16 years ago in the adorable fictional town of Stars Hollow, Conneticut, Gilmore Girls was born. The show revolves around a mother and daughter, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, their family, friends, and kooky townsfolk. Like many other shows, it's a coming of age comedy drama about love and friendship. But unlike other shows, it has two incredible, well-written, dynamic female leads and about 10 thousand pop culture references from films, to books, to music. GG remains a cult favourite 16 years on from the first episode, and has had a surge of new younger viewers (and re-viewers) since hitting Netflix screens in July this year. The long-awaited reunion episodes come out on November 25, so if you haven't binged the show yet, now is the time!
One thing in particular really stuck out to me this summer when I re-watched the series: How much of an incredible role model Rory is for our generation, and how much I had subconsciously learned from her and tried to apply in my own life over the years.
Here are 4 of the best Rory qualities which when applied correctly will almost definitely improve your life (contains spoilers):
1) Rory was fangirling Hillary Clinton before it was cool
Politically on point from the start, from Lorelai's repeated jabs at Bush to Rory's Noam Chomsky and pro-choice posters at Yale, our protagonists are pretty vocal with their liberal views. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has a cameo, and at the end of the show Rory gets a job reporting on Obama's '08 presidential campaign.
Hillary Clinton gets several positive mentions through the seasons, but no more so than when Rory chooses to write about her for her Harvard Application essay in 2003 and swoons "She's so smart and tough and nobody thought she could win New York but she did and she's doing amazing, and have you heard her speak?"
So many feels, Rory. The fact that almost 15 years later she could be president after clearly inspiring young women for such a long time is pretty cool.
2) She knows how to recover from eye-wateringly bad decision making
Rory Gilmore may have begun in the show as an angelic teen, but her character development was not without a few bumps in the road. Remember when she slept with Dean while he was married, stole and crashed a boat with Logan, missed her mother's graduation because she was in New York with Jess, or dropped out of Yale?
However, AFTER dabbling in truancy and adultery, what makes Rory special is how she deals with these situations. She is no stranger to admitting when she is wrong, and can make a phenomenal apology (And it's never an "I'm sorry BUT...").
It's impossible to stay mad with Rory, as not only is she very sincere, she always makes sure you know that she has learned from her mistakes, and does everything in her power to right those wrongs.
3) She always puts college and her career before the men in her life
Lorelai had Rory at 16 and built an amazing life for them both, but always wanted a different life for her daughter. When Jess shows up at her dorm professing his love and asking her to run away, she says no, even though he is completely dreamy and probably her soul mate (team Jess all the way).
And when Logan proposes before she graduates from Yale, Rory refuses to follow him across the country, knowing she's not ready to make sacrifices for her career. You go, girl.
4) She shows us how to buck those darn millennial stereotypes with a badass go-get-'em spirit
The word 'millennial' has become synonymous with entitlement, and this is something Rory grapples with a lot. Now don't get me wrong, she works hard. She spends seasons 1-3 at one of the top prep schools in the USA, and seasons 4-7 at Yale University. Rory is always studying, reading, and working towards her dream of becoming a journalist.
But when she gets some bad feedback from an internship, she really takes it hard. Used to compliments and success, criticism is difficult for her to digest. This trait rears its ugly head again at the end of the show, when she misses out on a competitive job at the New York Times and admits that she assumed she had it in the bag.
However, with some stellar support from her dysfunctional-yet-wise mother, swallowing pride and moving on become a defining characteristic for Rory. She sends off hundreds of resumes and develops an enviably plucky attitude. Lorelai helps her to learn that things can't always go to plan, failure is normal, and you need to keep trying hard if you want things to work out in the end.
So there you have it! I wish you all the best with your new mantra of 'What would Rory Gilmore do?'
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