Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. This not only includes fictional female characters in geeky media but creators as well. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for young girls to have said example to follow.
DISCLAIMER: The following is rife with spoilers galore for NBC’s critical darling The Good Place. If you’re not already caught up with this series, you may want to remedy that shirt now. You won’t forking regret it.
Now, Tahani Al-Jamil (portrayed by Jameela Jamil) was born in Pakistan and raised in England. She was brought up in a well-to-do home alongside her sister Kamilah (Rebecca Hazlewood). Tahani attended the Hertfordshire School for Expressionless Girls prior to studying at Oxford University. She has a penchant for name-dropping, and cites many celebrities as her close confidantes. Before her tragic death via a toppling statue of Kamilah, Tahani raised sixty billion dollars for a non-profit organization. She spent much of her life in her sister’s shadow and overlooked by her parents. Although Tahani performed countless good deeds while on Earth, she was ultimately sent to The Bad Place since her motivations behind said deeds were corrupt.
Later, Tahani befriended Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), Chidi Anagonye (William Jackson Harper) and Jason Mendoza (Manny Jacinto). She eventually pursued a romantic relationship with Jason and the two marry. In the Season 2 finale, Michael (Ted Danson) reached back in time and pushed Tahani out of the way of the falling Kamilah statue. This near-death experience changed her perception on life, and Tahani forged ahead a new person. Over the course of The Good Place’s three seasons, Tahani learned how to be less self-involved and more selfless.
The Real Deal:
Now, Tahani is the real deal. She’s highly educated, which is a plus. Tahani strives to complete every task set before her to the best of her ability. Yes, the reasoning behind her good acts may have been embittered by jealousy, but Tahani just wanted to be loved by her family. She wanted her parents to adore her as much as they doted on Kamilah. It’s a scenario in which we all can relate. Not to mention, Tahani stood up to her parents and asserted herself as a respectable person. She even mended fences with Kamilah. Tahani learned how to be a good person through her friends. That’s personal growth. And, as human beings, we never stop growing.
Why She Matters:
Alright, why does she matter? Tahani matters immensely by way of representation, for starters. She’s a strong woman of color on network television and a lead character to boot. Representation from all walks of life is so vital for viewers everywhere to witness – especially young girls.
Not to mention, Tahani’s personal growth is admirable. She was willing to grow and forged ahead doing just that. We’re constantly evolving as humans, and we should always strive to change for the better. Tahani learned to love those around her and, more importantly, learned to love herself. Self-love is crucial. Tahani is also a great example of how to put aside petty squabbles and admit when in the wrong.
So, be like Tahani. Never be afraid to change. Love yourself wholly, flaws and all. Hold yourself accountable for your actions. Be charitable because it’s the right thing to do. Oh, and always throw opulent house parties for your friend Taylor and your best friend Beyonce.
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