Created By: blueranger on May 7, 2012 Last Edited By: blueranger on December 26, 2013
Troped

Girly Bruiser

An incredibly girly character also happens to be an Action Girl

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
The majority of Action Girls out there are all fairly feminine in their own right as after all a hot girl doing some ass kicking is a big turn on, there tends to be a line drawn between exactly how feminine an Action Girl can be. This character however defies that. She will be a badass, but she can just as easily be the girliest of girly girls. If there is a Tomboy and Girly Girl situation then she will be the girly girl but will not be any less of a badass. Traits of the Girly Bruiser can include having a love of fashion and make-up, having stereotypically "girly" hobbies, loving cute animals and of course loving the colour pink. She may even do her ass kicking while wearing a dress though it's not necessary. In media aimed more towards males, a girly girl kicking ass may not go over too well so if such a character exists there, she'll likely rely on Waif-Fu. Personality traits associated with this character include The Ditz, Genki Girl, The Pollyanna. Can often be a Badass Princess, Cute Bruiser and Badass Adorable too. Note that she differs from the Lady of War in that she doesn't have to be elegant with her ass kicking. See also Kicking Ass in All Her Finery. The classic Magical Girl intersects with this trope somewhere: she's at her most powerful when she's wearing as many pretty Frills of Justice as possible.

Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • Digimon Adventure has Lilymon, a pink nature pixie that fires energy rays out of a cannon. Oh and did we mention she's an Ultimate Level Digimon?
  • Misty from the Pokemon anime has quite a few stereotypically "girly" Pokemon such as Goldeen - a white fish with frilly looking fins, Staryu and Starmie - starfish that have jewels in their core (the Pokemon themselves are valued as jewellery at times) and Horsea - a cute seahorse.
    • From the third movie, Spell of the Unknown the little girl Molly uses Pokemon such as Flaaffy, a cute pink sheep and Teddiursa, a teddy bear. Thanks to the power of her dreams, they're all nigh unstoppable.

Literature
  • Rachel from Animorphs is a glamorous blonde who will eagerly morph into a grizzly bair to fight.
  • In The Witcher saga, Ciri is the girly half of her Tomboy and Girly Girl duo with Mistle (and the Lipstick Lesbian to Mistle's Butch). However, it is Ciri who is the deadliest fighter in their entire gang, thanks to her training with the eponymous Witchers.

Live Action TV
  • All of the Charmed ones likely due to being normal women for twenty plus years before becoming badass witches. All do stereotypically feminine things and are seen wearing the latest fashions every week - most of the time while fighting their enemies.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer is incredibly girly in the early seasons and her appearance was even tweaked to look more like a Valley Girl. She even defeated a Big Bad while wearing an evening gown. Word of God states that she was created to exist as a subversion of weak feminine characters. Her girliness mellows out a bit after she graduates high school though. Willow and Tara also take a level in badass over the course of the show but remain quite girly.
  • Used as a plot point in a Lizzie McGuire episode where Lizzie worries that being a great football player who can rough it up with the guys will stop them from thinking she's feminine. The Brawn Hilda of a coach then reveals that she is a girly-girl at heart and likes to sew her own dresses (which are bright pink) and go swing dancing at the weekends.
  • Smallville has Kara Kent - beauty queen and superhero.

Professional Wrestling
  • Nearly all the WWE Divas, though this is actually enforced from above. Gail Kim has gone on record to state that WWE wants more girliness in the Diva matches. Their title belt even has a pink butterfly on it and the FCW Divas' belt has a pink strap (as well as their other title being a tiara.
    • Natalya takes this trope and runs with it as she wears more pink than any other Diva on the roster (Pink and black are her family's colours) yet it doesn't make her any less of a badass. She's like this in real life too as a glance at her numerous tweets about shoe shopping will tell.
    • Similarly Kelly Kelly arguably qualifies as the girliest Diva WWE has ever had but is quite the Badass inside the ring. In fact she is often underestimated because she is so girly.

Video Games
  • Final Fantasy X-2 has two of the main characters as Badass Feminines though even the tomboyish Paine has a bit of a girly side too. Their entire battle system revolves around changing into different outfits to gain new powers. Their arch rival LeBlanc also wears a pink outfit and has a steel fan as a weapon. One of her attacks is even called "Love Tap".
  • The Tekken series offers up Ling Xiaoyu, a Genki Girl who loves amusement parks, anything cute and whose best friend is a giant panda. And yes she has her share of pink outfits. Michelle and Julia Chang are more softened versions of the trope being badass versions of Closer to Earth.

