Heroes That Look Like Her


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.





41 thoughts on “Heroes That Look Like Her”

  1. It isn’t really about what they wear or who they want to look like. It is about finding wher her growing self fits. My daughter stamped her foot and tried to magic being a boy, she has two brothers. She played with their toys, dug holes skinned her knees and stuck her chin out when she said ‘I wont be you!’ I was teaching all three how to iron, use the washing machine and cook one simple meal. My theory was to bringcthem equally upto speed with independence. She refused to watch when we baked incase I made her too much of a girl. She said ‘I will never clean or cook for any man.’ Despite never being asked to do so. No she isn’t a lesbian though I would love her the same if she were. She is the head ( principle) of two schools and currently pulling a third around from the brink of closure, she is strong , loyal and commands respect. She may be small but she be feirce! As once was famously said. Her first headship was at 22 years the youngest I have ever met. So let your beauty chose frozen it won’t make her cold in the long run. X you’re doing a great job.

    1. I’ve made it a point to always tell her she can be whoever she wants to be, like whatever she wants to like, and dress however she wants. She’s fiercely independent and I want her to stay that way. Sounds like your daughter was the same, you have a lot to be proud of

  2. Please excuse the typos, my head is not so clear today. And she is now married and still doesn’t wash, iron or cook, (unless she wants to) she chose someone who wants to do it for her.

  3. I love this! I grew up at a time of Disney princesses. I had to search hard for heroines. Now there are lots to choose from. One of my favorites, Katniss Everdeen. I have hyper-extended elbows great for tennis, not so great for archery. Still, she pulled me from a funk after knee surgery. No lie!

  4. She’s so saturated in confidence that she can do whatever she wants, like whatever she wants, that the one boy’s comment was alien to her. That’s actually a good sign, a sign that you’re doing it right.

    Unfortunately, the flip side of being raised in a wonderful, supportive, encouraging environment is that it comes as a bit of a shock each time you learn a fresh way in which the outside world is not like that. Give her some scripts for handling people like that, and keep being a great dad—we need more like you in this fight, and that’s a fact.

  5. I love that they are now bringing forth Superheroines aren’t waiting for some man (or even some other woman) to save them and make them happy. That’s the way all of life should be, you find your own place in the world and your own happiness first. Thank you for being that Dad who wants to make sure that his daughter truly understands that she can be anything she wants to be.

  6. This is so beautifully crafted. I like your spin on words. It speaks to me in a certain way:

    “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.” Thank you.


  7. I’ve noticed that a lot of the Young Adult novels have really strong female characters in them now – girls who can kick and punch and think and plan and make witty comments – all at the same time. Great role models for our daughters. Maybe the costume makers and the movie producers will get more on board with this as time goes by.

  8. Amen! I love WW and Black Widow alongside my girls, but costumes for those ladies are kind of a nightmare! Halloween does have some work to do. I hope our generation and that of our girls can bring those changes forward.

  9. Bless her – there’s been a lot of debate about gender equality later and I agree there is so much of an assumption that girls all like pink and princesses. Erin loves dressing up as batgirl and Wonder Woman though – great to see a girl superhero that is still appealing to princess fans too! #humpdaylinky

  10. You are such a great dad! My own father encouraged me to put away preconceived notions about “girl stuff” and just do what I liked. This was greatly backed up by my having two brothers. It was the best gift my dad could have ever given me! #ThatFridayLinky

  11. Yes so true, as a mum of two girls I’ve been frustrated at the limited choice in the shops. As you say though, will all the female superheroes on the rise the shops are starting to follow the trend and see sense at last. #familyfunlinky

  12. We are having similar conversations in our house too recently, one negative comment from another child can seem to override tons of positive ones, but I think the main and most important influence is always from home and the encouragement of choice. Loved reading this and the humour too. #DreamTeam

    1. appreciate that Karen. You’re right about the power of negative comments. They really seem to carry more weight unfortunately

  13. I hate that she has ditched her hulk mask after another child made fun of her! That’s so sad. But I’m really pleased that there seem to be more female role models to follow nowadays. PS, Frozen is my favourite!! Thank you for linking up to #DreamTeam!

    1. she got over it quickly and is still rocking the Hulk Helmet. I was surprised that she let it bother her, even if only for a short time

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