Home » blog » Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television

Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television

Researching a variety of female characters that aren’t your typical damsels of yesterday or the physically “strong” female characters so common today definitely makes for a fascinating afternoon. Why? I discovered that taking literature outside of the equation limits the actual number of introverted or shy female characters in media drastically (I couldn’t even find any lists). Perhaps these timid females are just considered too “boring” in modern day to be written into television or films very often (or dare I even say the sexist phrase: too “Mary-Sue?”).

RELATED | Read my Review of the amazing French film Populaire

I mean think about it, how often (lately) have you seen that shrinking violet character too frightened to speak? Or even a character that doesn’t know how to socialize well? Or maybe she’s simply just introverted rather than extroverted. Perhaps shyness creates too human of female characters to be written on a regular basis. There are plenty of shy male characters interestingly enough. I don’t know about everyone else, but it is time to demand more variety in our female characters. Enough with the sassy, the quirky, the flirty, the girlfriend who doesn’t feel quite real, and the perfect feminist icon of “strong,” (everyone should read the article on “I Hate Strong Female Characters” Here). We need more introverted and shy female characters.

Let’s allow some shy girls to break into our stories more often. Until then, if you are longing to watch a movie or show (maybe you too are an introvert like myself) with female characters that aren’t your typical extroverts (or less awkward introverts), here are just 40 of the great shy female characters (sorry no anime) in film and television.

Interesting fact: many of these introverted and shy female characters stem from literature written at least over 50 years ago.

TOP 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters

(Alphabetical Order)

#1: Ada Monroe from Cold Mountain
Introverted and Shy Female Characters
Photo: Miramax

Content Note: This is Rated R.

#2: Amelie from Amelie
Introverted and Shy Female Characters
Photo: Miramax

Content Note: This is Rated R.

#3: Amy Dorrit from Little Dorrit
Amy Dorrit - Photo: BBC
Amy Dorrit – Photo: BBC
#4: Annie from Being Human
Being Human
Photo: BBC
#5: Bella Swan from Twilight
Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television - Bella Swan
Photo: Summit
#6: Belle from Beauty and the Beast
Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television - Belle
Photo: Disney/Silver Screen Partners
#7: Beth March from Little Women (1994)
Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television - Beth March
Photo: Columbia
#8: Carrie from Carrie
Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television - Carrie
Photo: MGM

Content Note: This is Rated R.

#9: Cassandra from I Capture the Castle
Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television - I Capture the Castle
Photo: BBC

Content Note: This is Rated R for non-sexual nudity.

#10: Cecily from Road to Avonlea
Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television - Cecily
Photo: Sullivan Entertainment
#11: Charlotte Vale from Now, Voyager
Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television - Charlotte Vale
Photo: Warner Brothers
#12: Daisy from Downton Abbey
Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television - Daisy from Downton Abbey
Photo by Nick Briggs (Carnival Film and Television)
#13: Davina from The Originals
Davina - Shy Female Characters
Photo: CW
#14: Dorothy “Dot” Williams from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television - Dot from Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
Photo: Acorn
#15: Fanny Price from Mansfield Park (1999)
Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television - Fanny Price
Photo: Miramax
#TIE WITH 15: Fanny Price from Mansfield Park (2007)
Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television - Fanny Price
Photo: ITV
#16: Felicity from Felicity
Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television - Felicity
Photo: WB
#17: Fran from Strictly Ballroom
Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television - Fran from Strictly Ballroom
Photo: Miramax
#18: Hannah from Everwood
Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television - Hannah from Everwood
Photo: WB
#19: Ingrid Beauchamp from Witches of East End
Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television - Ingrid Beauchamp
Photo: Lifetime
#20: Jamie from A Walk to Remember
Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television - Jamie from A Walk to Remember
Photo: Warner Brothers

Turn the Page for the Final 20 Introverted and Shy Female Characters!

By on April 30th, 2014

About Autumn Topping

In second grade, Autumn wrote her first story, “The Spinach Monster,” and hasn't stopped writing since. Intrigued by the tales her grandmother told of vampires, witches, and ghosts as a girl, she's always been drawn to the fantastic. Later, Autumn studied English and Creative Writing (continuing her love for classic literature and everything old-fashioned) and graduated with an MA in Children’s Literature and an MS in Library & Information Science from Simmons College. Currently, she co-runs this lovely blog and works as a YA Librarian.

More posts by this author.

11 thoughts on “Top 40 Introverted and Shy Female Characters in Film and Television”

  1. Great list! I’ve seen most of those shows and agree they make interesting characters. Everyone doesn’t have to be an extrovert. I agree, the emphasis on “strong” female characters now feels stock and rote. We need more widely diverse characters overall.

    Reply
  2. Belle is in no way ‘shy’. She’s just intelligent and introverted. Maybe she comes across as shy because she’s not your standard Disney ball of energy, but she’s not shy by any standards.

    Reply
    • I used shy as a general term. If you read my introduction, you can see that I was including introverted in the conversation. Though I do think Belle does not come across as being comfortable socially.

      Reply
      • You raise a fair point there. I wouldn’t call her introverted personally, more… somewhere in the middle, i.e. ambiverted. She’s awkward around some of the characters, i.e. Gaston, because he only really wants one thing from her, and of course wants to make her life a living hell when she refuses him.

        Reply
    • Disney ball of energy? It’s not like Belle is the only Disney Princess to be introverted. Cinderella, Aurora, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, and Elsa would also fall under the introverted category. And I agree that Belle is not shy; Not even around Gaston.

      Reply
  3. Kiara Westford -“Rules of attraction”(Simone Elkeles- I know this is a shallow novel, but I fell in love with the style of the author.)

    Linda Owens- “Beastly”(Alex Flinn)

    Anne Elliot- “Persuasion”(Jane Austen)

    Angela Weber- “Twilight”(Stephenie Meyer)

    Harriet Pomeroy-“Ravished”(Amanda Quick)

    Penelopa Marbury- ” A rogue by any other name”(Sarah MacLean)

    Anna Wren-” The Raven Prince”(Elizabeth Hoyt)

    In my opinion , these would be the characters who stood out by their shyness .It’s just a personal opinion , of course

    Reply
  4. Thank you so much for this list! I am, and always have been a painfully shy woman. I used to wish I were more extroverted, but I now accept the fact that I’m not. I now feel that my shyness gives me a unique, mysterious vibe.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.