13 Feminist Characters From The '90s You Should Name Your Kid After

On a recent trip home to visit my parents, I discovered a secret box in my childhood bedroom. The "secret" box was merely a Steve Madden shoe box that I had decorated with plastic gems and size stickers from department store clothing. I remember writing secret in script with a black Sharpie marker, but the 15 plus years it aged on my closet floor aged it to a speckled gray.

In elementary school, I wrote letters to myself. Many were lists a la: 10 Boys I Love Right Now. Others were longform notes detailing my hopes and wishes and dreams. I put those folded pieces of hole-punched paper into the secret box for a good reason – they were filled with personal information, and if found would induce mortification. One unearthed note that I found particularly cringeworthy was titled "BaBy NaMeS". Below I had listed 14 names ranging from Lizzie to Mary-Kate. It wasn't the names so much that caused my late twentysomething face to scrunch, it was the inspiration behind the names. Was Lizzie really such a strong role model and influential character in my life that I'd want to name my first born after her? And Mary-Kate? I'm not even Christian. Were her VHS tapes that meaningful to me?

Thinking about it now, from my oh-so-mature adult perspective, my choices were so lame. If I had to name my children after tween TV stars, couldn't I have picked better? The '90s were saturated with smart, funny, powerful female characters. Characters that were fierce, independent and nonconforming. Please allow me to correct my Disney & Duelstar-dazzeled tween brain and rewrite my list. Here are 13 feminist characters from the '90s that you should name your kid after.

Charlotte Pickles

Charlotte is a baller. She's not afraid of standing up for herself or putting men in their place. She demands respect and thus is given it.

Patti Mayonnaise

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Patty was so laid-back and talented. She wasn't scared to try new things and didn't conform to female stereotypes in the way her peers did.

Lisa Simpson

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Lisa doesn't care what people think of her. She's smart, sarcastic and oddly mature.

Daria Morgendorffer

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Daria doesn't give AF. She does what she wants. Even with a seemingly princess-perfect little sister constantly stealing the spotlight, she's confident in herself.

Pepper Ann

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Pepper Ann is legit too cool for second grade. She's energetic, athletic and breaks all girlish stereotypes.

Clarissa Darling

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Clarissa is creative and resourceful. She's got an active mind and curiosity and challenges us to rethink the way girls can interact with boys.

Vada Sultenfuss

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Veda is one of the most passionate, unaffected, genuine characters birthed from the '90s. She's smart and contemplative and open to the world around her.

Kat Stratford

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Kat is sassy and independent. Though she might seem cold at times, she's a smart young woman who refuses to compromise her identity for the sake of others.

Corey Mason

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Corey is a cool chick. She's vulnerable and unafraid to feel.

Blossom Russo

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Blossom stands up for herself and isn't unafraid of voicing her opinion. She's got a wacky sense of style and doesn't apologize for it.

Brad Taylor

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First of all, Brad is a dope name for a girl. Second, Brad is a no-nonsense girl. She's an athletic risk-taker who can keep up with the boys. She doesn't get distracted by crushes and she's got high standards for herself.

Alex Mack

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Alex is so fearless. Girl gets poisoned with GC161 and uses it to her advantage. Now she's a superhero, super student, super friend and super daughter. Lizzie McGuire who?

Phoebe Heyerdahl

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Phoebe is the unapologetic teacher's pet. She's got serious ambition and drive for a fourth grader. Any kid would be lucky to get named after this chickadee.

Images: Giphy (13), Nickelodeon