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Water Is Womanly

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Doesn't get more womanly than mermaids and water.

"A woman should be like water, able to flow over and around anything."
Ye Wenjie, The Three-Body Problem

Water is an element associated with healing, purity, calmness, life, creation, and creativity, all of which are traditionally tied to women. It is also regarded as the most elegant of the classical elements due to its fluid nature. As a result, water has become associated with femininity.

This started back with water goddesses such as Nephthys, the Egyptian goddess of rivers and childbirth, and Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of wisdom and the Sarasvati river who would become known in Japan as Benzaiten. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, was worshipped as a sea goddess for being born from sea foam. Eventually, this led to the myths of female beings associated with water such as mermaids, naiads and nereids, selkies, sirens, and undines.

In modern works, characters who wield water or are associated with it will be feminine in some way, such as by being the Team Mom, a Proper Lady, or some other form of Girly Girl. She will usually be the most feminine one in a Classical Elements Ensemble — she'll be the only woman and/or girlier than everyone else. May be the female to the male in a Fire/Water Juxtaposition in cases where Fire Is Masculine.

Sub-Trope of Elemental Personalities and often overlaps with Four-Temperament Ensemble (specifically the phlegmatic) if it involves Making a Splash, and True Blue Femininity as Water Is Blue. Compare Winter Royal Lady. May also overlap with Ice Magic Is Water when the woman also casts magic (which is why ice-slinging women are also very common). Compare and contrast Lord of the Ocean, who is often more aggressive and temperamental due to the association with more "active" water (ocean waves) and Father Neptune, which is more associated with the harshness of the sea on sailors. See also Earth Mother, Mother Nature, and Flowers of Femininity.


