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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Essay: Supporting A Daughter’s Love for Superheroines (While Wishing There Were More of Them)


It all started with She-Ra. I was strolling through Target and I saw The Princess of Power on DVD. I thought my daughter might get a kick out of the ’80s cartoon I grew up on. So I grabbed the story of He-Man’s twin sister and introduced my daughter to a whole world of girls who save the day and fight the forces of evil.

So began my four-year-old daughter Brenna‘s love affair with superheroes and my education about a whole world of storylines and characters that I would soon become intimately familiar with.

We moved on to Justice League cartoons and movies, some of which seemed a little too adult for my pre-schooler. But she just wanted a show with as many girls as possible. Sure, she loved The Flash and Martian Manhunter, but she needed more Hawk Girls. Younger shows, like the Super Hero Squad, were exciting but left her a little frustrated.

My husband and I supported her newfound interest in saving the day and defending the world. I researched the characters online, so that I would be able to answer the myriad questions about this new form of justice my daughter was discovering. We created or bought superhero costumes so that our little girl could stage elaborate rescues in the living room. We bought comic books to mix in to our pre-bedtime reading routine. And of course, we sat together and watched Superman save the day or Batman outsmart ‘em all.

When Brenna started school this year, she began to realize that most girls in her class weren’t particularly concerned with superheroes or bad guys. She started asking, “Am I playing with boys toys?” I tried to reassure her that there was no such thing. Toys weren’t made for boys or girls; they were made for every child to play with. I got out my gender-neutral parenting guides and I attempted to make her feel secure in her interests.

She reacted by looking even harder for girl superheroes to cling to. Any trip to the toy store included a walk down the action figure aisle, digging under Captain America and Thor, trying to find a buried Star Sapphire in the mix. My little girl convulsed with joy the day we found Cheetah.

For her birthday, she decided on a Batman theme. See, she’d been Wonder Woman for Halloween and Bat Girl was the only other girl superhero costume we could find. As we bought the napkins and party favors, the teenage boy working check-out asked, “Is it your brother’s birthday?” My pre-schooler pulled off a highly offended glare that any mean girl would be proud of. “No, they’re mine,” she informed him.

When the big day rolled around, girls from Brenna’s daycare and dance class seemed a little confused with the unfamiliar decorations. I received raised eyebrows from more than a couple parents who thought that the black, gray and blue balloons were “a little dark” for a young girl’s birthday. It was one of those moments when I questioned whether we should have suggested a fairy birthday instead. It was a moment when I wished that there were more little girl superheroes for my daughter and her friends to get involved in.

Suddenly, I heard my daughter rallying her troops to do battle with imaginary dinosaurs. One of her friends admitted, “I have bad dreams where dinosaurs are coming to get me.” The girl look terrified at the prospect of playing with dinosaurs, even if they were pretend. Then, I felt the pride swell in my chest when my daughter looked at her friend and said, “Make it a good dream. Fight the dinosaur and win! Then the dream is good.”

Male or female, superheroes have taught my daughter that she can face down evil and take care of bad guys on her own. It’s the perfect type of imaginative play for a strong little girl like mine. But it still makes me wish that superheroes weren’t only available in the “boy aisles” of the toy store. I wish we didn’t have to search for weeks to find a Super Girl tee-shirt. I wish more girls got to experience the confidence that comes with putting Lex Luther in jail and saving the city from Venom.

Lindsay Cross is a mother and writer in Indiana. You can find her discussing imperfect parenting at Mommyish or complaining about life on Twitter.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/F6WDMXYFH6S5NTOYGNP6WPXGFA Sarah

    Oh, and she is ROCKING that Wonder Woman costume!

  • http://twitter.com/JayKingOfGay Jay, King of Gay

    she’s probably still too young, but Buffy is a good one for her when she gets a bit older. My suggestion would be to leverage zazzle.com or other custom ordering place. If there isn’t a supergirl t-shirt, make one. Make one for Star Sapphire, and Ms. Marvel, and any other hero you want.

