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. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for youth to have said example to follow.

DISCLAIMER: The following article contains spoilers for Netflix and Matt and Ross Duffer‘s Stranger Things.

Joyce Byers

Fast Facts:

Joyce looking at a comptuer screen.

Image courtesy of Netflix.

Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) is the mother of Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) and Will (Noah Schnapp) and a longtime friend of Jim Hopper (David Harbour). In season one, when Will goes missing, Joyce makes it her personal mission to bring him home. When everyone seems to believe that she is crazy, she refuses to give up hope that Will is trying to reach out to her from beyond. In the end, alongside Hopper, Jonathan and Will’s friends, she travels into the Upside Down and finally brings Will home.

Joyce continues to be the best mother in Stranger Things through seasons two and three as she protects her family from the creatures of the Upside Down. During season two, she tried to return to normal life and dated Bob Newby (Sean Astin) up until his death during their escape from Hawkins National Lab. Joyce knew her life would never be the same, and when things started to go awry in season three, she partnered up with Hopper to uncover the truth and face off against the Russians.

After Hopper’s sacrifice and the fall of the Russian in Hawkins, Joyce adopts El (Millie Bobby Brown) and moves them to California to protect them all from the Upside Down. In the most recent season, Joyce learns that Hopper is still alive and needs help escaping a Russian prison. So without a second thought, she takes out the required money, travels to Alaska with Murray (Brett Gelman) and risks it all to bring him home.

The Real Deal:

Joyce Byers is the real deal. Not only is she the best mom on Stranger Things, but she is also one badass lady. She may be afraid of the deadly monsters that live within the Upside Down, but she is willing to throw down with any of them to protect her family. Joyce is highly generous, amicable and one smart cookie. But Joyce is not a pushover. Whenever people stood against her or told her that she was wrong, she argued back and fought for what she believed in.

When her entire town was at risk of being taken over by the Russians, she dove headfirst into the investigation, dragging Hopper and Murray right along with her. She is the perfect balance to Hopper’s good cop, bad cop routine and helps keep Murray sane. Well, as rational as our favorite conspiracy theorist can be. Joyce has a big heart and an even bigger need to protect everyone.

Why She Matters:

Joyce on the phone while looking through her mail and at a package.

Image courtesy of Netflix.

So why does Joyce Byers matter? Outside of being one of the best characters on Stranger Things and one-half of one of our favorite duos – she is a literal rock star. She faces off against some of the most terrifying creatures we have ever seen all to protect her kids and her friends. Joyce has suffered just as much as anyone else throughout the seasons, first losing Will and then Bob and then Hopper, but still continues to put on a brave face and move forward. She isn’t afraid to take risks if it means completing whatever mission she is on and keeping everyone safe.

So, be like Joyce. Fight for your family and friends, stand by your theories and opinions, speak your mind, don’t let others bring you down and keep those Christmas lights up until Will comes home!

RELATED: Looking for another strong female crush? Check out our Geek Girl Authority Crushes of the Week here!

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Julia Roth
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