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  • In Happy Heroes, Sad S. represents water of the Guling Supermen, whose powers correlate to different elements, and can weaponize her crying as her form of using water powers. Her kind-hearted but emotional personality can easily be considered feminine.
  • In Planet of 7 Colors, the blue kingdom is themed around water and has the only female ruler of the seven kingdoms. Said ruler is obsessed with finding her true love, a typically feminine trait.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Yokosawa the axolotl and Lucille/Gomakawa the seal from Aggretsuko are the series' only major characters who are aquatic animals, and both are women.
  • Air Gear:
    • The only known rider of the Lather Road, which focuses on generating bubbles by riding on water vapor, is Sleeping Forest's Ohm, a woman.
    • Played with in the portrayal of Agito/Akito who rides the Bloody Road and thus whose shadow is Leviathan, a multi-finned giant shark. Though Agito/Akito are split personalities inhabiting a small, slight, and Bishounen male body, the original personality of the body is revealed to be Lind, who is actually a copy of Agito/Akito's deceased mother Gazelle and the original Thorn Queen and acts accordingly. While all personalities can ride the Bloody Road, only Gazelle can ride the Thorn Road, a road exclusively ridden by women due to their lower center of gravity. Gazelle is also the most ruthless of the three personalities, more prone to violence than even resident Token Evil Teammate Agito.
  • ARIA features four jobs essential to maintaining Neo Venezia themed after the classical elements. The job associated with Water would be the Undines, an all-female subsect of gondoliers that nagivate the city and act as tour guides.
  • Djibril in Angel Sanctuary wields water as an elemental power, and is the only female of the four Archangels. When the four elements are required but she's unavailable, Demon princess Kurai evokes water in her place.
  • Schierke from Berserk can summon the Lady of the Deep Water, who manifests as a female angel with dominion over the Undines. She was worshipped by the ancestors of the habitants of Enoch but was forgotten when the church of Holy See was built in its sanctuary. In accordance with an ancient oath, she is summoned to cleanse evil spirits, drowning monsters in a flood of water.
  • Black Clover:
    • Noelle Silva's magic attribute is water, and she is named "Sea Goddess" by the people of the Underwater Temple for her powerful Water Magic. She's a refined if haughty young woman from the kingdom's royal family who regularly wears a dress. After training for six months, she gains Valkyrie Armor - Mermaid Form which enhances her power underwater.
    • The Heart Kingdom is ruled by princesses who for generations have had the power of the Water Spirit Undine, who's a motherly elemental with a dress and long hair made of water. Lolopechka is the current princess and a powerful water mage. She's named the All-Knowing Priestess for having the wisdom of all the past princesses, and looks majestic in her royal attire. In truth, she's absent-minded and clumsy, and not as regal as she seems.
    • Sister Lily is a stern yet kind nun who takes care of the orphans in the church at Hage. Her surname is Aquaria and she uses Water Magic.
  • Tier Harribel in Bleach is the only female in the Espada, has a shark motif, and her Zanpakuto, Tiburon, gives her water powers. Harribel is a calm, quietly dignified warrior who takes on a motherly role to her Fraccion, symbolized by the hollow hole on her womb.
  • Digimon Frontier: Ranamon is the Legendary Warrior of Water, being one of the only two females among the Ten Legendary Warriors, and is very vain, liking to flaunt her beauty. As Calmaramon she's seen as much uglier and shows her true colors as selfish and cruel, fitting with water's negative association with being moody and temperamental.
  • Gender Flipped in EDENS ZERO. Laguna is the Water of the Element 4 but a man — an effeminate man who wears high heels and makeup and is more feminine than the only woman in the group Sylph.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Juvia Lockser is a Water Wizard who can turn her very body into water. In her introduction, she's the Water and the only female in Phantom Lord's Element 4. Juvia is also, for the most part, demure and ladylike, being adept in traditionally feminine activities like sewing and cooking, and is defined by her devotion to her love Gray.
    • The Celestial Spirit Aquarius, a constellation traditionally depicted as male, is here a beautiful mermaid with flowing blue hair who wields an urn of limitless water. However, instead of being calm and nurturing, she's abrasive and unfriendly.
  • Panni from Fatal Fury The Motion Picture is a beautiful woman defined by her sincere love for her boss and power to unleash destructive water streams. She is also the only woman among the villains.
  • Inazuma Eleven: Ares features Norika Umihara, one of the few female goalkeepers in the franchise. She has greenish-blue hair and all her hissatsu moves are based around water and mermaids.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple has a darker one in Mikumo Kushinada. The "Water" of the One Shadow Nine Fists and the only woman in the group, she is a composed jujutsu master who uses a very elegant fighting style.
  • Umi Ryuuzaki of Magic Knight Rayearth. Her element is water, she has long, flowing light blue hair, and she's noted by the others to have the most graceful fighting form with her Royal Rapier since she is the captain of her school's fencing team. She is also very caring and protective towards her friends, though it often takes an Anger Born of Worry form.
  • Magi: Labyrinth of Magic:
    • Yamraiha is a caring sorceress who wears sea shells with blue hair and mastery over Water Magic.
    • Ren Kougyoku is a young, girly princess of the Kou Empire whose Djinn Vinea gives her power over water, with her Djinn Equip giving her a seahorse motif.
  • MÄR: Snow is a kind princess dressed in pink who uses ice-themed as well as water-themed ÄRMs. She gains the power to summon Undine, who appears as a beautiful nymph made of water who helps Snow in battle by forming and shaping water.
  • Mei Terumi from Naruto. She's a beautiful, sultry woman in a slinky blue dress who's the Fifth Mizukagenote  of the Hidden Mist Village in the Land of Water, and her unique Boil Release combines Fire Release with Water Release.
  • Negima!:
    • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
      • Akira Okochi is one of the most ladylike, calm, and caring girls in the class. As a swimmer, she's associated with water. Her Pactio provides her with powers closely tied into water along with a mermaid theme.
      • Sextum, the only female Averruncus, is a water mage.
    • In the Negima!? anime, Konoka can generate water when using her Cosplay card. She's an Ojou and the most feminine of her group of friends.
  • Pretty Cure:
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Sayaka Miki has a water theme with a blue color scheme and her Transformation Sequence incorporating water and bubbles. Although somewhat tomboyish with her aspiration to be a hero of justice, she's very caring, has an interest in classical music, and holds a very idealistic view of romance. She falls into despair because of her failure in love and being a hero, becoming Oktavia von Seckenforff, the mermaid witch.
  • Bluebell in Reborn! (2004) is the only female Funeral Wreath, and all her abilities are water-based.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Ami Mizuno is a demure, kind girl who is the most intelligent of the Sailor Guardians and uses water attacks as Sailor Mercury. When Sailor Neptune is introduced, to better distinguish her powers she begins using ice attacks.
    • Michiru Kaioh is a very sophisticated young lady, conducting herself gracefully and being a classical violinist and painter. She has wavy sea-green hair resembling waves. And as Sailor Neptune, she has powers over water that come from the sea.
  • Tsukiumi from Sekirei is the most feminine among Minato's Sekirei, has a Tsundere personality, wears a black and white dress, and has water powers.
  • Adiane the Elegant from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is the Water General and the only female among the Four Supreme Generals. Her name is based in part on the water elemental Undine and, unlike her fellow generals, she has the ability to make tons of water appear out of thin air for her Gunman to have the advantage in sea combat. She has long blue hair and wears a slinky dress. But like violent water currents, she is very cruel and impulsive.
  • Mew Lettuce from Tokyo Mew Mew has the DNA of a Finless Porpoise which grants her water-related powers. In the manga and anime reboot, she can transform into a mermaid when she goes underwater (she needed a magic item for that transformation in the first anime). She's the most demure, polite, and gentle of the heroines.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS: As the more mature and elegant Blue Maiden, Aoi Zazen uses a "Marincess" deck, an archetype of female WATER Cyberse Monsters. She also becomes partnered with Aqua, the only female of the six Ignis who's based on the WATER attribute as well as caring, kind, and ladylike.
  • Penny from Zatch Bell! is a young girl who likes pretty things, has obsessive romantic feelings for Zatch, and wears a blue dress. She uses water spells, one of which forms a huge dragon made of water.

  • The Birth of Venus: Sandro Botticelli takes after the classical myth and depicts the Love Goddess Venus on a seascape and standing in a very feminine Contrapposto Pose on top of a seashell.
  • The Birth of Venus by Bouguereau depicts the goddess of love emerging from the sea alongside sea nymphs.
  • The Birth of Venus by Cabanel depicts the Roman Goddess of Love reclining on the sea she was born from.
  • John William Waterhouse: Maybe it was to honor his surname, but he loved to paint women romantically associated with water, whether it be water-related mythological figures (Hylas and the Nymphs, Undine, A Naiad, The Siren, The Mermaid) or women emoting near bodies of water (Miranda, Echo and Narcissus, Circe Invidiosa, The Lady of Shalott, Ophelia). Specific examples include:
  • Water Serpents I is drawn in fluid organic shapes composed of water imagery, with waves and the aquatic forms of two women.

