Dear Retailers, Stop Making Superhero Costumes Pink And Saying They’re For Girls
Last year, my daughter was Wonder Woman for Halloween. It was one of the few superhero costumes available for girls that actually resembled the character she’s become familiar with. It’s one of the most iconic female superheroes. She was really hoping for a Hawk Girl, but I just couldn’t create the feathered wings that she wanted. So Wonder Woman it was, and she looked pretty adorable.
This year, as we started to look for costumes, plenty of names were thrown around. There’s still a hope that her mother will suddenly become crafty enough to construct huge feathered wings. She briefly experimented outside the superhero world, considering a mermaid or a Power Ranger. But once we actually hit the Halloween store, it was clear that another superhero was in our future. And as I started looking through the choices for female superheros, I have to admit that I was pretty disappointed.
Aside from Wonder Woman, there were absolutely zero accurate or appropriate representations of girl superheroes. The prevailing theme was to take popular male heroes… and turn their costumes pink. Oh, and give them a skirt with knee-high boots. That is how we create girl superheroes apparently.
Forget that the X-Men has a wide range of girls to choose from. Ignore that there are legitimate female superheroes to choose from. Yes, some of them are derivatives from their more popular male partners, but at least they’re characters in their own right. There really is a Batgirl in the superhero universe. However, she does not wear pink at all. The Caped Crusader would never allow for such a bright color. There were would be no camouflagingÂ it. Supergirl exists as well. Her costume matches her cousin’s, Superman. It’s not pink. The genius retailers behind kids’ costumes even decided that Wonder Woman simply wasn’t girly enough, and made a pink and purple version of her costume. Barbie made a generic “Girl Superhero” costume that wasn’t based on any character.
I’m sorry, but these costume are ridiculous. And they completely miss the point of being a superhero girl.
Other costumes might not be pink, but they don’t actually represent female characters. There’s a “Flash Girl” costume, but I somehow don’t think they’re talking about Jesse Chambers. There’s a “Daughter of Wolverine” costume. The girl version of Wolverine is his clone X-23, and she’s a bad guy.
There are girl superheroes! But they’re never going to gain the popularity of their male counterparts if we ignore them and making feminized versions of the leading guys. The mere existence of these girl costumes shows that there’s an interest. And there would probably be even more of one if we based the costumes on real characters, ones the girls understood, cared about, and related to. Wonder Woman, Batgirl and Supergirl are probably the big three, but there are more female superheroes in the comic universe, and they’re pretty cool. Black Widow and Catwoman were in popular movies this summer. Ms. Marvel and Star Fire deserve way more attention than they get. Black Canary and Power Girl are pretty awesome.
A pink version of a boy’s costume is the equivalent of offering pink jerseys to female football fans and thinking it’s adequate. It’s not. It sucks. Unfortunately, that seems to be all that we’re offering young girls at the moment. This year, my daughter and I just headed over to the boys’ aisle to pick out our costume. She was happy that the costumes actually looked like the heroes she knows, not just another glittery dress. Hopefully next year, the options will improve. Or I’m really going to need help constructing these wings.