13 Female-Led Sports Movies That Will Inspire You To Get Up & Get Active
Any sports movie that is wise enough to feature a female character on the team is A+ in my book. Feminist sports movies showed athletic girls that there was nothing wrong with them, and reminded everybody that girls are just as capable on the field as boys. Sports movies with token female characters are great, but a movie that is strictly about women kicking butt and taking names? All the better.
But, alas, some of us watched those movies, got super hyped on soccer or tae kwon do or cheerleading for a little bit in grade school through high school, but then grew up. We graduated college and didn't have time for Ultimate Frisbee Club, but instead had to get un-athletic jobs and do boring adult things like figuring out our healthcare. Furthermore, who has time for athletic hobbies when there are happy hours to be experienced, or Netflix original series to marathon watch, or even household chores to get to?
Never fear. If your New Years resolution for the year was to get more fit, it can be achieved... it's never too late. The following are 11 girl-power sports movies that will help you to achieve the pump-up you need to get your sport back on.
1. A League of Their Own
Nothing will make you want to join a softball league more than A League of Their Own. If only those skirt uniforms were still a thing. I know they were very much a product of the male gaze, but they are soooooo cute.
2. The Next Karate Kid
In this continuation of the Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) trains yet another troubled teen, but this one is a girl. Julie Pierce (Hilary Swank) deals with her sadness and aggression with the help of karate — which is a lesson for us all.
3. Save the Last Dance
Maybe contact sports aren't your jam. So why not get into some form of dance to get into shape? Sara (Julia Stiles) deals with some very real fears about dance after the death of her mother, but realizes her passion for the sport is a better way to combat her grief than being miserable. Save the Last Dance is a prime tool for pumping up for those of you who are going through some real sh*t, but still want to get activ.
4. Whip It
If this movie starring Ellen Page doesn't make you want to get into roller derby, nothing will. Those ladies are so tough. If the fear of contact is too strong in you, it wouldn't hurt to get into roller skating solo. I mean, it's a fast way to get around.
5. Bend It Like Beckham
Despite having a male superstar's name in the title, this movie is all about friendship and girls kicking butt at sports. Jess (Parminder Nagra) goes against her parents and plays soccer... um... football on a women's team. She gets so good that she ends up getting a scholarship, and her dedication is inspiring.
6. Bring It On
Before I saw Bring It On, I wrongfully assumed cheerleading wasn't a real sport. I take that back. This movie is great to watch if you're thinking about improving flexibility or just need a movie to dance along with.
7. Gotta Kick It Up
If you're tired of primarily white sports team leads, this cheerleading movie Gotta Kick It Up with its primarily Latina cast is your bag. This Disney channel original will have you chanting "Si! Se Puede!" And maybe, just maybe, you'll run out and get yourself a soccer ball.
This is another Disney Channel original movie, in which a young twin Andrea (Alana Austin) pretends to be her brother (primarily by cutting off her hair) so she can participate in his motocross race. Her family doesn't approve of her racing, but her twin brother is out for the count with a broken leg. This one truly proves that girls are just as tough as boys. (And that the pixie cut you were thinking of is a great idea.)
9. Stick It
Do you like sports but feel like you're too much of a loner to actually get into the team? Then Stick It, with the deviant Haley (Missy Peregrym), is the movie for you. After getting in all sorts of trouble, Haley gets sent to a gymnastics school taught by Jeff Bridges. As you do. This movie is perfect for the solo athlete.
10. Ice Princess
In Ice Princess, Michelle Trachtenberg shows that, if you put your mind to something, you too can ignore your Harvard acceptance and become a figure skater. Trachtenberg really showed off how much athleticism is involved with figure skating, and that it's never too late to get into it.
11. She's the Man
Yea, Amanda Bynes character Viola does spend a great part of this movie pretending she is not a lady, and that she is, in fact, her twin brother, Sebastian. But she does this so she can play soccer, after the girls' team is taken away from her prep school. While doing so, Viola proves that, though she is smaller than the guys, she can definitely keep up. She also proves that she can snag Channing Tatum with some gouda-speak, which is a delightful added bonus.
12. Double Teamed
This Disney original features two twins who couldn't be more different... except that they are both kick-butt basketball players. If athletic twins don't make you want to do sports, I don't know what will.
13. Blue Crush
In Blue Crush, Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) shows the most impressive determination to train for the Rip Masters Surf Competition. And she lives in a beach shack, which is a life goal if I've ever heard one.
It's tough to stay active when you've got a zillion other things to worry about. Heck, it's tough to stay active when you don't have a zillion things to worry about. I mean, couches are so much more comfortable than sports bras. But, hopefully, these girl power movies will help to give you that last push you need to get out there and put your hand-eye coordination to some use. Si, se puede!
Images: Disney Channel (2), Giphy (10)