Of all the strong female characters in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series (and there are several), the one I love the most is a quirky Ravenclaw named Luna Lovegood.
Maybe it's because she's so delightfully whimsical. Maybe it's my #RavenclawPride. Either way, I've always loved Luna and she is one of my absolute favourite fictional characters. I love that she's quirky and clever, that she has limited social skills but can still read people very well, and I love how open-minded she is. Call her naive, but any girl who can confidently discuss the merits of a Crumple-Horned Snorkack while everyone else laughs is okay in my book.
One of the greatest aspects of Luna's character is how comfortable she is in her own skin. She's probably aware that people think she's odd (what with her nickname, "Loony Lovegood"), but she owns it and never apologizes for being herself, even if people shun her for being "weird". Sure, that means she doesn't have many friends, but when she's accepted by Harry and co, she proves herself to be the best kind of friend: loyal and supportive, easy-going and willing to join them on their adventures, whether its riding Thestrals into the city or staging a mini rebellion at Hogwarts. That scene in Deathly Hallows when the trio discovers she painted portraits of her friends on her bedroom walls always makes my heart twinge at the thought of lonely, misunderstood Luna.
As if the character herself isn't amazing enough, Luna actresss Evanna Lynch has an inspiring story leading up to her casting. Despite battling an eating disorder, she did everything she could to be well enough to audition - and, in the end, was so perfect for the role that she influenced the way J.K. Rowling wrote Luna's scenes in the last book. Evanna proved that she was more than her disease, and, through sheer talent, was able to bring the character that saved her life onto the big screen.
I think we can all learn a thing or two from Luna (and Evanna!) when it comes to self-acceptance and self-love. Make like a Lovegood and be proud of who you are, no matter what other people think.