Heroine: Girls Can Be Superheroes Too

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At a recent trip to BJ’s, I found myself wandering over to the bakery. Next month is my daughter’s birthday, and she’d asked for a Marvel Superhero theme. So, I thought I’d browse through their cake design book.

There’s a boy section was filled with Pixar’s “Cars” and “Toy Story”, combined with ample selections of “Spiderman” and “Hulk”. But when I flipped through the girls section, all I found was a saturation of princess stuff dabbled with some “Frozen” themes. That’s great for parents of daughters that love dressing up as royalty, but when you have a little girl who’d rather be an archer or an action hero, it’s completely unhelpful.

Catching sight of the bakery attendant, I asked her if they have any sort of female superhero cake decoration options. She blinked at me, considered her answer, then said, “You know something? I’ve worked here 25 years. And I’ve never seen a female superhero come to think of it! That’s just wrong! Wonder woman would be great on a cake. I just never thought about it before!”

She never thought about it before. Which makes me wonder if we as parents consider this stuff.

I asked my buddy, Christian Stokes-performer director at Marvel Universe Live-if he is seeing more a trend to attract a female crowd. “I see quite a few girls (at shows),” replied Stokes, who is currently amid a European tour. “With Guardians of the Galaxy they have put forward a strong female character named Gamorra. Also, the X-Men have been pushing Mystique… In the comic books, they are replacing Tony Stark as Iron Man with an African American female named Iron Heart, so I see movement… that’s the state of the nation of Marvel as far as I see it.”

Maybe it’s no big deal that we market certain things to girls and certain things to boys. But what if it does? What if these small, subliminal messages are following us throughout our lives, and they actually shape the adults we become? What if less girls were interested in emulating Anna and Elsa and more wanted to be like Jessie Graff from Ninja Warrior? What if the message we taught our little girls that they can be a hero if they work hard enough?

“Anyone can be a hero, even those who cannot. They just have to believe.”

― T.A. Cline

 

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About Maia Rodriguez

"Military Mom" Maia Rodriguez was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but that was about twenty homes ago. After graduating from Syracuse University with a BFA in Musical Theater, she traveled just about everywhere in the country, lived in a green turtle-like tent for 6 months, toured and slept in the back of her van and even worked in Japan for a year. Then she met her husband who tamed her (ha!) and they embarked together on the adventure of parenthood in southern California where she worked as a professional pirate. Now, two children later, the family currently resides in VIrginia, where she sings for the US Navy as a vocalist. When she’s not mothering, she’s writing music for "Evernight," singing and writing for the Baby Bullet Blog.

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