    Comic Books 
  • Power Girl: In her 1988 four-issue series, Power Girl faced off against three villains named Pyro, Hydra, and Hurricane who had each been granted control of an element by Weaver, God of Madness. Hydra had control over water and was the only one of the three who was a woman.

    Fan Works 
  • The titular character of Dungeon Keeper Ami is the demure and kind Sailor Mercury with water powers. Notably, people find her short hair boyish.
  • Chloe Cerise in Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail has a water motif to reflect her calm and caring personality, her creativity when it comes to writing stories, and how she is finding herself via traversing the numerous cars on the Train. She swaps her school outfit, with two prominent anchors on the skirt, for a beach dress with sealife on the collar and neck, an umbrella with fish, and sandals that have shells on the laces. This, combined with long hair evokes the image of a young maiden heading out to sea. However, she also has an aggressive side and will unleash a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on those who piss her off, reflecting how water can change from calm to violent in a snap.
  • Queens of Mewni: Polaria the Navigator, the queen who mapped Mewni's seas, had a love of water since her childhood (learning how to swim before even learning how to speak), has a miniature trident as her wand, and knew how to transform herself (and eventually her daughters) into a mermaid to communicate with the Singing Mermaids.
  • Gender Flipped in the Turning Red/Futari wa Pretty Cure crossover fic Maple Sugar Pretty Cure, Tyler's Cure form, Cure Fresh, has water powers despite him being the only male in Mei's friend group.

    Films — Animation 
  • Inverted in Elemental (2023) where the main water character is a man named Wade.
  • In The Jungle Book, the only other human besides Mowgli who's shown onscreen is a young girl, introduced filling a large jug with water while singing a song with lyrics emphasizing that fetching the water is considered women's work.
    Father's hunting in the forest, Mother's cooking in the home
    I must go and fetch the water, 'till the day that I am grown
    Then I will have a handsome husband, and a daughter of my own
    Then I'll send her to fetch the water, I'll be cooking in the home
  • Song of the Sea: Saoirse is a polite, kind young girl who is the last selkie child.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Inverted in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl. Between the titular superheroes, Sharkboy is the one associated with water (although the association mostly comes from his shark theme, which is fitting for his temperamental attitude), and Lavagirl is associated with fire, but she's more calm and gentle.
  • The title of Lady in the Water is evocative of this trope. It refers to the titular character Story, a shy, demure water nymph.
  • Mortal Kombat: Annihilation: The only female deity shown in the movie is a water goddess.
  • Ophelia is heavily associated with water: likes swimming, often wears blue, nicknamed "little fish" by Hamlet, and commits suicide by drowning. And as an adult, she's a compassionate, refined lady-in-waiting to Queen Gertrude, wearing dresses and taking part in traditionally feminine activities such as dancing, sewing, and singing.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean has Calypso, the Goddess of the Seas. Sailors were in awe of her unsurpassed grace and beauty, and she acted as their protectress. They also feared her for her mercural nature that made her as wild and untameable as the seas she ruled over — tying to the negative associations of water and women as being temperamental.
  • The film adaptations of The Ring give the female ghost a heavy water motif that is not really present in the books. Aside from being raised on an isolated island by the sea and thrown into a well, the Japanese films suggest that Sadako Yamamura is the product of Shizuko Yamamura's affair with an unnamed sea god, which explains where she got her powers from. The demigoddess part is only vaguely hinted at in the American films' Samara Morgan (Anna and Richard Morgan's neighbors suspect they conceived Samara through a Deal with the Devil), but the victims of the cursed videotape are noted to have a nightmarish decaying look, as if they've been drowned and submerged in water for weeks. In the Twist Ending, it turns out that said decaying look is modeled after Samara's ghost form.
  • Padmé Amidala from Star Wars has a water motif. Her name comes from "padma" (Sanskrit for lotus, the water-growing flower), she often wears blue, her planet Naboo is filled with bodies of water, she spent her happiest days in the Lake Country, and her apartment on Coruscant is adorned with fountains. And she is a gentle, elegant woman often dressed in ornate gowns who serves as the Queen of Naboo.

