She is incredibly tech savvy. She has an Instagram account, keeps up with the Kardashians, has read all of John Green's books, listens to Macklemore and complains about her phone dying because of Snapchat. She can look at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr while binge-watching Netflix, and has to have wi-fi access at all times. She is a tween/teen girl and there is much more to her than the "basic" image she might portray. Gone are the days of climbing trees, playing make believe and dress up. Generation Z and Millennials have the entire world at their fingertips. In the process of holding the world in their hands, they have lost their ability to remain confident due to the tugging pressures of society and its hold on girls to look perfect. The focus has shifted from having a carefree childhood to worrying about her appearance and popularity.
More than 90 percent of girls want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest. The constant media stimulation young girls are receiving is, more than likely, a huge contributing factor. It's hard to love yourself for who you are when you are constantly being told, every second of everyday, that you are not society's definition of "perfect", because guess what? Absolutely no one is.
The solution to this problem is obviously increasing the self-esteem of tween and teen girls. This, however, does not happen by simply snapping our fingers or willing it to be so. This is a long process, but the first step is the realization that girls do not need anyone or anything to "save" them. They can be their own savior, or as I like to call it, their own superhero.
There is a huge lack of female superheroes in today's comics and films. 8.7 percent of DC Comic Book Creators are female, which is, more than likely, a huge explanation for the gender imbalance. As a girl who loves a good superhero film, I wish more than anything that I had more female characters to look up to. Not women that are sexy and flexible, and are the love interests, but women who are strong, brave and just as tough as the male superheroes. After having this opinion for some time, I began to wonder if other tween/teen girls, in general, would like to see more female superheroes as well. If so, what would she look like? What would her powers be?
At Camp Susan Curtis in Stoneham, ME, I discovered just that. I interviewed girls from ages 8-20 on the qualities their ideal "SuperGirl" would have. You may be surprised to hear what they have to say, or perhaps they will summarize what you have been thinking all along.
Well, DC and Marvel Comics... This is what young girls would like to see as a role model. Now it's your turn!