To say Shonda Rhimes is a boss, would be a complete understatement. Not only does the writer/producer/show runner/businesswoman have multiple(!) critically acclaimed shows and awards under her belt, but the characters she creates all have a way of staying in our thoughts long after the season's have ended.
Some of the most powerful female heroines on television today have strutted straight out of Shondaland: the medical maven known as Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo, Grey's Anatomy), the political powerhouse known as Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington, Scandal), and the courtroom queen known as Annalise Keating (Viola Davis, How To Get Away With Murder).
These three characters never fail to command attention, push boundaries and leaves us in awe. In honor of TGIT's weekly reign, here are eight lessons we can all learn from some of my favorite leading ladies.
1. A glass of wine can fix any problem
Seriously, have you ever wondered why Olivia's go-to thing to do after a long day is drinking wine? And then after she does, it's like everything (on the surface) is seemingly better? Take note: something about fermented grapes just makes the sun shine a little brighter on a dark day.
2. It’s okay to break, but you have to put yourself back together
While all completely different, the one thing all three of these ladies have is the superhero ability to fall apart and put themselves back together in a flash. Now, I'm not saying this is easy by any stretch of the imagination, but Liv, Annalise and Mer all realize that the show must go on, even if your husband dies, you're in a never ending love triangle with the President, or if your students just keep dying around you.
3.Find yourself a person
Life is and will forever be 10x better with a twisted sister by your side. Whether she's there to remind you that you're the sun, there to see you through two failed marriages (well, almost two), or just there so you'll have someone to dance around the hospital with, you need a Cristina Yang or Meredith stat.
4. When in doubt, dance it out
Speaking of dancing...when you're feeling overwhelmed, but sick and tired of crying or just need a happy mood boost, break out the tunes and just let loose. Literally just go dance like no one's watching, or if you're like me and don't care...dance like everyone IS watching. You'll feel cool, calm, and collected in no time.
5. Own your strengths
Annalise is everything you could hope your law professor and defense counsel would be: brilliant, passionate, creative, and charismatic. She knows this too. So don't expect to see her dumb it down, no matter who's around: man, family, students, cops, etc. This is what we call true confidence ladies and gentlemen.
6. Always be quick on your feet
In or out of the courtroom, Annalise clearly has the innate ability to think on her feet. I mean, how else does she keep covering up all these murders happening around her? She effortlessly gets what she wants and sways judgement to her liking, mainly because of her smooth-talking persona. The takeaway: No it's not to go cover up murders. It's to never let them see you sweat.
7. Stay focused
Annalise doesn’t care about the rumors swirling around her. Maybe she’s a murderer, maybe she’s not. Maybe she had her lover framed, maybe she didn’t. Who cares? She has a job to do, students to teach, and she’s going to do it well – because she’s focused entirely on the task at hand. Get the job done, efficiently and effectively. This is how Annalise runs her world, and it’s done well for her, professionally at least. When you stay focused on plans, you prove to be invaluable and indispensable. Oh, and an all around badass.
8. Realize that not everyone is going to like you
Mellie sure didn't like Olivia, and I'm pretty sure she still doesn't even though she's worked with her multiple times. (Still shocked by this.) But, Olivia could really give a rats ass, proving that once you accept that you'll never be everyone's cup of tea, you can pretty much conquer the world. Don't let others undermine your values. You are smart, you are beautiful, and you are unique, no matter who's hating from the sidelines.