top

25 Pop Culture Characters Who Helped People Love Their Bodies

Writers, please take note.

Posted on

We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about the TV, film, or book character who made them feel good about their body. Here are the results.

1. Brienne of Tarth, Game of Thrones

HBO

"I've always been a big girl and growing up I used to wish I was shorter and thinner. I tried to be smaller for a little while but quickly gave up, getting depressed and starting to hate myself for how I looked. But years later, Brienne showed up as a type of character I'd never seen before. She is a woman who is unashamedly strong, competent, and tall. People make fun of her looks but she just keeps doing what she's good at. It's amazing."

TuesdayAgain

2. Max Blum, Happy Endings

ABC

"He broke every gay stereotype there was, including the one that we're all 'gym bunny' gays with abs. Even though he was chubby, he still managed to be cute, get the attention of other guys, and be loved. He exuded so much confidence in himself and managed to both represent me and give me inspiration to love myself more."

– Hayden Veach, Facebook

3. Mindy Lahiri, The Mindy Project

Hulu

"Mindy made me realize that I'm smart and awesome, and that even though I'm thick, loud, and fucking love romantic comedies, I deserve someone great."

– MK Brown, Facebook

Advertisement

5. Miranda Bailey, Grey's Anatomy

ABC

"Bailey is by far the best example of a TV plus-size woman with a fully developed, intelligent, non-bubbly personality. She is allowed to be sexual without being fetishised for her curves and she is allowed to be romantically pursued in a way that is usually reserved for straight-size characters. She doesn't ever have some tired trope of a storyline concerning her non-typical size. She fits no stereotypes."

– Beth Cooper, Facebook

6. Rebecca Bunch, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

The CW

"Rebecca light-heartedly points out her flaws and makes you feel like it's more fun to laugh about your disproportionate boobs, inability to do yoga, or the extremes you go to getting ready to go out, than to disparage your body. This show makes me feel beautiful just being me."

– Jeannie Bujdos, Facebook

7. Cliff St. Paul, Ugly Betty

ABC

"It was nice to see a character be gay and overweight but also be shown as attractive. At the beginning of Cliff's character arc there was an issue about his boyfriend being embarrassed by the way he looked, and Cliff's response was just like: 'This is what I look like and I'm not going to be ashamed about that.'"

– Adam Zane Cook, Facebook

Advertisement

8. Fabienne, Pulp Fiction

Miramax

"She talks about how much she wants more stomach fat and how what's attractive to the eye and what's attractive to the touch is seldom the same. She also says that she doesn't give a damn about what men find attractive."

– Ashley Mitchell, Facebook

9. Marshall Eriksen, How I Met Your Mother

CBS

"Marshall was by far the most genuine guy on the show. Not only that, he was also the funniest and was totally cool with being the biggest dude of the group."

Nick Wray

10. Jessa Johansson, Girls

HBO

"I love Jessa's style. Before this show I looked up to other people with a similar style but always thought that certain things only look good on you if you're tiny and have no boobs. Jessa wore everything I was afraid of wearing with so much confidence, it made me more confident."

– Pato Giral, Facebook

11. Virginia Shreves, The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things

"This book really helped me understand my complex love/hate relationship with my body. The author, Carolyn Mackler, really embedded a deep and resonating message that really helped teenage-me feel OK about my future and my body."

– Gina G. Chacko, Facebook

Advertisement

12. Raven Baxter, That’s So Raven

Disney

"She was thicker than other teen Disney stars but she knew she was beautiful. She was such an inspiration growing up, not only teaching me that beautiful people come in all shapes and sizes but also that we really can do whatever we set our minds to."

Neptune

13. Andy Dwyer, Parks and Recreation

NBC

"Andy is an awkward, chubby guy, and everyone loves him. He has friends, a girlfriend, and a great life despite his weirdness. He showed me to be myself, no matter how weird that is."

romanracoon

14. Molly Moon, Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism

Pan Macmillan

"Molly describes herself as being plain-looking, having a 'potato' nose and wobbly knees. When I was younger it was nice to read a book featuring a main character who was funny, interesting, and adventurous, without being beautiful and perfect."

– Jo Clarke, Facebook

15. Bridget Jones, Bridget Jones's Diary

Universal Pictures

"She drinks, loves ice cream, hates exercise, and still gets two hot guys, one of which was actually a nice human being."

– Bonnie Horrex, Facebook

Advertisement

19. Sookie St. James, Gilmore Girls

The CW

"Sookie was smart, funny, successful, and hella cool. Her size was never mentioned or even alluded to. She was the first character that really helped me realise that people are great or not-so-great for lots of reasons, but body shape isn't one of them."

laurakc3

Advertisement

20. Joan Holloway, Mad Men

AMC

"I first watched Mad Men when I was in high school. As a six-foot-tall, size-12, hourglass-shaped woman I always felt too large to be sexy. Joan made my 2010 self realize that being a skinny, hipster chick in a crop top wasn't the only way to be a vixen."

leahc465218359

21. Dewey Finn, School of Rock

"I didn't realise it at the time but Jack Black in the early '00s was a funny and cool idol for boys growing up who didn't understand 'jock culture' or what was cool. School of Rock was Black at his peak, enabling and encouraging all the kids in his class to be what they wanted to be regardless of cultural zeitgeist."

Brad Esposito

22. Juno MacGuff, Juno

20th Century Fox

"I've got next to no boobies, a pretty boyish figure, and I'm what people would refer to as 'petite'. Basically, I'm short, thin, and have the bone structure of a small child. Everyone always thinks I'm a whole lot younger than I actually am."

emilyd4b2465071

Advertisement

24. Eleanor Douglas, Eleanor and Park

St. Martin's Press

"This book made a huge difference to the way I see myself. Eleanor and I both have long red hair that draws attention whether we want it or not. It's always made me feel like I stand out and for someone who is incredibly self-conscious, it's frustrating at times. The author, Rainbow Rowell, also describes her as curvy, but never once did she try and conform to other character's critical comments about her weight. Instead, she stays true to who she is and doesn't care what people have to say. She was such an independent and inspiring character to me, and I learned to love my hair, be OK with my weight, and listen to myself instead of the critical people in my life."

sbt1218

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.