  • Jennifer Graybeal

    Love this! So glad you didn’t go with the Fairy theme. My daughter had a Batman party too, complete with a visit from the big himself (did you know Batman makes awesome ballon animals? true story)

    It is tough to find super hero girls, but stay ever vigilant! My girls are now 13 and 16 – and they still watch Justice League. My 16 yo was Bat Girl for Halloween, too.

    Couple of things my girls like: PowerPuff Girls, Sailor Moon, Nausicca, and Princess Mononoke. The last 2 are not exactly super heroes fighting crime in a big city, but they are awesome nonetheless.  

    Good luck!
    Jen

  • Laura Valentine

    Totally seconding PowerPuff Girls. Tiny little superhero kindergarteners!

  • Pauline Mulkerrins

    I commend you! I went through this when I was little. I remember scouring the action figure aisle, my chubby little arms deep in the rows of crappy secondary boy characters that SUCCCCKKKEEDDDD to find the *one* female team member. With a sigh and a pout, I made my way to the just as important Barbie aisle. I did walk the line (I still do). I am so happy you are supportive. My Mom didn’t indulge me, and had the internet been around when I was little I would have been in heaven, being able to find whatever I wanted. So kudos!!! Wish I could time travel back to myself and say “some day, you are going to get a discount at the comic book store just for being a girl! You are special and awesome!” I don’t know if that’s true today (the discount) but that’s good news, girls aren’t so rare in the comic book stores anymore :) 

  • Melissa Sweet

    She probably already reads Tiny Titans, but they have a nice mix of boys and girls.  Also try watching the Legend of Korra (which is the sequel to “Avatar: The Last Airbender”).  

  • Anonymous

    Thirded!  My daughters and I went as Bubbles, Buttercup and Blossom one fantastic Halloween 10 years ago.  Homemade costumes (very easy) and some liquid cake dye in our hair made for a great holiday, super photographs and amazing memories.

  • http://twitter.com/Paraveina Caitlin

    At thinkgeek, the Large shirt in the kids section has a 32″ chest…the same as the Small shirts in the Women’s section. I assume she’d still be in the kids section, but soon she’ll be able to get the small women’s shirts. May I suggest Self-Rescuing Princess or the Batgirl Costume t-shirts?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QZTQORZOGI4B6DQOTEJPF6RROE K@

    I adore this little girl! (and her awesome parents!)

  • Jamie Jeans

    I admit, I got teary-eyed at the end there when your little girl told the others to fight the dinosaurs and win, then it’d be a good dream. You and your husband are doing a great job. And yours is not the only daughter whom parents are doing their best to support in their love  of superheroes.

    And take her to see Brave! I don’t know how intense it might be, but Pixar is showing a young woman as a lead and I think that she’ll love seeing her kick butt, take names, and be awesome.

  • http://blog.tinasol.net/ Anoona

    She’s adorable! Unfortunately there aren’t many superheroines but if she wants something with a lot of girls kicking butts, there’s shows and comics like PowerPuff Girls, Totally Spies, W.I.T.C.H. and Sailor Moon.

    The latter never made me want to be a princess. Just blonde.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/F6WDMXYFH6S5NTOYGNP6WPXGFA Sarah

     Or even the original Avatar: The Last Airbender series. Plenty of admirable female characters. Even the villainess is compelling and three-dimensional.

  • Anonymous

    My little niece watched Buffy with me when she was about five or six, and was never afraid of monsters because she knew Buffy would save the day.  I’d show her a picture of Sarah Michelle Gellar and ask, “Who’s that?”  She’d say, “That’s Buffy.  She kills the monsters!”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R7GVNIKWG3S2UTHEQOMSZXT4M4 Anna B

    Such LOVE.

    Dad was the one who gave me this gift. My mom, though a role model to me, was not a self-confessed geek, even if she played PacMan and Battle City obsessively on our old console. Dad was the one who introduced me to Star Wars and superheroes, and he cultivated it by constantly making up bogus stories about superheroes in the news and pretend continuations to the Star Wars series. He was also the one who brought me to an old mall where he picked up VCR movies for our video store from his suppliers–a mall that was basically some kind of Geek Emporium. I spent HOURS there with him.

