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?”).

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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!