Three years ago I became an uncle to one of the most high spirited and outgoing redheads. She is a trip to be around and has given me a new perspective on comic books. For example, I have no problem with taking a break from our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles marathon to watch Frozen. The music is fine, Olaf is hilarious, and I love the emphasis on individual independence. One of the major themes is to not fall in love with the first dude that hits your peripheral. Most times Prince Charming is poor, cynical, and you can usually count on him to be imperfect.
There are plenty of female role models in comic books like Wonder Woman, Bat Girl, She Hulk, and Catwoman ( nothing wrong with a little rebellion), but these are the ones I will be throwing her way first.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s Willow
Willow teaches us to embrace our nerdiness!! Nerds are dope yo, and tend to be some of the most imaginative and creative people who go forth and conquer. And, as the common fanboy knows, she is a role model for the LGBT community. If my niece one day realizes that she is a part of this community, I don’t want her feeling lesser than anyone else. Say she isn’t LGBT, I don’t want her thinking she is better than an individual different from herself. I’d like my niece to be able to look in the eyes of discrimination and say “this aggression will not stand, man!“
Fable’s Snow White
This Snow White must adapt to the real world, our world (you and I), and, on top of being a fairy tale character, she faces the issues common in households around the world. Her and Bigby (aka Big Bad Wolf) end up having children and as apart of Fabletown’s law no one can live in the human world who looks unlike a human. Because of this law and their children’s appearance, Snow White and Bigby are forced to move to The Farm. Not only does she have to give up her job as deputy mayor, but she is also forced to become a single mom when Bigby decides to exile himself. Being a single mother is tough, just ask mine.
Alana and her lover are from another mother/planet are in the midst of a galactic war between their two feuding martian races with a child caught in the middle. Fighting against the odds Alana keeps her family together by standing up for what she believes to be right. Alana teaches us a few things:
1. Always keep your head up and moving forward even when life looks unfavorable.
2. Never be afraid to love someone that is from another race, culture, and or background.
3. Most importantly, keep your family close to you, because they will never hunt you down during a galactic war.
Unfortunately we do live in a world with female heroes sporting Victoria’s Secret-esque armor who tend to be stagnant characters/pawns. With characters like Willow, Snow White, and Alana my niece has role models that are engaging and push her to take a look at her surroundings. I want her to question her role in this crazy world we live in and to not fall in line with the rest.