If you have followed me on this blog and are expecting something soft and sweet and all Bible-ish, you should probably stop reading this now. I’m teetering on inappropriate here, at least for “mixed company” but I’m irritated by something and what do we do when we’re irritated? We take to the cyber universe and air our thoughts, right? RIGHT! (I hope that conveyed an appropriate amount of sarcasm.)
I grew up with two older brothers, so it makes sense that I was more into Star Wars than Barbie. I played with G.I. Joe as much as I played with Strawberry Shortcake or My Little Pony. Mom and Dad never made and issue of the “sex” of our toys. We just played. Couple that with my natural nerd inclination and you have a pretty good recipe for somebody who enjoys a healthy dose of comic characters and science fiction. I am not obsessed with them by any means, but I have always enjoyed Star Wars, Superman, Batman, X-Men, and on and on and on. I don’t go to conventions or own costumes, but I think I could probably carry on a decent conversation on any of the above subjects.
My husband grew up reading comics and knows a lot more about all the characters than I do, but again, he isn’t obsessed by any means. No Han Solo costumes in his closet, that I know of, anyway. So, when our boys came along, we were more than happy to tell them all about the worlds that geniuses like George Lucas and Stan Lee and groups like Marvel and DC Comics had created. We play with Transformers and Star Wars characters on a regular basis. I love seeing my boys run around the house in their Batman costumes, fighting the bad guys, or imitating Star Wars character voices. (They are especially good at Watto’s voice by the way). Anyway, we like that kind of thing.
My sons are like little sponges and they like encyclopedia type books – like coffee table books that have hundreds of photos of cars. For Christmas, I ran across the coolest little thing – the FANDEX. These little “field guides” sell for around $10 and are a foldable “fan” of 50-100 separate pieces, each featuring a different subject. There is a Fandex for dogs, for trees, for Presidents, for First Ladies, States, etc. I thought my oldest son would love this, so I, of course, bought him the “Star Wars” Fandex. Since Christmas, we have literally worn the thing out. They know all the characters and we have a good time learning all about Luke Skywalker and the gang. They can’t seem to get enough of it. Love it. Highly recommend it.
Now, on to my real point. This week, I ordered another Fandex, just to have another one for them to read and the contents thereof have apparently sent me into complete, full-on, ORBIT. I ordered the DC comics Fandex (only because they didn’t have MARVEL – yes, huge difference I know) and was greatly bothered by something I saw: Namely, Boobs (and other stuff).
If you pick up any real comic, one thing you are going to see a lot of is BOOBS. GOOD GRIEF!!!! HOLY UNREALISTIC CUP SIZES, BATMAN! And, ok, while it’s not my cup of tea (see what I did there?), I understand some of the stylistic choices made by the artists. After all, the men are also drawn with RIDICULOUS muscles, where nobody really has muscles, so it makes sense that in the artists’ minds, they should…. shall we say…. “play up the assets” of the lady heroes. If I look at it strictly as an art form, I can appreciate the artistry of comics. Seriously – it’s incredible. Just so you know, I’m not going to get into a modesty discussion on this. That’s not what I’m talking about. Another subject for another day….
WARNING!!! RACY PHOTO ALERT!!!!!
Last night, I opened the DC Comics Fandex and found this:
Really???? POWER GIRL???? REALLY???? Does ANYTHING about this photo say GIRL? What does this photo say to you? BOOBS!!! Yes – that’s healthy for my son to see (he didn’t by the way). I want him to associate power with boobs. I want him to think that girls look like this. I want him to think that powerful women and girls portray themselves in this way. I really want my sons to think that real women are built this way and I want them to hold all of us to this standard, right? (Uhh…no.)
So, after I got done thinking about taking a Sharpie marker to this photo, I took a step back and asked myself “Wait, I wonder what her powers are – I wonder how powerful POWER GIRL really is.” What I found was even MORE disturbing. Let’s step back here and understand that I actually like how some women super heroes are portrayed. Despite their form-fitting and painted-on costumes, they are smart and capable and don’t need any man hero to bail them out. I like that! I like Wonder Woman! Nothing says Girl Power like the Lasso of Truth, right? I like how Black Widow is smart and agile and can kick some serious tail. Ok, so I thought, Maybe POWER GIRL is just the DC version of that. Maybe she is capable beyond her chest. NOPE! Now granted, she can fly and has superhuman strength but she’s missing something. Read on:
Yes – you read that right – her costume came in handy for distracting villains. YEAH, I BET IT DID. Again, we could talk about modesty and boobs and all that all day…. but that’s STILL not what bothered me the most. (Maybe it should have, but it didn’t.)