  • Avalon High: Ellie spends almost all her time in her family's pool and this leads her (and everyone around her) to suspect that she is the reincarnation of Elaine, who killed herself in the water after being betrayed by her love. However, she is not, but she retains her link to the water - she's the Lady of the Lake, who ultimately gives Arthur the sword of Camelot and takes him home.
  • Isana in Codex Alera is a single-element Crafter of Water and one of the strongest watercrafters in all of Alera. She's also a selfless, kind empath and motherly figure for Tavi.
  • Dark Shores: One of the Six gods of the West, who rule over various aspects of human life, is Madoria, goddess of the sea.
  • Date A Live: Yoshino Himekawa can control the three states of water, but she prefers using ice. She is also a very polite and gentle, if shy, young girl who wouldn't even harm a fly.
  • Disney Fairies has the water-talent fairies, who can modify and shape water to their will. They consist of females at an even higher rate than that of the other talents, and the most commonly shown water-talent fairies Rani and Silvermist both wear long slender all-blue dresses with water-themed decorations.
  • The Dreamers tetralogy by David Eddings has Mother Sea: the consciousness of all the world's oceans, counterpart to Father Earth, and co-creator of life.
  • Subverted in The Dresden Files: The only water-mage explicitly identified as such we have seen is the distinctly fiery Warden Commander Carlos Ramirez. Furthermore, in the Dresdenverse water is associated with dissolution, cleansing, and entropy, making water-mages terrifying figures. When Ramirez goes up against a gun-toting vampire, he first dissolves the vampire's bullets in mid-air, followed by dissolving the vampire's head.
  • Subverted with Aqua from KonoSuba. She's introduced as a beautiful water goddess but is soon revealed to have almost none of the positive feminine traits associated with water. She can heal allies and purify the undead, and is a muse of the arts. But instead of being calm, graceful, modest, and intelligent, she's idiotic, graceless, egotistical, and temperamental. Her incredible incompetency has led her to be labeled as a "Useless Goddess" by Kazuma.
  • Queen Mizuno from Labyrinth is the Queen of Cups and a water sorceress. She has an elegant demeanor and wears a regal, flowing dress befitting her royal station.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Of the three Elven rings, Narya the Ring of Fire and Vilya the Ring of Air are borne by Gandalf and Elrond respectively, but Nenya the Ring of Water (also known as the White Ring or Ring of Adamant) is borne by Lady Galadriel of Lothlórien.
  • Sayuri from Memoirs of a Geisha is a kind and determined young woman, with a desire to be with her beloved Chairman, who becomes an elegant, beautiful geisha during the story. She comes from a small fishing village and is said to have "a lot of water in [her] personality", which is tied to her unusual blue-grey eyes. Sayuri's personality of water represents her adaptability throughout her life as a geisha:
    "Water never waits. It changes shape and flows around things, and finds the secret paths no one else has thought about — the tiny hole through the roof or the bottom of the box. There's no doubt it's the most versatile of the five elements. It can wash away earth; it can put out fire; it can wear a piece of metal down and sweep it away. Even wood, which is its natural complement, can't survive without being nurtured by water. And yet, you haven't drawn on those strengths in living your life, have you?"
  • Mary Hunt in My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! is a feminine and beautiful noblewoman possessing the magic element of water.
  • In The Rape of the Lock when young women die, the romantic, emotional girls become water nymphs, in contrast to stuffy prudes becoming gnomes, hot-tempered girls becoming salamanders, and light-hearted girls becoming sylphs.
  • Re:Zero:
    • Rem is a calm, polite blue-haired maid who uses water magic to heal others and can condense it into ice. After falling in love with Subaru, Rem shows a much more gentle side, providing him with much-needed emotional support.
    • Gender Flipped with Felix, a water mage who wears blue and uses water to heal but is a man — a man who has feminine mannerisms and likes crossdressing in girly dresses, causing Subaru to mistake him for a woman.
  • Downplayed with Kirima from The Rise of Kyoshi. Before Kyoshi joins she's the only woman and only waterbender in the Flying Opera Company. She has a crass personality but shows her grace when waterbending.
  • Princess Melty Q Melromarc from The Rising of the Shield Hero. She has water magic to contrast with her sister's fire, a blue dress, and blue hair, and is a polite, charming young princess.
  • The Silerian Trilogy: Inverted. In contrast to common association of water with femininity, water magic users are only male, being named "waterlords". However, it later gets played straight as Mirabar's daughter is prophesied to be the first female water magic user.
  • Sword Art Online: In ALO, Asuna Yuuki, a kind, feminine young woman who's also a great cook, has her avatar as an Undine, gaining recovery magic and water spells to supplement her swordsmanship, as well as a blue and white outfit complete with light blue hair.
  • The Wheel of Time: Women who can use the One Power are more likely to be stronger channeling Water and Air, while men tend to have greater strength in Earth and Fire, and strength in Spirit is gender-neutral. This gives women an advantage with Healing Hands, which uses Water, Air, and Spirit together.
  • In Young Wizards, among human wizards, females have an affinity for water (and air) while males have an affinity for fire and earth.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Alena from Encantadia is the keeper of the Water Gem and the most kind and romantic of the Sang'gre siblings, not wanting to become queen out of her desire to marry her true love and start a family.
  • H₂O: Just Add Water: Any human can fall into a Moon Pool and become a merperson, but all five of the people who do in this series are girls. Out of all of them, tomboyish Rikki has power over heat and fire, while the rest, who are more traditionally feminine, have varying powers over water. Mako Mermaids: An H₂O Adventure introduces mermen, but it turns out they're practically extinct because a pod of them tried conquering the oceans in the ancient past. In the present day, mermaids live in the ocean, while mermen are raised on land and get chased away from the sea by the mermaid pods.
  • In The Haunting of Bly Manor, there's a whole ghost dedicated to this idea: the Lady in the Lake. She is Viola, who, due to her premature death and her sister's betrayal, continues to drag lovers to their death, including Peter. At the end of the season, Dani sacrifices herself to take over the role of the Lady in the Lake, although she becomes a much more benevolent version.
  • Played with in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys regarding the Enforcers. The Water Enforcer takes the form of a beautiful woman... who is muscular, superhumanly strong, and laser-focused on destroying Hercules, slaughtering anyone who stands in the way. However, unlike the Fire Enforcer (who purely wants to destroy), the Water Enforcer has a few Pet the Dog moments with her human guide Gnatius, and eventually redeems herself enough to be sent to the Elysian Fields after her second death.
