The hit show Parks and Recreation may be a thing of the past, but that doesn’t stop us for loving the series’ leading lady. Amy Poehler (Baby Mama, Saturday Night Live) takes on the character of everyone’s favorite feminist, power woman, Leslie Knope. She works for the city of Pawnee and is hardcore about politics and making the world a better place. Plus, she’s just a total badass.
If there’s one thing we can all love about Leslie, it’s her never-ending commitment to hard work. I mean, the woman works her ass off to show the world what females have to offer. She won’t settle for being anything less than the absolute best and this makes her majorly relatable for strong women everywhere.
Here’s 15 times Leslie spoke to fierce, fabulous women everywhere:
1. “I stand by my decision to avoid salad and all disgusting things.”
We live in a world of constant pressure when it comes to what we eat (and it’s fricken ridiculous). The world is currently on a “healthy” kick when it comes to trendy eating and the expectations are real, particularly for women. If you’re not eating organic, spinach and kale chips, you’re supposedly not taking care of yourself. Leslie reminds us that we don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. If you love waffles, go eat a damn pile of waffles with extra whip cream because screw everyone. It’s your life, it’s your body. Own it.
2. “Guys love it when you can show them that you’re better than they are at something they love.”
Many guys are cool about involving their girl in their favorite activities. However, many would rather you stay the hell out of their “guy business.” Leslie makes it clear that we should be loud and proud about our talents. If you want to hunt, then hunt. If you want to play a “guy’s sport,” then play it. If you love video games, challenge your boyfriend. There is no activity in the world that is strictly male or female. If you happen to be wicked awesome and kick every guy’s ass, so be it.
3. “Bitches be crazy.”
Sometimes all the fighting, gossiping, and judging is too much to handle. Even women don’t understand other women 99% of the time. The drama and unpredictability is real. Leslie gets it. When you don’t know what’s happening and you’re in the thick of a feud, don’t waste your time and energy.
4. “I am big enough to admit I am often inspired by myself.”
There should be no shame in your game. There’s a big difference between being humble and denying yourself due credit for your achievements. Leslie knows what she’s good at, and she’s not afraid to admit it. In life, we all have challenges to overcome and goals to meet. There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a pat on the back.
5. “One person’s annoying is another person’s inspiring and heroic.”
If you’re a goal-setting, hard-working, feisty woman like Leslie, people aren’t always going to like you. Hell, no matter who you are or what you believe, not everyone is going to like you. It’s fact of life. Pay attention to the ones who “get” you and appreciate you. Everything means something to someone.
6. “Hey Leslie. It’s Leslie. Hang in there. I love you. Bye.”
This is real for most of us at some point. Life is hard. Aspiring for success is hard. Sometimes we just need a little support. Leslie is known for being eternally optimistic and overdoing just about everything in an effort to do her absolute best, but even she has her days. She reminds us that being a real woman is about being honest with yourself and staying strong when the going gets tough.
7. “You know my code. Hoes before bros. Uteruses before duderuses. Ovaries before brovaries.”
Sister code is real. Guys come and go but your girls are forever. When he breaks your heart, they’ll be there for you. Keeping in mind that no guy is amazing enough to sever the bonds you have with your ladies is so important, and Leslie makes it clear everyday with her relationship with Ann.
8. “We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter, but work is third.”
Leslie is the queen of killing it in the workplace. She is always aspiring for something bigger. She is a leader in almost every circumstance and is there for her co-workers to help them do their best. Her career is obviously a huge priority. Yet, she’s quick to teach us that work should never dominate your life. Friends are what really matters. Waffles are also up there.
9. “Relax? Take a beat? I don’t really do any of those things.”
Busy girls, this one’s for you. There’s nothing worse than being stressed to the max and having someone tell you to calm down, as if that’s even possible. Leslie is an extremely anxious person who is often a little in over her head. It’s extremely relatable for many of us and it’s inspiring that Leslie can be so honest with herself and others about what’s happening in her hectic life.
10. “You are a beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox.”
This is basically how all women should be referring to their friends. Leslie and Ann’s friendship is relatable, yet so incredibly unique. They have each made their share of questionable life choices but the ways in which they handle those choices are perfection. Each woman is brutally honest with each other about where they’re going wrong but at the same time, totally loving and supportive. If other women could take their lessons and apply it, we’d have much stronger bonds with our fellow females.
11. “Do you have like a first date outfit I could borrow? Like, I don’t know, a pair of cargo pants?”
This is life for so many of us. Sometimes you get so caught up in work and your own dreams that you honestly don’t even know how to deal with men anymore. For powerful leading ladies, dates can be few and far between. Leslie is funny but real when she struggles with what to wear and how to act in romantic situations.
12. “I am a goddess. A glorious female warrior.”
There is no woman on earth who shouldn’t feel this way about herself. There are so many challenges that women have to overcome to build the lives they dream of. It doesn’t matter what path you choose, you will encounter challenge. In reality, every human will. Embrace who you are and what you want, then fight for it.
13. “Sophisticated with a hint of slutty.”
Every girl knows what it’s like to try to be comfortable in their own skin. We want to be viewed as successful and be taken seriously. At the same time, it’s totally understandable that we want to be viewed as attractive. Leslie may not always have the balance between the two quite right but we can all appreciate the struggle.
14. “If you want to bake a pie, that’s great. If you want to have a career, that’s great too.”
Yes girl, yes. Feminism and equality are not just about fighting for women to have equal rights and opportunities to build a career. It’s also about not belittling women who don’t go after a career. You can have a career and be totally focused on achievements. You can have a family and cook and clean. Hell, you can have it all dammit. It’s also admirable, it’s all awesome, and it’s all related to the world we’re striving to create for everyone.
15. “I need another second please. I need to remember every little thing about how perfect my life is right now.”
When Leslie loves, she loves hard. Her relationship with Ben is a classic example of what we’re all looking for; pure, real, mutually supportive love for one another. When Leslie finally gets her fairytale, it’s magic. She never had to compromise on who she was and what her dreams were because the right guy came into the picture who fit perfectly. And it’ll happen for us all one day, girls.
As a working, married woman who is trying (and not always succeeding) to keep things together, Leslie has always spoken to me on a deep level. Friends compare me to the character often. We’re both anxious, uptight, avid planners, who overdo most things (aside from sleeping and healthy eating, that is.) But at the end of the day, Leslie is a strong female character we can all learn something from, about being the woman that we want to be.
Featured Image via Parks and Rec screengrab.