  • Jennifer DesRochers

    Check out Etsy.com for lady superhero goods! You can also try making your own t-shirts. I’ll also second Legend of Korra- great show. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/bubbashelby Eric Stettmeier

    Lovely story. My 10 year old daughter still plays with superheroes too (and still struggles to find girl ones) – fortunately her daddy is ever vigilant and has gotten her many both old and new to fill the  ranks!

    Be sure she checks out the animated Super BFFS shorts as well! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7ging4Nqww

  • http://twitter.com/gabbysilang gabby

    The kids merch at 
    http://www.superherostuff.com/superhero-kids-merchandise.html is pretty awesome, check it out!

  • http://twitter.com/ssuperheroes Simply Superheroes

    Kudos to  you for fostering Brenna’s interest in female superheroes.

    As a superhero shopping website, we get phone calls and emails from Moms and Dads asking us about party supplies for Wonder Woman plenty of times.  Unfortunately, Hallmark (who has the licenses for both DC Comics and Marvel superhero party supplies) will probably not make them unless a Wonder Woman movie that gets released. 

    Would you believe Superman was discontinued by Hallmark a couple years ago? My hunch is they will probably be released again when the Man of Steel movie comes out next summer.

    Because of the strong interest in female superheroes on our website, we have a collection of them we call Girl Power: http://www.simplysuperheroes.com/collections/girl-power

    We hope Brenna will like what we have to offer!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kalynn-Osburn/100000209378615 Kalynn Osburn

    Have you shown her Super Best Friends Forever?

    She should be proud to know that her daughter is facing a quandary many geek girls have faced for decades. We love our heroines, no matter how scantily clad they may be, but not only do we not get enough of them, but there really isn’t much merchandise to be had with the exception of Wonder Woman and that’s usually on “girl” oriented items such as purses and wallets.

    You may need to take her to a Comic Book shop. They more often than not have figurines of various costumed ladies though it would be shelling out a lot of dough for something your kid is going to “help fly through the air” and crash into the coffee table more than once.

  • http://twitter.com/RockShrimp Willow

    not quite the same genre- but Tamora Pierce might be fun as she gets older.

  • Joanna Sandsmark

    I was just like your daughter when I was a little girl. I spent my allowance on comics every week. My favorites were Supergirl and Lois Lane. I rediscovered comics as an adult, focusing more on Wonder Woman. I got very involved. In fact, Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark) is named after me. So you tell your daughter that she’s not playing with boy toys and that’s not the boy aisle. Girls make awesome superheroes and she’s on the right track. Take it from one Wonder Girl to another.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kalynn-Osburn/100000209378615 Kalynn Osburn
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bexley-Lister/100000454520033 Bexley Lister

     I second the Buffy & Tamora Pierce recommendations, and don’t forget Xena!

  • http://www.raingeek.com/ James Strocel

    Does anyone else find it interesting that Sailor Moon, Nausicaa and Princess Mononoke come from a country where nobody worries about Gender neutral parenting guides? I think the reason that there aren’t that many female superheroes is because we are too busy politicizing childhood to create good characters that appeal to girls.

  • John Wao

    Might I recommend Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, or anything by Miyazaki for that matter. It’s about a little girl who must rescue her parents after they’ve been taken into a spirit world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/katharine.tapley Katharine Ellis Tapley

    Super Best Friends Forever!

    Oh, and have you seen the little girl who wanted to be Princess Darth Vader for Halloween? Add your little girl for a play date of EPIC awesome!

  • http://www.facebook.com/wackyfacedme Angel Fernandez

    I pray that my daughter will be as adorable as yours. And thumbs up to you and your husband, you’re doing it right. :)

  • http://twitter.com/Medea4545 Rachel Deleery

    She may be a little young but Teen Titans (the TV show) might be good. Raven and Starfire are given a lot of screen time. You can also take her to go see Brave when it comes out. Not necessarily superhero but the princess seems to be developed.

