It was an overcast, melancholy kind of day today, perfect for sorting through a kid’s clothing, painting the porch railing or finishing up the leaf raking that has still never quite gotten completed since last fall. I’m not saying that I actually did any of those things, just that it seemed like the perfect kind of day for it.
What I did instead was waste most of the day sitting at the computer, catching up on current events, researching fantasy football players and typing out this kind of foolishness.
Alaina was perfectly content to lie on the couch, snack on pretzels and watch movies all day, a busy weekend having wiped out what I had thought was an inexhaustible well of energy. She didn’t watch any of the newer movies that we’ve purchased, Finding Dory, Secret Lives of Pets, Kubo and the Two Strings, though she enjoys them all. Instead she watched Brave, Tangled, and Frozen, potentially reaching the ten thousandth viewing of each.
Besides the most obvious problem with this, that I might inadvertently get caught humming “Let it Go” at work again, I was also a bit confused, a bit concerned, about her reason. She still considers Frozen to be her favorite movie because “these girls look like me.”
I pointed out that none of these characters really look a whole like like her, told her that she needed to find something else to do besides watch Moana, her next request, and resigned myself to the fact that the little girl who once famously dressed as Captain America for Halloween was now at an age where representation was becoming important. She wanted to watch girl heroes.
Her favorite Teen Titan is Starfire, favorite Avenger Scarlet Witch, favorite Guardian Gamora, though she stubbornly still insists on calling her She-Hulk. After buying her a vintage Spider Woman action figure for her birthday she was disappointed that the character didn’t appear in Homecoming.
It’s a good time in pop culture for it. DC’s Superhero girls, the new Star Wars Forces of Destiny cartoon and toy line, the success of Wonder Woman showing that there are a ton of girls out there, girls like my daughter, that are interested in more than ponies and princesses.
After a little boy made fun of her Hulk helmet at the skate park today she’s decided she needs a new one, despite others complimenting her on it. She was reminded again that she can like anything that she wants, that she should never let anyone tell her what girls are supposed to wear, what girls are supposed to do. She missed the irony of having this discussion after an hour of scooter drop-ins on increasingly higher ramps while covered in fake tattoos.
There is a lot of work left to do, particularly with girl’s clothing and Halloween costumes, but it’s getting better, brands starting to realize that there is a pretty large market out there for girls that can kick ass. Girls that want their heroes to look like them.