Violet descending down an elevator shaft with her homemade rope, The Ersatz Elevator. Photo Credit:

The eldest Baudelaire child, an inventor, and right-handed, since Lemony Snicket’s first book in the Series of Unfortunate Events came out in 1999, Violet Baudelaire has been an icon to young girls as an advocate for unapologetic intelligence and equally unapologetic love for her family. Being the heir to the Baudelaire fortune, and being only a few years away from being able to access that fortune, Violet was the child with the biggest target on her back, but she did not let that hold her back from taking positions of leadership. 

Throughout the series (and adaptations), Violet has emanated the proud “Eldest Child” persona, in that; while sometimes her actions are brash and impulsive, she does it all with the safety of her younger siblings in mind. She knows that’s what her parents would have wanted. Despite her seemingly continuous stream of bad luck, Violet remains resourceful and polite, although, her rebellious and strong-minded nature remains in tact, especially when in the face of corrupt authority figures.

Violet was my first female hero because she took every unfortunate event that came her way across all 13 books (as well as in the movie and Netflix adaptation) and fought her way through them, and also never gave up hope in finding a place to call home. I was inspired by her ability to thrive in times of strife, and to take on peoples assumptions of what a girl should be. “My sister is a nice girl … and she knows how to do all sorts of things,” says her younger brother, a line of which has become synonymous in the series with a girls ability to challenge the norm and still be considered “nice.” 

After every book, the younger me only became more and more proud of her; she would take the expectations of those who doubted her purely because of her girlhood, and crushed them as she solved the mystery surrounding her parents lives before their untimely deaths. Although her true strength was never acknowledged or appreciated by anyone other than her siblings, she strived on, and kept the poise of a young lady. She was my first role model, and as I grew into a young woman, I found myself emanating more and more of her behaviours, and her resolve to push through hard times and through people who doubted me. 

-Emily Rawle
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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