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Culture

Why Lorelai Gilmore Is One Of TV's Greatest Heroines

By S.G. Cheah·· 7 min read
Lorelai Gilmore
Warner Bros. Television

Gilmore Girls is perhaps one of the most artistically romantic, charmingly whimsical, and timelessly inspiring TV shows ever made for women. It's effortlessly easy to enjoy this series even after two decades since its debut on the WB.

Gilmore Girls is evergreen in its appeal, and Lorelai Gilmore is perhaps one of television’s best heroines. Here are 10 reasons why Lorelai is a lighthouse of guidance worth emulating.

1. She Understands the Gravity of Responsibility

Gilmore Girls is premised on the unique dynamics of a great mother-daughter relationship. When Lorelai discovered she was pregnant as a teen, she didn’t terminate her pregnancy despite her boyfriend’s father's suggestion that she get an abortion.

Being truly in love with Christopher, the thought of terminating the life conceived with him through the union of their love was unbearable to her. Her relationship with Christopher (even when they were just teenagers) wasn’t a nihilistic, temporary fling.

The decision to pursue an intimate relationship with Christopher was done thoughtfully and seriously, when teenagers tend to be more impulsive and reckless. That important decision resulted in her procreating with Christopher, and she consequently accepted the responsibility for that decision.

2. She Takes Motherhood Seriously

Once she had her baby, her entire life was devoted to motherhood. She doesn't date or randomly bring men into Rory’s world because Rory is her primary concern in life. She understands that raising a child is a responsible task and a very important one. Additionally, motherhood so much more difficult as a single mom. Cradling newborn Rory in her arms, Lorelai begged Mia (owner of the Independence Inn) for work, stating how she would carry out any job no matter how dirty or difficult or menial, so long as her child had a roof over her head.

3. She Values Personal Independence

Part of Lorelai running away from her parent’s deceivingly comfortable home was because she knew that had she stayed, she and Christopher would have been chained down to a life of unwanted constraints. Their lives would have been determined by the whims of their controlling parents.

For someone who has dreams and aspiration, a life of bondage is unacceptable. Lorelai decided it was better for her to struggle with a humbling job as a maid than live a life of following orders from dictatorial parents. It’s artistically fitting that she works at a place called The Independence Inn because having a job there means her ability to keep her own independence.

4. She Never Checks Out on Life

Despite her scraping by with very little, she continually enjoys the simple pleasures of life like renting timeless classics for movie nights with Rory, participating and volunteering in various town events, socializing with the residents of Stars Hollow, listening to music, keeping her interest for clothes and fashion, and building meaningful and lasting friendships with people she cares about.

The temptation of giving up, accepting defeat and evading the thought of pursuing one’s hopes and dreams sets a dangerous precedent for living a wasted life.

Never checking out on life despite the hardships is how she could keep cultivating her mind, and by that proxy - Rory’s. The temptation of giving up, accepting defeat and evading the thought of pursuing one’s hopes and dreams sets a dangerous precedent for living a wasted life.

5. She Never Lets Hardship Defeat Her

Perhaps Lorelai was fortunate to have been raised and trained in the luxury of cultural privilege and elitism, but the fact that she holds on to her social norms and strong sense of community, along with her cultural appreciation, even when living under the poverty of a maid’s salary, should be an inspiration to us all.

She holds onto her dreams of one day backpacking across Europe and owning her own establishment. In order to accomplish her goals, she works hard and saves enough money to support her and Rory’s trip to Europe. Professionally, she finishes her formal schooling and gets herself an Associate Degree in Business Management so she can be prepared with all the tools necessary to run her business successfully.

6. She Listens To Reason

When faced with a bill for Rory’s expensive prep school which she can't afford, she bravely swallows her pride and makes the uncomfortable decision to seek the needed financial help from her parents. She doesn’t allow her stubbornness, familial discomfort, and ego to override her rationality and reason. Since attending Chilton was of immense value to furthering Rory’s academic goals, she accepts the help that was needed from her family to help pay for Rory’s schooling.

7. She Loves Her Femininity

It's clear that both Lorelai and Rory love being female. We can see this in the beautiful dresses they constantly wear and how one of their favorite activities is spending time at Sephora. But the most telling evidence that Lorelai thinks highly of her womanhood and femininity is in episode 3 of Season 4: when at a Lord of the Rings party Lorelai is catering, a little girl is upset because she was told she couldn’t join the boys on adventures and do cool stuff because “only boy hobbits travel to Mount Doom." Lorelai comforts her, telling her how girls do go on dangerous adventures too and even it’s even better than just Mount Doom because “they go in heels."

8. She Understands the Male Psyche

One of the most enjoyable things to watch on Gilmore Girls is the communication dynamics between the women and the men on the show. Lorelai, in particular, is an effortless communicator, and I have heard multiple male friends mention how much they love the Lorelai character because she is both charming and witty and knows how to tease a guy in a cute, nonbelligerent way. This benevolent personality trait puts men at ease because they need not keep their defenses up and be on their guard when interacting with her.

This benevolent personality trait puts men at ease because they need not keep their defenses up and be on their guard when interacting with her.

Unlike women who are bitter feminists, Lorelai doesn't get offended whenever Luke makes an occasional gruff comment, or when Michel make condescending remarks, or when Taylor says insensitive things because she knows that men aren’t perfect nor are they her enemies, and it’s understandable that men too have their human moments.

9. She Values Her Family Despite Her Disagreements with Them

Gilmore Girls is a TV series about family. It's unsurprising that Lorelai’s primary concern and loyalty is to her family, first with raising her daughter well, and then her quietly understated support for her parents.

We can see this when her Season 4 boyfriend Jason “Digger” Styles planned on suing her father after their business partnership went bad. Lorelai disapproves of the lawsuit and broke off their relationship, citing that it was impossible for her to be with someone who had the conscious intention of taking down her family.

10. She Has a Strong Moral Compass

Being a TV show about family, it's natural that Lorelai has a good sense of morality. When Rory lost her virginity to Dean, she promptly reminds her daughter that Dean is a married man, and tells Rory how the cheating disappointed her because she didn’t raise Rory that way. Lorelai also keeps her word to her parents and repays the loan she took for Chilton from them, even though her parents never intended for her to pay it back.

Closing Thoughts

The legacy of Gilmore Girls is rooted in the nostalgia of a bygone era in entertainment history. It was a time when highly politicized propaganda hadn’t hijacked our Thursday night TV. We the viewers earnestly enjoyed shows like Gilmore Girls because we could let go as we knew they’d entertain and inspire us when we'd tune in to watch Lorelai Gilmore have her adventures in heels.

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