Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Strong Female Characters For Badass Little Girls

Think back to your childhood.

If you're like me, you're a child of the 80's and 90's. In my neighborhood, most of the children were boys, so I grew up primarily with guy friends. My brother and I staged epic battles with my Barbies and his G.I. Joes that often resulted in the demise of many of our toys. Most of the toys that I remember from my childhood portrayed the boys as the badasses and the girls taking care of everything else. Yes, Barbie was a doctor, but she still had to wear heels while saving lives. We had She-Ra, but let's face it - she was simply He-Man's sexy sidekick. Superhero cartoons depicted super strong "men's men." Girls weren't the leaders or the superheroes; they were the helpers.

It's now 2017, and I have a daughter and son. I'm not sure if it's because so many people from my generation remember the lack of strong female characters we had to look up to, or if it's the more politically correct society in which we live, but the toys my daughter has to choose from are simply amazing! Our TVs are perpetually stuck on the Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, or Nickelodeon. I have to DVR my shows and hope I can find some time to catch up before seeing spoilers online. (Please don't ruin the new The Walking Dead for me. I STILL haven't found time to watch it!) Of course, we watch a lot of Mickey Mouse. But her favorites seem to be Doc McStuffins and PJ Masks

If you're unfamiliar with these shows, I'll briefly summarize them: Doc McStuffins is a little girl who is a toy doctor. Her mom is a doctor, and her dad is a stay-at-home dad. She has a little brother, and her family adopted a little girl. PJ Masks are three kids who are superheroes only at night. There's Amiyah (Owlette), Greg (Gecko), and Connor (Cat-Boy). They are all equal in their superhero-ness. (And equal in their annoying-ness too, but it's a kids' show. I think they're supposed to be annoying.) These shows are teaching my kids at a young age that boys and girls are equal! Regardless of their gender, they can do and be whatever they want.

Another show that I enjoy is DC Superhero Girls. It's on YouTube, and my daughter LOVES it! They are female superheroes who attend SuperHero High and save the day using their powers. And it's not just the "good" superheroes! It's all of them! My daughter has several of the dolls, and most nights she must go to bed with at least one superhero. She doesn't even refer to them as superhero girls; they're just superheroes. This franchise is doing something right!

As a mom, my job is to raise my kids to be the best they can be and to prepare them for whatever the world will look like. I raise them to dream as big as they possibly can and to not let anyone tell them their dreams are too big. If my daughter wants to be a superhero, she will know that is an option! If my son wants to be a stay-at-home dad, he will know that is an option! As parents, we must prepare our kids for the world. If we do our jobs right and teach our kids to dream big enough, the world won't be prepared for our amazingly badass kids!

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