Western Animation
  • Bubbles from The Powerpuff Girls overlaps with Badass Adorable as she represents "sugar" in the chemical mix that created the girls. Could be justified since she's only five years old. Similarly Blossom (who represents "everything nice" wears a pink dress and is quite girly herself, though not as much as Bubbles. Buttercup is not an example.
  • Kitty Pryde from X-Men: Evolution fits the stereotypical Valley Girl personality yet still kicks as much ass as the other X-kids.
    • Jean Grey is also quite girly and nobody is about to question her badassery.
  • Rapunzel from Tangled though she doesn't discover that she's a badass until she leaves her tower at age 18. To make the example even more pronounced her weapons of choice are her 70 feet of hair and a frying pan.
  • Sarah from Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy is a villainous example. She's literally the most out of control little terror on the cul-de-sac with all the kids terrified of her. She also loves playing dress-up, having tea parties, keeps a diary and her prized possessions are her "dollies".
Community Feedback Replies: 33
  • May 7, 2012
    Koveras
    I am pretty sure that feminine women who kick ass are covered under Lady Of War.
  • May 7, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    Action Girl doesn't distinguish between how "feminine" Action Girls are. These characters are all just... Action Girls, this is kind of a subjective way to distinguish between them.
  • May 7, 2012
    Larek
    I would think to make this trope distinct, The Characters should either have one of the following two traits.
    • They have two very disticnt and seperated sides to them
      • Feminine/Gentile/Moe
      • Baddass
    • Or they strongly resists/hide their baddass nature and try very hard to appear normal/feminine

    Transitional Characters, ones that start very feminine, and transition to Baddass would not count as this commonly would be a loss of the feminine trait (like growing up looses childish traits). That this would require both to continue to exist at he same time. (i.e. Atilla the Hun, was likely a cute child early in life, but isn't a Badass Feminine )

    My example is A-ko from the movie trilogy Project A-ko

    And entries like Rapunzel from Tangled, would fail to to the transitional nature.
  • May 7, 2012
    lexicon
    Buffy is definitely an Action Girl but I wouldn't call her a Lady Of War with her hand to hand combat. She says, "Well...all right, yes, date and shop and hang out and go to school and save the world from unspeakable demons. You know, I wanna do girlie stuff!" That quote says it better than mentioning the evening gown. I wouldn't call Tara or Willow girly.
  • May 7, 2012
    PsiPaula4
    I edited the YKTTW because those typos on the Pokemon bothered me. Also because Goldeen is white -- not pink.
  • May 7, 2012
    blueranger
    I think it differs from the Lady Of War because girls in that are more elegant and graceful. They always do their fighting in a way that preserves their grace i.e. with weapons like a bow and arrow. A Lady of War isn't necessarily that girly so I feel this is a separate trope. The likes of Buffy or the Halliwell sisters aren't Ladies of War in my opinion but they are very girly. I also feel that the transitional character could make up a trope on its own. This is more of a stock character.
  • May 8, 2012
    fulltimeD
    please not another "badass" title
  • May 8, 2012
    Lorialet
    It would be interesting to create such a trope.
  • May 9, 2012
    bulmabriefs144
    I dunno with the Rapunzel example. She was still very much feminine quite a ways into the story (she had her hair braided long after learning to fight, and was never a tomboy type in personality). Not to mention her favored weapons were a frypan and her hair.

    • They have two very distinct and separated sides to them
    • Or they strongly resists/hide their badass nature and try very hard to appear normal/feminine

    Neither of these is what we want. The first sounds like the martial version of Sugar And Ice Personality/Tsundere. The second is Beneath The Mask. The ideal is as people have said before, like Badass Adorable but for femininity, something merged rather than two distinct parts in conflict.

    Bonus points if they use something traditionally associated with femininity as a weapon (sewing needle/thread, frying pans, rolling pins, etcetera) or their weapon has to do with beauty (makeup, hair, clothing as a weapon). See also Kicking Ass In All Her Finery. Compare with Yandere and Yamato Nadeshiko (both of which are heavily involved with family and marriage in addition to being violent).
  • May 10, 2012
    lexicon
    What about Rachel from Animorphs? She's a glamorous blonde but she'll eagerly morph into a grizzly bear to fight. There's also Kara Kent from Smallville. Beauty queen and super hero.
  • May 11, 2012
    Arha
    Two things. One, we're trying to avoid using the word badass in titles now, so if you launch it with this name it'll probably be renamed. Two, I'm not even sure this is an actual trope.
  • May 20, 2012
    blueranger
    I wasn't sure if it really was at first either but I looked through the wiki and I couldn't find a trope where a few of these examples fit so I thought it was a good idea to test it out. how about Girly Bruiser for an alternate title?
  • May 20, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ 1. Girly Bruiser works.