  • Morgana from Merlin is a cold, aloof Lady of Black Magic whose magical powers are often associated with water to contrast with Merlin's fire-based powers.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Madison from Power Rangers Mystic Force is the Blue Mystic Ranger with the element of water. She's the kindest and most feminine of the Rangers, and gains a Mystic Mermaid form.
    • Downplayed with Tori in Power Rangers Ninja Storm. She's the Blue Wind Ranger with the power of water and a dolphin motif, as well as the only girl among the Wind Rangers. She's a tomboy but is more mature than her male teammates.
  • Super Sentai:
  • Tidelands (Netflix): The sirens are water beings and depicted being all female. Most of their half-human children are women as well (though some men exist too) while they got more focus. Hybrids have abilities to manipulate water from their siren heritage.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Lady of the Lake of Arthurian Legend is traditionally portrayed as a beautiful water fairy. A wise enchantress, she bestows upon King Arthur the sword Excalibur.
  • Iara, whose name means "water mother", is a prominent figure in Brazilian folklore. Having been unjustly slain by her father after she killed her brothers in self-defense, she returned to life as a beautiful mermaid who lures men to the Amazon River in order to drown them.
  • Selkies in Celtic Mythology are beings able to take on human forms by shedding their sealskin. Scottish folk tales often have beautiful female selkies becoming the wives of human men who steal and hide their sealskin. However, the selkie wife will long for returning to her true home the sea, and when regaining her sealskin will abandon her husband and never return.
  • Classical Mythology:
    • Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. She is heavily associated with the sea, having been born from the sea foam formed when Uranus's genitals were thrown into the ocean. The Birth of Venus (Botticelli) famously depicts her emerging from the sea on a seashell.
    • The naiads are flowing water nymphs. Representing freshwater such as fountains, springs, rivers, and lakes, they are depicted as beautiful, light-hearted women.
    • The nereids are sea nymphs and symbolic of the sea's kindness and beauty, singing melodious songs as they dance around their father Nereus and appearing as gorgeous women. Poseidon/Neptune's wife Amphitrite/Salacia is usually identified as a Nereid.
    • Sirens are half-bird half-woman creatures who use their enchanting songs to lure sailors to jump into the sea and drown or shipwreck themselves.
    • Ceto, an ancient oceanic goddess and daughter of the primordial god of the sea, Pontus. She is better known as the mother of many monstrous creatures, including Medusa, Ladon, and Echidna, the last of whom, as consort of Typhon, became a mother of monsters in her own right.
  • Nephthys from Egyptian Mythology is the goddess of rivers and childbirth. In the Horus legend, she provided refuge to Isis after Set dismembered her husband, Osiris, and threatened to kill their child, whom Nephthys raised. The child, Horus, ended up overthrowing Set and becoming the new pharaoh. As a result, she also came to symbolize divine guardianship.
  • Hindu Mythology:
    • Saraswati is the goddess of rivers, arts, and knowledge. Often depicted as a beautiful woman dressed in pure white, she is celebrated for her healing and purifying powers of water. She would become known as Benzaiten in Japanese Mythology by way of Chinese translations of Golden Light Sutra.
    • The apsaras are water spirits in Hindu lore. Appearing as beautiful young women, they use their beauty to seduce ascetic men and dance for the gods. The apsaras are often the wives of the Gandharvas, the court musicians of Indra.
  • Sedna of Inuit Mythology is a sea goddess, said to be the daughter of a fisherman, who was thrown into the sea after she refused to marry men he arranged for her. When she attempted to cling to the boat she was thrown from, her father cut her fingers, which transformed into various sea animals (seals, whales, etc). The circumstances of her descent caused her to become vengeful, so the Inuit pray to her for a safe journey whenever they hunt.
  • Tiamat from Mesopotamian Mythology is the primordial goddess of the salt sea and a Mother Goddess who birthed countless deities, making this trope Older Than Dirt.
  • Mermaids in Nautical Folklore are half-woman half-fish ocean creatures often depicted as being beautiful. Considered unlucky by sailors, they were said to charm men and cause them to crash their ships. Other legends have them fall in love with humans.
  • Norse Mythology has Rán, the goddess of the sea. She has supremacy over souls who lose their lives at sea, catching them using her net (her name means "plunder"). Together with her husband, a jötunn named Ægir, she gave birth to nine daughters who personify sea waves.
  • In Slavic folklore, women who drowned in lakes or rivers are believed to come back to life as the vengeful Rusalka, a malevolent water spirit.
  • In Taíno Mythology, Atabey is often cited as the Taino's supreme god. She's a fertility and water goddess (as well as an Earth Spirit), alongside the masculine Yúcahu. Pregnant women prayed to Atabey to ensure a safe childbirth.
  • Taoism: Yin and yang are used to represent the concept of duality and can be interpreted as meaning "bright and black" or "positive and negative"; many things considered to be a dichotomy or opposing have been grafted onto this. Broadly, yin energy is passive and is associated with the feminine, water, earth, the moon, and nighttime.
  • In the Western Zodiac, the 12 signs are also grouped together by the four elements of water, earth, fire, and air. This gives the grouped-together signs Elemental Motifs based on whichever element they are categorized as. Water and earth signs are considered to be feminine and are associated with the qualities of being intuitive, emotional, sensual, and nurturing (the former element much more so than the latter).
  • In many Wiccan traditions, the element of water is considered feminine energy and is highly connected with aspects of the Goddess.
  • Anahita of Zoroastrianism. A goddess usually portrayed as an elegant, beautiful woman holding a water jug, she is worshipped as a divinity of water and rivers. She is also associated with fertility, health, healing, and wisdom, with her name meaning "pure" in Avestan.
  • In Western European areas previously inhabited by Celtic populations, like France and Britain, several river names are names of goddesses, like river Seine (from Sequana) and river Dee (from Devona/Divona).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Mage: The Awakening: Of the Legacies that focus on Elemental Powers, the Tamers of Rivers were originally an all-female order of nomadic healers and midwives, and their membership remains mostly women in the present day. They're described as embodying Water, the most feminine element, as the River, its most feminine aspect.
  • Princess: The Hopeful: inverts this. Water is the element of the Queen of Diamonds, whose emphasis on logic and reason makes her one of the least archetypically feminie queens.

