A superhero is a science fiction or fantasy character that possesses extraordinary power or equipment, mostly dedicated to protecting the public. Superheroes are popularized in fantasy and children’s literature to combat supervillain threats and criminal counterparts. Gender representation is essential in all forms of media, especially the entertainment sector. However, superheroines have been less featured in films and comic books. Male superheroes have for long dominated the entertainment industry. In essence, factors contributing to the minimum representation of women in both fantasy movies and comic books are highlighted here.
Female characters have been displayed as incompetent characters. Films such as Catwoman show women as having no connection with the universe and reduced to even being poorly dressed. Others, such as Elektra, are too restrained to explore female characters and struggle to define their protagonist (Burke & L. 2015). Also, they lack identity outside counterpart male version of the films because of inadequate personality development. The comics are used to express the film director’s plan rather than the inner life of the character. Most women are used as plot points and reduced to an identity rather than being developed as heroes themselves.
Superheroines films have failed to attract an audience. While many male superheroes have an overwhelming success rate, female-led movies and books have been outright atrocious and far more disappointing. Wonder Woman underperformed commanding a financial disappointment. The women-led film has failed to profit studios and hit the theatres. It showcased how female characters struggled in a significant role. Also, it had inconsistent character development. As a result, only several studios are willing to take women as their main characters. And if used, they only make up a small portion of every aspect of the film.
Most female characters have over-sexualized roles in comic books and films. Superheroines have struggled to succeed in leading roles because of the inclination to being used as sex dolls. Many female characters that have intricate storylines and abilities to rival male counterparts are often over eroticized (Frankel et al., 2017). That is why it is overly impossible to develop a female villainess who isn’t defined by her sexual appeal. Male preferences occasionally design their physic and shape. Sexual representation is very lopsided such that it poses harm to gender representation in movies and televisions. On the same basis, it has reduced its effectiveness in films.
Many female-led films have a feminist agenda. For instance, such films display females as a group who are good at their jobs and have little interest in their love life. They tend to hold on old culture appropriation, which doesn’t hold to the current audience. The appropriations over-emphasis they’re relying on their sexuality to solve challenging situations. They also have gendered names that male actors lack masculine names. This escalates the lack of interest in female-led films as it defines their feminism.
Women in comic books bypass context as they are nonexistent in a vacuum. Their roles include having less physical power; rather have empathy, telepathy, and intellect. They are displayed as mere adjuncts to others and not working in a professional setting (Misiroglu & G, 2012). Often enough, this representation reinforces the societal undervaluing of women as characters in the comics.
In conclusion, superheroines open the door for more women representation. There is a growing understanding of the female demographic. More subtle female characters are emerging in response to female disappointments and are hitting theaters such as Kick-ass. They reflect an attainable response for modern girls adapting captivating roles by being realistic. More women are needed in original parts to challenge the media film stereotypical representation.
Burke, L. (2015). The Comic Book Film Adaptation: Exploring Modern Hollywood’s Leading Genre. Univ. Press of Mississippi.
Frankel, V. E. (2017). Superheroines and the Epic Journey: Mythic Themes in Comics, Film and Television. McFarland.
Misiroglu, G. (2012). The superhero book: The ultimate encyclopedia of comic-book icons and Hollywood heroes. Visible Ink Press.
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