  • Anonymous

    THAT’S EXACTLY HOW I FELT AS A KID!!! Like unbelievably.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1634930960 Jessica Marie Glover

    I highly recommend buying ”Womantholgy”.. http://www.amazon.com/Womanthology-Heroic-Ann-Nocenti/dp/1613771479
     It is VERY kid friendly, and a great inspiration for girls. There are even several young female comic’s work in there. We also love clockwork girl http://www.amazon.com/The-Clockwork-Girl-Sean-OReilly/dp/B007MXDXXE/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335923996&sr=1-3, and all of the oz comics (Ozma of Oz ect.) http://www.amazon.com/Oz-Ozma-Eric-Shanower/dp/0785142487/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335923953&sr=1-1

    My household are BIG fans of comic and graphic novels (My recent favs are izombie, fables, madame xanadu and lady mechanika) and I have two girls, 8 yrs, and 14 yrs. My 8 yr old has opted to wear all “boy” clothes, and is def not into anything defined as girlie and it’s interesting to see the response of even open-minded, loving folk. Just gotta stay strong for our girls, and let them inspire us right back… ;) Thanks for the essay.

  • http://profiles.google.com/andreakhost Andrea Höst

    Sailor Moon, etc, also come from the country of panty shots and used underwear vending machines.

    Most countries have a range of good and unfortunate options.  Striving to do better is never a bad thing.

  • http://twitter.com/DerekAlverson Derek

    As a father of an almost 4-year-old girl, this article made my heart swell. You see, I’m a 32-year-old comic fan. What I can share with my daughter is my love for super heroes. Teaching her about Wonder Woman and Batgirl as well as Batman, Superman, Green Lantern and Flash (the last 2 my personal favorites), has been what we can have fun doing! She hangs out at the comic shop (Captain’s Comics & Toys in Charleston, SC) with her “Uncles” and learns all we can about super heroes! My wife and I have bought her a mask and cape and she says she’s “Spider-baby” and “Super baby” and saves the day! I made sure that she has a Wonder Woman book that tells her all about how amazing a character she is, along with her ideals. She has Supergirl t-shirts as well as Spiderman shirts. I never want her to feel like what she likes is wrong and will fight alongside you and your daughter to show that these heroes are for both boys AND girls! Batman always has Batgirl, Superman always has Supergirl, and there are women in the Green Lantern Corps! (My daughter can say the oath! (yes, I did nerd out!))

    My rant is just to say this: you aren’t alone in this! I love that my daughter loves super heroes, and want only to allow that love to grow! You are awesome for not buckling to looks and awkward moments, because super heroes make your daughter happy!

    You are an amazing parent! From one to another, I say well done!

  • http://www.raingeek.com/ James Strocel

    The panty shots still prove my point. We pay so much lip service to media equality that we ought to be ashamed of being shown up like that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/angelica.brenner Angelica Brenner

    Give her a year or two, then introduce her to magical girl anime! All the kick-butt of superheroines coated in pretty outfits that would make any Disney Princess jealous. Sailor Moon and Cardcaptors pretty much WERE my childhood – DVDs are probably hard to find these days, but if you’ve got decent used video stores around it’s worth a hunt.

    (Just make sure the shows you pick out really /are/ kid-appropriate – like superheroes, the magical girl genre does have a few titles that take a sexier and/or scarier turn. Don’t want to accidentally introduce your kid to the magical girl equivalent of Watchmen before she’s ready!)

  • Anonymous

    Very cute.  I’m with you that there need to be more superhero toys that girls can play with without being told that they’re playing with “boy toys.”  Actually, not just superhero toys either.  When my now-9-year-old sister was about five (rather large age gap between us, lss), some other mothers were shocked that our mother let her play with… Thomas the Tank Engine.  Our mom had assumed, as did I, that Thomas was pretty gender-neutral and so we bought the trains for the little girl for her birthdays and so forth.  But apparently only boys are supposed to play with anything remotely related to machinery… what the heck?  Sure, to this day the child has some more stereotypically masculine interests (she loves Portal and Minecraft), but she also likes horses and glitter.  Kids like what they like.