  • LEGO sets sometimes veer into this:
    • In BIONICLE, almost all the elemental Matoran tribes are One Gender Races, with most of them being male. One of the only all-female elements is water. note  Averted for Skakdi, Glatorian, and Agori, whose genders aren't limited to a specific element.
    • Ninjago eventually makes its main water elemental, the Gray Ninja, Nya—who also doubles as the only girl on the main team. Played with in that while this is shown to be a familial trait, as her mother was also a water elemental, Nya is a very physical, tombyish girl.

    Video Games 
  • The Divine Water Palace in Age Of Wushu only allows female disciples to join and learn the subsect's water-themed, tai chi-like martial arts.
  • Alani from Battleborn. She's a demure female monk who was raised with a deep reverence for water, using it to attack or heal through nanotechnology. She has a feminine design with long braided hair with flowers as well as gills due to being half-Helician.
  • Bravely Default II: Gloria Neu Musa, princess of the lost kingdom of Musa, is the chosen hero of the Water Crystal, and she's also graceful, polite, and feminine.
  • Saint Martha from Fate/Grand Order. She's a beautiful saint overflowing with charm who's dressed in blue and fights using serene prayers. She's deeply connected to water due to having drifted on board a boat and reined in the Tarasque by the riverbank of the Rhone. Thus, she has the skill "Holy Maiden of the Waterside", which raises her attack power when around a body of water. Also double-subverted because she also has a very un-ladylike and un-nun like attitude that resorts to fisticuff violence (Her Ruler form where she dons a swimsuit actually had her use a brawling style that was apparently passed down by Jacob who wrestled against an Angel, and gameplay-wise has the skill that matches with the 'Holy Maiden of the Waterside', giving her buffs in an area that has water in it, which is highly ironic because this form utilizes her violent brawler side more), but she always backpedaled to her serene self quick enough or making it known that both her serene and violent sides were wholly part of herself.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Lenna Charlotte Tycoon in Final Fantasy V. Her innate element is water and she's an altruistic and diplomatic Princess Classic — feminine and graceful in contrast to her tomboy sister Faris whose innate element is fire. She was chosen by the Water Crystal because its essence is devotion.
    • Aerith Gainsborough and Tifa Lockhart from Final Fantasy VII are associated with water. Aerith is associated with rain and water in Advent Children, even creating a healing pool for those inflicted with geostigma. She is also heavily associated with the lifestream, which flows like water. Aerith was also laid to rest in a lake in front of the Forgotten City. Nojima even stated in the Advent Children Reunion Files that "Aerith has sort of a 'watery' image about her, so [the staff] used water to convey her presence". Tifa has a dolphin-themed hairstyle, uses water-themed attacks with Waterkick and Dolphin Blow as her Limit Breaks.
    • Leviathan in Final Fantasy XV is female and the Astral of Water, and a very haughty and wrathful goddess. The creators intentionally made her winged, serpentine appearance feminine:
      "Even though she is not a human being, she features beautiful, silky smooth lines characteristics of a female being."
  • Fireboy and Watergirl: Watergirl is distinguished from the Fireboy of the titular duo due to her association with water and girly appearance, with long hair and cheerful eyes.
  • Azura in Fire Emblem Fates wields power over water which is seen during her dance sequences, has long, flowing blue hair, and is a graceful, reserved Songstress garbed in a white dress adorned with blue ribbons. Her name in the Japanese version is "Aqua", Latin for water, and her epithet is "Lady of the Lake", fitting her water motif.
  • Gacha Life has Lado, a blue-haired Cat Girl whose element is water.
  • Genshin Impact has quite a few female Hydro characters who qualify:
    • Barbara is incredibly girly and almost all of her moves focus on healing the rest of the team.
    • Mona, a sensual, erudite mage in a feminine witch outfit who uses hydromancy for her astrology.
    • Kokomi has an iridescent, mermaid-esque design, which makes her very pretty to look at.
    • Nilou is a graceful dancer blessed with a Hydro Vision.
    • Bonanus was one of two women in the Foremost Yakshas and wielded the element of water.
    • Inverted with Furina, who has a very tomboyish and histrionic personality despite being the god of Hydro herself.
  • Golden Sun: Mia is the team's Mercury Adept and the resident healer, with the gentle, ladylike personality to match. Despite this trope, she is the only playable female Mercury Adept in the series, though her son and her first cousin once-removed got a lot of Viewer Gender Confusion.
  • Have a Nice Death's only female Sorrow (that is, world boss) is Catherine Imamura. The head of Death Inc.'s Natural Disasters Department, Catherine is a snooty water elemental with a geisha motif.
  • Indivisible has Thorani, the Team Mom who can summon water from her hair for attacking enemies or healing allies; she's also the most feminine of the main party members.
  • Jet Force Gemini has Vela, the female member of the playable trio of protagonists, who has a close affinity to water. She's the only character who can swim underwater, and do so indefinitely thanks to her technologically enhanced lungs. And the last major level she plays before heading to Mizar's Palace for the first time (and the place where she confronts her designated boss, Lurg) is a rainy military base.
  • Kingdom Hearts: The Two Guys and a Girl trios of protagonists have a Land, Sea, Sky motif through their names, and the sea character is always the girl:
    • Kingdom Hearts and its linear sequels have Kairi (the kai in her name can be translated to ocean), who is a kind and lovely young girl pure-hearted enough to be one of the Seven Princesses of Heart.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories introduces Kairi's Nobody, Naminé (nami is Japanese for "wave"). She is every bit as kind and lovely as Kairi and, unlike the latter, who is a bit of a tomboy, Naminé is a girly girl through and through.
    • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days has Xion, a Replica who mostly takes after Kairi's persona. Her name is pronounced "shee-on"; shio in Japanese means "tide". A recurring dream that Xion experiences throughout the game is her drowning in seawater.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: Aqua, a headstrong Action Girl with a blue Color Motif (her hair is blue, and her outfit has blue accents). Her name is Latin for water and her Keyblades have a water Theme Naming. She is graceful in battle and the most emotionally mature of the Wayfarer Trio, taking on a motherly role for her friends.
  • Meru in The Legend of Dragoon is the Blue Dragoon with water powers and a kind, optimistic dancer who's adept at healing.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Nayru from The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games is the oracle named for and associated with the Golden Goddess of water and wisdom. She has long, way blue hair, wears a blue-hued dress, and is a graceful harpist famed for her beautiful singing voice.
    • The franchise features the Zora, the recurring race of Fish People in Zelda canon who are strongly associated with water. In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time the Zora are ruled by a male king while the Sage of Water becomes his daughter, Ruto, who acts feminine towards Link to the point of proposing marriage in their youth. Curiously, since the Zora evolve into the Rito by the beginning of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker these somewhat feminine characters evolve into birds and subsequently into air elementals.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Out of the three Dragons that have lived on the surface (one of them perished prior to the events of the game, but is revived by Link), the female one (Faron) represents the water element. She watches over the crystalline waters of Lake Floria within Faron Province and is an elegant (if sometimes also cocky) Proper Lady.
    • Zig-Zagged in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The previous Zora Champion, who piloted the water-wielding mecha Vah Ruta, was the very feminine and ladylike Mipha — she was a kind and gentle princess, a renowned healer, girlier than her teammates Zelda and Urbosa, and was in love with Link. However, Link's ally in the present and the new Zora Champion of sorts is her brash and outgoing younger brother Sidon.
  • Mega Man:
    • Splash Woman, the only female Robot Master, in Mega Man (Classic) is a robotic mermaid associated with water.
    • Mega Man Zero has Fairy Leviathan, the only female among the Four Guardians. She is known as the "Ocean Goddess of the Blue Sea" and has a water theme.
    • Lurerre the Abysroid in Mega Man ZX can form a whirlpool and looks like a mermaid when her real body is actually a giant anglerfish robot. She acts like an innocent girl but is in truth violent and aggressive.
    • Queen Tia in Mega Man Star Force. She's cold and aloof, and as the partner of Virgo, she has water powers to contrast with her brother Jack's fire powers. She can become Queen Virgo, wielding water attacks in an armored dress.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire:
      • The Water-type Milotic. It is known as the Tender Pokémon for being able to calm human anger and hatred, and is regarded as the most beautiful of all Pokémon.
      • The Water-type Sootopolis Gym has all its trainers as women. Most of the female trainers are of the "Beauty" Trainer Class and all their Pokémon are female as well. Although both its leaders are male, Wallace (in Ruby/Sapphire) is very campy, and Juan (in Emerald) emphasizes the beauty, grace, and artistry of water.
      • Most Water-Type moves fall under the "Beautiful" condition for Pokémon Contests.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon:
      • Primarina, the Water-type starter Popplio's final evolution. Unlike its peers, the muscular pro wrestler cat Incineroar (Fire) and the hooded archer owl Decidueye (Grass), Primarina is a beautiful, feminine, and elegant opera singer whose design evokes sirens and mermaids.
      • Tapu Fini, the Water-type among the Alolan guardian deities, is much more feminine (along with Tapu Lele) than Tapu Koko and Tapu Bulu. Tapu Fini has long, light blue hair and, with its shell open, resembles a mermaid.
  • Quest for Glory: in the second game Trial by Fire, the water elemental has a decidedly female form.
  • Resident Evil: Revelations: Sea Creepers originate from women who were infected with the T-Abyss virus and died underwater. Unlike the other T-Abyss monsters, who are all amphibious, Sea Creepers are strictly aquatic.
  • Stella Glow: Lisette's signature element is water, as she not only can attack enemies with water (and eventually ice too) but also buff nearly allies so their attacks are imbued with water as well (which comes in handy when dealing with enemies vulnerable against this element). Her signature Witch song, "To The Sea", also grants a full heal to all allies as well as herself, and on the first wave it also fully restores their (and her) Mana Meters. She also happens to be the most graceful and loving of all Witches, and the protagonist Alto is her Love Interest.
  • Super Robot Wars:
    • Tytti Norbuck from Super Robot Wars EX is a kind, proper young lady and the Herald of the Elemental Lord of Water Gaddeath which is made in the image of a Valkyrie.
    • Aqua in Super Robot Wars MX has wavy blue hair and a name meaning "water" in Latin, and is a girly girl who frequently uses makeup and perfume.
  • Tales of Destiny: Played With. The Swordian of Water, Atwight Eks, is a long-haired feminine lady specializing in healing spells (when compared to the boyish female Mad Scientist). Her chosen master, Rutee Katrea, however, is tomboyish, greedy and a far outcry from the feminine White Mage that Atwight projected herself.
  • Temtem: Denizan mythology prominently features the Sea Queen, a goddess-like figure who lived in the Sillaro River. She's associated with Oceara, a species of Temtem who have a 90% chance to be female.
  • Zork Nemesis: Madame Sophia Hamilton, the only female alchemist, represents Water.


