20 Times People Saw Themselves In Fictional Characters

A new hashtag is trending in an attempt to spotlight the lack of diversity in popular culture.

The hashtag, started by Netflix and @BlackGirlNerds, encourages people to share the first time they saw themselves represented by a movie or television character.

It prompted a ton of amazing responses about everything from old-school cartoon characters to recent TV series.

1. Bumblebee from Teen Titans (2004)

Bumblebee was one of the very first black superheroes and first appeared on TV in 2004’s Teen Titans. Not only was she strong, she was confident and often took charge of her team.

Twitter | @britt_arielle

2. Brandy in Cinderella (1997)

This absolute gem of a film not only starred Brandy but also featured Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother and Whoopi Goldberg as the Prince’s mother. Amazing.

Twitter | @eyezora

3. America Ferrera as Betty Suarez in Ugly Betty (2006)

This show not only centered around a Mexican-American woman, it also dealt with issues related to female beauty and body image.

Twitter | @ownby_gina

4. Miss Alordayne Grotke in Recess (1997)

Guys, Miss Grotke was woke AF. She served up truths to her class, like “Take these history books with a grain of salt as they focus primarily on white Western males,” and was always down to fight the power. Iconic.

Twitter | @Hannah_Mumford

5. Mindy Kaling in The Office (2005) and The Mindy Project (2012)

Mindy Kaling’s characters — which she both writes and stars as — are some the only fully fleshed-out and non-stereotypical representations of Indian women on television. They are also some of the funniest.

Twitter | @runwithskizzers

6. Parminder Nagra as Jess Bhamra in Bend it Like Beckham (2002)

Way before anyone knew who Keira Knightley was, this movie surprised everyone by killing it at the box office. Set in Britain, it sees Jess come of age while navigating her relationship with her Indian immigrant parents. It’s perfect.

Twitter | @RukhDesai

7. Trina Colette McGee as Angela Moore in Boy Meets World (1993)

Angela was the kind of tough, smart and funny character that everyone should aspire to be. She absolutely never apologized for being who she was.

Twitter | @_elidaniels

8. Mulan (1998)

What can I say about Mulan? She is the feminist icon and total badass that we should all aspire to be. This movie also gave us some of the most iconic Disney music to date.

Twitter | @HeyAneemae

9. Susie Carmichael in Rugrats (1991)

Susie is kind-hearted, smart, and she stands up for what’s right against Angelica. It’s also important that her family is loving and supportive. She’s also voiced by the super talented Cree Summers, who you’ve definitely heard before on a ton of TV shows.

Twitter | @LeaveItUp2Mel

10. Kiami Davael as Lavender in Matilda (1996)

The adorable Lavender becomes quick friends with the titular Matilda. She is sweet, smart, and totally awesome. She takes matters into her own hands when she puts a newt in Miss Trunchbull’s water. Classic.

Twitter | @LaticiaSWalker

11. The Proud Family (2001)

The Proud Family featured a super diverse cast of awesome characters and didn’t shy away from tough subjects. The episode “Culture Shock” explores many different cultural heritages and exposes Penny to racism.

Twitter | @fatimapuri

12. Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy (2005)

Cristina Yang is a brilliant doctor and a fiercely career-oriented woman. Over the years, she has been through various tragedies and changes, but she’s still true to herself.

Twitter | @ScarredNtScared

13. Bianca Lawson as Kendra Young in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

Kendra’s short but iconic stint on Buffy remains one of its all-time highlights. Fans quickly fell in love with the tough and smart slayer from Jamaica and still mourn her death.

Twitter | @NatashaDeHere

14. Keke Palmer as Akeelah in Akeelah and the Bee (2006)

This inspiring movie stars a super young Keke Palmer as well as the always iconic Angela Bassett. Akeelah is smart and fierce in the face of adversity.

Twitter | @ToriTheTeapot

15. Keesha Franklin in The Magic School Bus (1994) and Jodie Landon in Daria (1997)

It’s always amazing to see characters of color who are smart, and Jodie Landon and Keesha Franklin are two of the best.

Twitter | @OnAWHITEcloud_

16. Lena Waithe as Denise in Master of None (2015)

Master of None‘s deeply personal and touching episode, “Thanksgiving,” was lauded as one of the best episodes of television this year. It focuses on Denise, a totally unique and real character, coming out to her family over years of Thanksgiving dinners.

Twitter | @heycheyennehey

17. Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as parents in The Birdcage (1996)

It’s not often enough that we see portrayals of gay parents in TV and movies. Robin Williams and Nathan Lane are not only great together onscreen, but also this movie as a whole is all about being true to yourself.

Twitter | @jjjjjjjjjaa

18. Goo in Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends (2004)

The fast-talking Goo was actually one of the most powerful characters in the Foster’s universe. Her wild and unlimited imagination allowed her to create almost anything.

Twitter | @tiffanygholar

19. Thuy Trang as Trini Kwan in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993)

Trini was kind and smart on top of being a superhero. She also cared deeply about history and the environment.

Twitter | @drjclau

20. Jaleel White as Steve Urkel in Family Matters (1989)

Okay, so you probably don’t need me to explain who Steve Urkel is, but just in case: he’s a timeless style icon and the reigning king of catchphrases.

Twitter | @LamontUBigDummy

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