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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Heroines giving women stronger role models

There have been many successful superhero movies which have attracted audiences, but they were all dominated by males. It begs the question how important are strong, lead female heroines today?

All the male heroes had a female companion, which made her just that, a companion or love interest. This means that they do come as a “sidekick” but, eventually they are all a damsel in distress needing to be rescued.

For instance, in “Thor: The Dark World,” Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), plays an intelligent astrophysicist who assists Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in saving Earth, but ultimately needs to be saved herself.

“Women are still considered a ‘niche’ both as audiences and as leads in films. That applies extra to superhero movies, which are still seen as driven by male audiences,” said Katey Rich of CinemaBlend.

One reason for the stalemate of female heroines as main protagonists in films can be found in previous film blunders.

In 2004, “Catwoman,” played by Halle Berry was considered one of the worst comic adaptations ever.

The following year, “Elektra,” played by Jennifer Garner was the last superhero film that revolved around a female.

Most comics are male dominated and can portray women heroines that are not very relevant or important, but times are starting to shift towards more female leads.

2012, the first “Hunger Games” movie adaptation was released and has received critical praise.

Its lead, Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is the heroine and a strong and brave character as well.

Everdeen’s character is full of passion and empathy that makes her a well liked character. She represents the “we can do it” J. Howard Miller message as well as a symbol of rebellion against “the real enemy.”

While boys have their Superman or Spiderman, teenage girls and young women have Katniss Everdeen.

Another upcoming female heroine is a part of the Marvel universe, Kamala Khan, a Muslim teenager will possibly be the voice of a new generation.

Khan can be a symbol and can help society understand different cultures. The heroine will be leading a normal life (aside from supernatural powers) which will make her more relatable to girls and society.

Girls of all ages tend to have multiple identities before finding out which one is right for them. They feel the pressures of society and may question how right or wrong those conceptions are. They tend to look up to certain celebrities for advice based on their music, acting, fashion, activities etc.

Certain forms of media may glorify these pop icons and make girls believe that this is what is “in” and what to follow.

Whether or not it seems childish to read a book or watch a movie aimed at younger kids, the lessons are universal. The same goes with reading a comic about a teenage girl.

To have a heroine helping girls identify who they aspire to be is definitely a positive step. It also shows the relevance of how girls are the main targets when it comes to self-identification. So having these lead female heroines can definitely spike the growth of confident and stronger women in the future generations.

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