    That said, I also think young boys need to be permitted to play with more stereotypically girl toys.  The son of a friend of mine likes to play with dolls–not because he’s gay or perceives himself as a girl, but because he wants to be like his daddy, a man who loves and nurtures his children.  What’s so bad about that lesson?  Or, when I was a kid, I had an Easy-Bake oven that my brothers also liked to play with.  It didn’t turn them gay.  If anything, I think it’s *taking away* their toys that confuses kids.

    Proof in the mind of a logical child:
    Premise 1) “Only little girls like to play dress-up.” (“Only little boys like to play with Legos.”)
    Premise 2) “I like to play dress-up.” (“I like to play with Legos.”)
    Ergo: “I must be a girl.” (“I must be a boy.”)

  • Anonymous

    Over the years I collected mostly female superhero action figures because I identified with them more; the toy makers have always made few figures representing the female characters, and always shortpacked them.  But, if you are willing to pay scalper prices on eBay or speculated prices at places like toywiz.com, they can be acquired.

  • Anonymous

    I was thinking the same. Sadly, I’m more an expert in strong heroines of a non-super bent, since that was my childhood addiction. 

    I don’t know how the new series has done to her, but I loved the original Cheetara as well, when I was a kid. 

  • http://twitter.com/juliannacondor Julianna Condor

    I have to add a recommendation for Young Justice — it might be a little old for her yet, but it’s got great female heroes, and the toy lines are (I think) still active and available. Plus she should be familiar with the universe if she knows a little Batman/Superman. :)

    Korra is also fantastic, as is Avatar, and I think it’s something she can get into even at her age.

    And when she’s quite grown up, it’d be fantastic to introduce her to the female Commander Shepard. She’s the hero I wish _I_ could be when I grow up. :)

  • Anonymous

    Because if we don’t talk about it, it’ll go away — just like racism!  Yay!

    Look, I get it.  Talking about gender is weird and difficult.  I sympathize; genuinely, my snark above aside, I sympathize.  But if we don’t talk about stuff like this, if we don’t strive to provide examples of heroism to our little girls like we do to our little boys, we ARE being shown up.

  • http://taste-is-sweet.livejournal.com/ Taste_is_Sweet

    Completely agree about how toys need to be far less gender-specified in general. How can we eve hope to have gender equality if children are taught right from the outset that certain toys can only be played with by one gender or another? I’m proud that my son not only enjoys ‘My Little Pony’, but wanted to be Princess Cadence instead of her husband Shining Armor, after seeing them both in a recent episode. Why did he want to be the princess? Not because she’s female, but because she has wings *and* a horn and can do lots of magic, so she’s just the cooler character. I hope he’s always able to choose function over form, so to speak.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tamora-Pierce/1209655487 Tamora Pierce

    In the non-superhero, fantasy book department, there’s Bruce Lansky’s series GIRLS TO THE RESCUE and Jane Yolen’s book of stories, NOT ONE DAMSEL IN DISTRESS!

  • Anonymous

    Try getting her into Anime.  There are some titles that are kid friendly.  But watch the anime before letting your daughter watch it to make sure its what you want her to see.  I would suggest Card Captor Sakura or Sailor Moon (not the last season though).  Not the American edits but the original Japanese show.  You can find many more Japanese heroines than American.  You can also preview things on crunchyroll.com

  • Anonymous

    And awesome costume!! =D

  • Anonymous

    Indeed.  Lots of little girls like to be male characters when these characters are perceived as cooler–everything from Batman to Winnie the Pooh–but people freak out when a little boy wants to be a female character.  What gives?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jodi.scaife Jodi Scaife

    Every little girl should learn to be brave enough to slay dragons!  Part of the fun of loving superheroines and gutsy girls is how it teaches use to stand up for ourselves.  When she’s old enough I bet she’ll be a diehard Buffy fan, too. 

  • Anonymous

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  • Lindsay Cross

    Oh my Heavens! I read the Tamora Pierce books at least a hundred times in middle school. They were the very first entry I into fantasy writing. I’ve loved it ever since. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/Travis.K.Fischer Travis Kyle Fischer

    Oddly, my little brother is all but a lost cause when it comes to heroes, wizards, and everything cool. We watched the original Transformers movie once and while Optimus Prime was rolling over an army of Decepticons, the only thing he was interested in was what kind of semi-truck he was.