    Western Animation 
  • Avatar franchise:
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
      • Katara is the Gaang's native Waterbender. She is also the team's nurturing Team Mom.
      • Female waterbenders in the patriarchal Northern Water Tribe are only taught healing, a waterbending-only technique, and forbidden from learning how to fight, with men also forbidden from learning healing. The episode "The Waterbending Master" has Katara challenge the notion that female waterbenders should only heal.
      • In the third season, the Gaang meet with Hama, an elderly waterbender who acts like a kind grandmother. Except it's just all an act, as she is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing with a dangerous vendetta against the Fire Nation and knowledge of a dangerous technique called "bloodbending".
    • The titular character of the Sequel Series, The Legend of Korra, was born into a waterbending family from the Southern Water Tribe. She is contrasted with her initial love interest Mako, a male firebender. Though in terms of personality, they are an inversion of the usual tropes, as Korra is brash and hot-headed, while Mako is cool-headed and nurturing given that he raised his younger brother without a strong parental figure.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Gi is one of the five Planeteers chosen by the spirit of Earth, Gaia, to protect nature. Her signature element is water, so her Planeteer ring allows her to take control of it. She's also highly knowledgeable about marine biology, and dolphins and sharks are her favorite animals. Personality-wise, while she has some tomboyish traits (at least compared to the other female Planeteer of the team, wind-elemental Linka), she serves as a calming influence to the other planeteers, as well as a maternal member when Gaia is not with them.
  • The Queen of the Black Puddle from Courage the Cowardly Dog is a darker one. She's a beautiful, seductive sea demon with long blue hair and blue-tinted skin who uses her beauty and voice to lure men for her to eat.
  • Silvermist in Disney Fairies is a water fairy dressed in blue and the most serene and graceful (when she's not being air-headed) of the group of main characters.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures has Bai Tza, the Water Demon. She's one of the only two women among the eight Demon Sorcerers, looks like a demonic mermaid, and of a darker femininity.
  • Mermaid has a darker example. The rusalka is the evil spirit of a woman who died by drowning. She lives in the water and is not shy about swimming in the nude, seducing men with her beauty and singing voice to drown them.
  • Patty Storm aka Pluvia from MeteoHeroes has the power to control the rain, use water to attack and turn into liquid.
  • Ondine from Miraculous Ladybug is a sweet, cheerful girl whose name is based on the feminine elemental of water Undine. When turned into Syren, she becomes a mermaid obsessed with making Kim her prince.
  • Ninjago: All shown Elemental Masters of Water have been female, with the most prominent being Nya, who obtained her power from her mother Maya.
  • Shaolin Wuzang: Hua, the only girl in the main group, is the one with water powers.
  • Averted in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, where the two water-associated princesses - Mermista and Frosta - are the least feminine princesses. Mermista is a huge Deadpan Snarker, wears pants most of the time and at one point insists that she be represented with a knife, and Frosta is eventually revealed as a gung-ho tomboy who loves to hit things with ice gauntlets.
  • Steven Universe: While all gems are female, the ones associated with water are notably more feminine.
    • Lapis Lazuli is a blue gem with water theming and powers and has a traditionally feminine appearance, with her flowing skirt and dainty build.
    • Blue Diamond is associated with water, wearing blue, and having water-related powers such as using her tears to affect emotions and form clouds. She's also dressed in regal robes and is compassionate, intelligent, and patient.
    • Pearl is somewhat water-associated, with her room in the Temple being full of fountains and pearls in real life being formed by aquatic animals. She's also the most conventionally feminine of the Crystal Gems: her dancing tends to take its cues from ballet, many of her outfits integrate a dress-like or skirt-like element, her combat style stresses grace and elegance, and she's the Gem who most feels like a substitute mother to Steven.
    • Sapphire has ice powers and wears a dress, contrasting with her partner and later wife Ruby, who has fire powers and a much more tomboyish appearance and attitude.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: The Blue Lion, the Guardian Spirit of Water, is confirmed to be female by the creators (and one of the only two female Lions along with the Green Lion) and is described by Lance as "beautiful". After Lance becomes the Red Paladin, Allura, a kind, graceful princess, replaces him as the Blue Paladin.

    Real Life 
  • In Romance languages, the words for water (acqua, agua, eau, all derived from Latin aqua) are feminine.
  • An article discussing this was published on Vogue Italia.
  • In Paracelsus's writings, the Elemental Embodiment of water is the undine, typically depicted as a beautiful woman and drawing from similar creatures in classical myth (like nymphs). This is unlike the other Alchemic Elementals, a salamander, a gnome, and a sylph, who are not as gendered.
  • Pregnancy, a uniquely female bodily function, involves the womb filling with water (amniotic fluid), and birth is ushered in by said waters breaking.


Video Example(s):


Azura's Dance

The songstress Azura sings and performs a graceful dance that incorporates her water powers.

How well does it match the trope?

4.89 (19 votes)

Example of:

Main / WaterIsWomanly

Media sources: