With Purim just hours away, I’ve been thinking about who I’d like to dress up as this year. My Hebrew school students and I have conversations about superheroes every single week, but never about female superheroes. Occasionally, I’ll try to bring up a really cool female superhero I love, but the conversation almost always centers around men.
That said, I really wanted to dress up as a super awesome female comic book character (that my students would recognize), but the problem is I CAN’T WALK INTO A PLACE OF WORSHIP DRESSED LIKE A SINGLE FEMALE SUPERHERO.
There is so much wrong in that statement. Starting with, if I can’t wear it in a temple, how can it possibly be enough armor in a battle? Seriously! Here’s my list of fairly mainstream superheroines (meaning non-comic book readers would recognize the character by the costume):
- Wonder Woman
- Black Widow
- Emma Frost
- Kitty Pryde
- Black Canary
Many of these women are in jumpsuits with a zipper zipped under their chests. I’m not sure if male comic book artists realize that under a woman’s chest IS HER HEART. That’s a pretty important part of a human being to protect, so why is it always exposed!?!? Not to mention that’s cold and not very supportive.
The women who have a properly covered chest seem to either have their midrif exposed, or be wearing a bathing suit bottom with tights. Another thing I’ve noticed: while men get useful jumpsuits with utility belts, women get decorative belts. Or no belt at all. Because God forbid a female superhero’s waist is hidden! Even Captain Marvel, whose new costume was raved about for its innovative look, now has a decorative useless belt.
It’s honestly frustrating at this point. Put a super heroine in cargo pants! In combat boots! Super heroes have been featured in tee shirts for goodness sake! There is a very serious problem with this divide.
Sadly, the only superheroine I think is popular enough for my students to recognize who is appropriate is Batgirl in her new costume. I would love to see Squirl Girl become more popular. Not only is she a wonderful character, she has a jacket and a useful utility belt. Until then, I continue to pretend all of the characters I love actually lived in the Victorian Era and recreate more modest steampunk versions of them.
Do you think mainstream female superheroine costumes are starting to improve, or do you totally disagree with me? Let me know in the comments!