    My little sister, on the other hand, I’ve had more success with. Sadly, I’ve been stuck in the same boat as this guy. She loved Spider-Girl (Mayday Parker) and Young Avengers, two books that Marvel jerks around like a yo-yo, thanks guys, big help. :|

    The tough part is that not only are there so few girl oriented properties out there, but most of those characters aren’t the kick-ass heroes that would give girls the same kind of role model boys grow up with.

    In a “Girl’s Show” the main characters may save the city from the evil villain, but it’s usually through the power of friendship, not the power of their hyper bazooka.

  • Sanjay Merchant

    “Make it a good dream. Fight the dinosaur and win! Then the dream is good.”  Good advice for anyone feeling scared or overwhelmed.

  • http://twitter.com/amongthegoblins Katherine Traylor

    I second this. Cardcaptor Sakura would definitely be a good one, and maybe Magic Knights Rayearth? You’ll want to screen them first, though, because it’s hard to remember which ones are secretly marketed at pervy Japanese businessmen and which ones are genuinely for little girls. :P 

  • http://www.facebook.com/Gorillazfan Emily Hill

    I didn’t become a comic fan till thirteen but I did watch cartoons and anime like powerpuff girls and sailor moon I show these kinds of shows to my niece cause she is a girly girl but I want her to know that superhero work isn’t just for boys she actually wants to go as Sailor Chibi moon if I can convince her mom to let me take her to Mechacon cause she says Chibi is the only kid her age I’m looking through young Justice and Teen Titans for girls around either eight or a couple years older if anyone knows any could you send me names

  • http://twitter.com/spcebaby Natalie Willoughby

    Thanks for this. My husband and I are appauled every time we go to a store like Toys R Us and see the “girl” aisle and the “boy” aisle. I am such a tomboy, and like many who read The Mary Sue, I’m a geek girl, so I want to do all I can to allow my daughter to play with what she wants, not what society dictates she should want. You and your husband’s encouragement of your daughter to love and read about superheroes will also help her enjoy other “traditional” boy fields in school – like science and math.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shaneoffools Shane Campbell

    I applaud and commend you! I’m a 35yr old single Father, my Daughter is only 18mos old, but we already have Spider/Bat/Supergirl gear, and we definitely rock the Wonder Woman shirt (the one I found at Spencers came with a cape. Which I proudly let her wear in public). My Mother walked me to the library once a week as a kid, to grab as many books as I could carry, and read me comics at bedtime. It encouraged and influenced my creativity, my love of reading, and definitely my morals. One of my favorite pictures in the world was just taken 2 weeks ago, of my Little Petal and I rocking our Spidey gear, and singing/goofing off, big, silly grins on our faces. Kudos to you, Lindsay!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1542355968 Anthony Emmel

    “Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

     G. K. Chesterton quotes (Essayist, Novelist and Poet, 1874-1936)

    It is frustrating (I have 3 daughters of my own), but part of it is that super heroines don’t sell well. The market for supers is boys generally.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.burkhart.31 John Burkhart

    Even in shows like Teen Titans, the female character is not the lead. I wonder what it would take to have a somewhat more gritty superhero show with a female lead (Say Batman: The Animated Series style). It might take Lauren Faust and Kickstarter…

    You know; that’s not the craziest idea I’ve ever had. I wonder how many people would finance a proven writing team trying to break the so called “Girl Show Ghetto”?

  • Anonymous

    Check out this new site Lindsay - 
    http://www.amightygirl.com/.  I learned about it from the Washington Post earlier this week and it’s got tons of books and movies with “Mighty Girls” – and, they just did an article on Hayao Miyazaki http://www.amightygirl.com/blog/?p=215. By far, my favorite girl saving the day films of all times!

  • Anonymous

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  • http://www.facebook.com/kpietrobon Katherine Pietrobon

    Runaways! maybe not for a four year old but pretty soon. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TLWIT453XZUQZK7TRICLEGY2JM Samantha

    I bet she’d love the Maximum Ride books by James Patterson as she gets older!  Check them out!!

