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Nerd Boner Alert: Why the Super Heroines Make Me Feel Like a Prude

Katie Hutchison shares her views on unrealistic and realistic superheroines in comics and popular culture.


When I was a little girl, I didn't want to grow up and be Wonder Woman. Or Storm. Or Cat Woman. To be honest, I feel like I most identified with Dr. Hank McCoy, otherwise known as Beast (albeit, I am neither blue nor hairy). Super intelligent. Total BAMF. Awesome role model for a book worm who actually thought it was fun to take IQ tests.

wwnbaSo why didn't I think Wonder Woman was the ideal model for me? Some will proclaim that she is a figure of sexual equality, a feminist force that finally had the same main stream following that the likes of Superman and Batman were seeing. But to me, she was boring. Almost too perfect. There's a reason why Wolverine always gets picked as the most beloved X-men character. It's because he's flawed and fun to follow. Wonder Woman never did it for me- she never got in trouble and she could do EVERYTHING! Telepathy, super strength, super speed, crazy strong finger nails, microscopic vision, and so on and so on. With all of her powers she could have enslaved the world- and that would have made it a lot more interesting to read. I appreciate what the writers were trying to do with her character: create a strong female lead that never needed a man, who could kick major ass, whose lasso (and raw sexual magnitude) could force men to tell the truth. But... look at what she's wearing!

gagagnba
Lady Gaga looking a bit like WW in her video “Telephone”
Describe Wonder Woman's outfit: A bustier, no pants, and knee high boots. Is it Lady Gaga? A dominatrix? Nope, it's Wonder Woman. You would think that for a character so intent on representing women she would wear a little more fabric. As her costume currently stands at least, Wonder Woman must spend a lot of time hoping her boobs don't pop out as she rushes to save the day. And when she isn't kicking Nazi ass she must be spending a large amount of time and money at a salon getting a bikini wax.


And she's not the only one!  

What little girl would possibly be allowed to dress up for Halloween as, say, X-men's Emma Frost? Or Watchmen's Silk Spectre? Or Daredevil's Elektra? I know I wouldn't have been able to leave the house in any of those super heroine's outfits as a child. Or even as a teenager. And yes, at nearly 26 years of age I could totally throw on a red one piece bathing suit and a cape and shout "Hey look, I'm the Scarlet Witch" but I don't really want to. Because frankly, the super heroine costumes, well, they are just a little too revealing for my tastes and that makes me feel like a prude.

So who do I propose is actually a good role model for young girls?

Here are my picks for super heroines for a young girl to look up to (and has a costume that covers more than 50% of their body):

Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)Temperance Brennan (Bones)Rogue and Shadowcat /Kitty Pryde (X-men)

buffynbaAlright, let's start with why Buffy has always been awesome. Gifted with the strength and knowhow to fight demons, vampires, and other dark creatures as she entered high school, Buffy is a huge cultural and feminist icon. Created by Joss Whedon for a CW television series in 1997 and later adapted for comic books by Dark Horse, Buffy became a symbol of the anti-stereotype of a female in a horror role. The show followed her through high school and into college and aside from the vampire stakings, witchcraft, and occasional brooding cursed boyfriend going homicidal, she lived a fairly typical life. She struggled with certain aspects of her childhood and teenage years (an absent father, poor grades, typical break up issues) and to me, watching someone overcome both regular teenage problems and still having the time to take down Sunnydale's demonic mayor is a true heroine that we can all look up to.

bonesnbaSo I went outside the comic book world for my next pick of Dr. Temperance Brennan from Fox's Bones. She may not have any super powers, but she is super smart. Considered the top forensic anthropologist in the United States, Temperance Brennan is great feminist symbol for girls (and guys) to look up to. She helps the FBI solve murders, she's a successful novelist, and despite her perfect grades throughout her school years, isn't perfect herself. She is fairly awkward in social situations, has no real knowledge of pop culture (she once confused Will Ferrell and Colin Farrell), and has a brutal honesty about her that can be a turnoff to outsiders. And to me, that's a mark of a true hero/heroine- the ability to overcome personal issues and outshine everyone around you. *As a side note, Temperance Brennan loves Wonder Woman and dresses as her every Halloween. I find this amusing in the context of this article.

kittynbaAnd finally, back to comics. I've included both Rogue and Shadowcat/Kitty Pryde because they wear pants and kick major ass.  

So who is your favorite super heroine? Who else should we look up to? In the end this article was really just my opinion and I'd love to know my readers'. Let your comments/opinions in the section below!

Written or Contributed by: Katie Hutchison, Outhouse Contributor
The Outhouse is sponsored this week by Late Nite Draw. Recently featured on ComicsAlliances' Best Art Ever, he is a Chicago-based commissioned artist with a self-published Digital+Print one-shot coming out in October about the abominable snowman called ABOBAMANIMABBLE, and is also available for commissions. Check out some amazing art by clicking here or by clicking the banner at the top, and support the people who support The Outhouse.


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About the Author - Christian Hoffer


Christian Hoffer is the exasperated Abbott to the Outhouse's Costello. When he's not yelling at the Newsroom for upsetting readers or complaining to his wife about why the Internet is stupid, he sits in his dingy business office trying to find new ways to make the site earn money. Hoffer is also the only person in history stupid enough to moderate two comic book forums at once.

 


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