"The few strong women in Hollywood movies and TV are safely located in an unreal world: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xena: Warrior Princess. The closest to an unapologetic feminist is Lisa Simpson—and she is eight years old, and a cartoon."—Johann Hari, in The Independent, in a piece titled "Where have all the strong women gone?"
It's an interesting article, and I hope you'll read it and discuss in comments. I have a few quibbles with it—when he says, "Hollywood largely gives us what we want—and we don't want to idolize strong, powerful women today," I think he underestimates how much of what "we" want is dictated by "Hollywood" in the first place, and when he says, "You will be encouraged to idolise empty shells like Jordan or Victoria Beckham," it bothers me, because I know that Victoria Beckham is not an empty shell; I've seen her be witty, charming, quick, and self-deprecating in interviews, and I like her immensely. That she is generally regarded, and portrayed by the media as, an empty shell despite not actually being one might be part of the answer to the question "Where have all the strong women gone?"
And, for whatever it's worth, Britney Spears is the last woman in the world most people would describe as strong, but how many of us could persevere under that scrutiny, without, at least, shaving our heads…?