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  • Kristin Craig Lai

    My daughter is 5 and she’s into robots, superheroes, dinosaurs, knights, and aliens. Basically she likes a whole whack of things that are stereotypically for boys.  Somehow she’s never really cared about boy toys vs girl toys, possibly because she doesn’t watch TV and no one in her class has ever commented.  Have you tried the Powerpuff Girls for your daughter? Mine loved them. I also recommend “Zita: spacegirl” as a graphic novel. As for t-shirts you can make great shirts using the iron on transfer paper (for black tshirts) from any office supply store. So far we’ve made Ramones, Le Tigre, Buddy Holly, Fraggle Rock and a few of  her own artwork.  Really I’m just biding my time until she’s old enough to watch Buffy.

  • Anonymous

    Gender-neutral parenting is moronic. It’s almost as bad as these lunatics who raise their children as a gender different from the one they were born.

  • http://www.facebook.com/authorNYSE Dominique Bell

    My niece is going through the same issue. I’ve influenced her love for superheroes but she gets teased by other little girls at school. She’s fine with liking the boy super heroes but hates being teased by other girls. I hate her playing with Barbie because barbie has no virtue whereas superheroes do.

  • http://technecatscratchings.wordpress.com/ Krystal

    Card Captor Sakura is great (just avoid the weird, dark movies) but the Magic Knight Rayearth anime was a pretty awful adaptation of a really beautiful comic. I couldn’t even watch it in high school, it was just too depressing. Come to think of of MKR is pretty deep to begin with- at least compared to most “magical girl” titles. 

    I personally would suggest “Saint Tail” (I read the comics and loved them) and I have heard that “Kaleido Star” was very popular as well (though not a magical-girl show, it still has a strong female lead). Another fun one would be the Japanese spin-off of The Powerpuff Girls, “Demashitaa! Powerpuff Girls Z” (stupid title, cute show).

    All of that being said, I think it’s really awesome that your daughter has such a strong love for super-heroines, I’m only sorry that the (US) market couldn’t provide more for her to enjoy! I actually got into anime as a kid because there just weren’t any “girls” shows on TV that I liked. I’m really happy now that shows like Super Best Friends Forever exist and I’m strongly hoping for more of the same so that girls like your daughter don’t have to grow up without heroes she can identify with.

  • Paul Fauber

    Toy stores are great and the searching for characters makes finding them more satisfying.  have you investigated comic book stores?

  • Anonymous

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This was exactly the boost I needed tonight. Suddenly my whole crap week is in perspective and I see clearly that the most important thing that happened was my 4yo daughter telling me that the girls at kinder wanted to play being Barbies so she used her magic powers to make them all superheroes so that they could get the boys who were baddies. Now I need to remember who the %$#@ borrowed all my Buffy boxed sets and never returned them!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7YHDYUH3DUYSBYDF6MA3LIT73Y Karrah

    I would like to say, I found this article on accident, but I was just like your daughter. Though my mom was a big comic book fan and big on superhero cartoons, so we watched the 90s Batman The Animated Series, X-Men, and Spider-Man. You should give the old X-Men and X-Men Evolution a try. (I’m not too good at  judging what age group should watch something, my mom needs to read and watch things before I give them to my younger brother). My mom used to dye my Barbie’s hair and (messily) make them costumes so I had  Storm, Rouge, Jubilee, and Jean Gray Barbies. My mom also got a kick as dressing me up as Black Cat (from the Spider-Man series, she’s awesome) for my first costume party.
    I need to agree with Powerpuff Girls and Sailor Moon. You can try Mew Mew Power too. It’s like Sailor Moon. I don’t know about the comics you read to her, but one she might like is The Runaways, it’s about kids who’s parents are supervillains and they run away to become superheroes. It has the cutest little girl who’s 12 and is super strong, she punches The Punisher and knocks him out! It may have to wait till she’s older but it’s a good one. Check out some X-Men comics, too. They never fail to have some awesome girl hero that can kick butt. My friend read this one comic about a hero named Squirrel Girl, I don’t know much about her, but she’s worth a look into, and maybe Elektra when she’s older.