    2. The description needs work. Descriptions here usually start with definition, and then end with comparing and contrasting tropes.

    3.Kicking Ass In All Her Finery is a Sister Trope to this.
  • May 21, 2012
    lexicon
    I would suggest cutting (or moving to the bottom) "This character however defies that." and everything before that sentence so it gets to the point faster.
  • May 23, 2012
    BamesJond
    Why are we avoiding "badass"? Are we worried about 9-year olds when the main demographic is 17-24? This is getting ridiculous.
  • May 23, 2012
    kjnoren
  • May 23, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^ That's not the reason.
  • May 23, 2012
    BamesJond
    Then what the hell is the real reason? Badass Feminine has a much better ring to it than Girly Bruiser. What gives?
  • May 23, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ It's the overuse of the word "badass", due to the snowclone backlash. That's why a few some of the recent tropes I made, Action Pet, Kicking Ass In All Her Finery, and Fedora Of Asskicking, don't have the word in them, even though they are Sub Tropes.

    Someone proposed another name, and that is what the ykttw sponsor went for.
  • May 23, 2012
    BamesJond
    Well if it ain't broke then don't fix it. Someone should tell them that because I would say that Badass Feminine does a pretty good job at telling you what it is about and it fits quite nicely with the Badass index.
  • May 23, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ The problem is overuse is considered breaking it.
  • May 23, 2012
    BamesJond
    The problem that was said for snowclones is that they don't do well to indicate what to trope is about. I would say this one does however.

    Is there anywhere I can go where I could voice my opinion against this?
  • May 23, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ The thing against snowclones came from one of the admins and founders of the site, so it's not likely the old name for this is coming back.

    Trust me, it's better to accept this and move on.
  • May 24, 2012
    RossN
    Is Buffy really 'incredibly' girly? She doesn't wear skirts or jewelry all that much and her makeup is pretty subtle (at least after the first season) and I don't think we ever actually see her shop. She actually strikwes me as kind of a tomboy next to fashion plate Cordelia.
  • May 24, 2012
    lexicon
    Buffy a Tomboy? In the pilot she passes the "coolness factor" with Cordelia and was afraid that she would have last month's hair. She said at one point, "At Hemery, I was Prom Princess, I was Fiesta Queen, I was on the cheerleading squad..." She also says, "Well...all right, yes, date and shop and hang out and go to school and save the world from unspeakable demons. You know, I wanna do girlie stuff!"
  • May 24, 2012
    RossN
    True... but how much of that falls under Informed Attribute or Characterisation Marches On? I mean we never see her so much as mention cheerleading again after the third episode and again I don't think we ever see or hear her shop either. Also Cordelia - a vastly 'girlier' character - was around as contrast.

    At the very least I think Buffy's 'girliness' was downplayed after season one and that should be noted.
  • May 24, 2012
    jatay3
    Antonina in Belisarius Series is kind of like that though it's hard to describe.
  • May 24, 2012
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
  • May 24, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    "At the very least I think Buffy's 'girliness' was downplayed after season one and that should be noted."

    I agree with that.
  • May 25, 2012
    Koveras
    In The Witcher saga, Ciri is the girly half of her Tomboy And Girly Girl duo with Mistle (and the Lipstick Lesbian to Mistle's Butch). However, it is Ciri who is the deadliest fighter in their entire gang, thanks to her training with the eponymous Witchers.
  • May 25, 2012
    McKathlin
    The classic Magical Girl intersects with this trope somewhere: she's at her most powerful when she's wearing as many pretty Frills Of Justice as possible.
  • November 11, 2012
    eddddd
    look, i think that by the laconic itself its not a trope. "An incredibly girly character also happens to be an Action Girl". anything using also happens to be is pretty much the definition of X Meets Y
  • December 26, 2013
    adder999
    I would like to know what issue shows Gloria Glad in a football uniform.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=un3oz9yppfeeo1jtcap2fitv