What bothers me the most about this entire thing is that last sentence. Kara (AKA Power Girl) told Superman that the first time she made that costume, (and presumably went to the nearest “European Wax” center. Sheesh.), she “wanted” to have a symbol like Superman…. BUT SHE COULDN’T THINK OF ONE. So…. she just let her GIANT BOOBS suffice. REALLY???? SHE COULDN’T THINK OF A SYMBOL?????
Is anybody else bothered by this? She clearly has some mean seamstress skills. She has great hair and a trendy hair style. The card says she is the chairperson of her team. She’s obviously friendly. She can fly. She has superhuman strength, but folks, SHE HAS NO BRAIN!!!!!!! She couldn’t think of a symbol? As far as symbols go, it’s not that stinkin’ hard! Green Lantern has a circle with a line on top and bottom. That seems to work for him! You can do all kinds of superhero things, but you can’t think of a symbol. So, just let it go and let your chest speak for you. Awesome.
Maybe I’m over-thinking it. I don’t know. I just want my sons to see women as more than just boobs. And I’m sorry if you don’t like that I’m talking about that. Boobs Boobs Boobs. We’re all adults. Get over it. Look, I know men are wired differently and all that, but I want my sons to understand that a woman can be attractive (no matter what size or shape) but that her best assets are her heart and her soul and her brain! I don’t want Kara/Power Girl to have to be a genius – but I just want her to have the brain power to at least come up with her own symbol, other than her chest. I want her to have power beyond her sex appeal.
I don’t expect my boys to be super heroes. I don’t expect them to be perfect in any way. But I’ll tell you this – I want my boys to value women of power. I want them to seek an educated woman. I want my boys to become men who value women as partners, not as objects. At the same time, I want them to open doors and hold hands and be protective, not because women “need” that, but because it is chivalrous and humble and just downright fantastic for men to be that way. I want my boys to value the beauty of women, not just their physical beauty, but their heart and their mind.
Moreover, I want WOMEN to value themselves more than just their bodies and their bra size. I want you to see yourself as capable of conquering whatever it is that you need to conquer, whether you are wearing a superhero cape, some scrubs, a business suit, or a baby puke stained shirt. Whether you wield a scalpel or a pen or a breast pump, I want you to know that you are valued today and always and that you are ENOUGH! I want you women to stop pinching your muffin tops and get out there and do something worthwhile. I want all you teenage girls (and guys) to understand that at the end of the day and at the end of your life, you will NOT be judged on your jeans size or by how many touchdowns you made. You will NOT be judged by your waist size or how many reps you did or how you completed your WOD at CrossFit or how much you could bench press. Focus on the things that matter. Build the things that will have eternal consequences. Your mind and your heart will be with you until the day you die. I promise that tiny waist and those six-pack abs will not. LOVE people. LOVE yourself. Being a hero to somebody doesn’t take a lot. You just have to use your heart and mind. That’s enough.
Sigh…. I feel the need to put in some disclaimers here. Yes, we talk about Jesus and the Bible as much as we talk about Star Wars. Yes, I realize that there are the same injustices and inappropriate expectations of men in the comics and the movies. Yes, I realize that I have publicly declared that I love Thor…and Wolverine….and that’s ok. We could probably write a doctoral dissertation on the inappropriate portrayal of women in comics and all that stuff. Yes, I know that I am not well-read in the comic world and very well don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m not looking to get into a fight here. Power Girl might be the opposite of what I have said…. But I’m just talking about this ONE thing. This ONE card. This ONE fandex (that is about to get edited in a major way). Also, I highly recommend the other FANDEX sets.
For what it’s worth, POWER GIRL and POISON IVY are about to get cut from the FANDEX but I’m leaving this one in. Even with her accentuated figure, she’s smart and capable. YOU GO, LOIS LANE! I hope my boys find and appreciate women like you.