Lovefool 01.27.13 | Lovefool’s Guide To Being A Heroine

If comics have taught our Lovefool anything, it’s what it takes to be a true superheroine.


Early Saturday evening is a source of some stress for me sometimes because it’s when the clock really starts ticking on Lovefool. I’ll look at the clock and think that the weekend is almost half over and I need to get on it. Sometimes, I’ll gleefully think it while I’m closing the door to my house for an evening out and sometimes I’ll anxiously think it while I’m hanging out at home because I’ve taken the weekend off. I needed a bit of a rest so this weekend was one of the latter and, when 7:30 rolled around and I started idly thinking about what I was going to write about this week (please note the current time, which is 7:36 on Sunday evening) and I hit the internet to see if I could find some inspiration. Alex Kingston’s on Arrow, there were cast announcements for the next X-Men movie, and some dude is doing some movie about space? Star something? A couple Star somethings? And then I fell down the rabbit hole and somehow landed on a site about Japan’s Lolita fashion here in the states.
Stop the train there, Chris Hansen, this is, in fact, the fashion thing we’re talking about, not the creepy one. (Though there are arguments that the fashion is vaguely creepy as well, it’s not illegal and gross and wrong.) Lolita fashion started on the streets of Japan and has many, many substyles, but basically there’s a lot of frills and poofy dresses and lots of weird rules about what things go with what style. Truth be told, it sounds like a right pain. There are posts out there with actual girls who spend large amounts of time wearing pink and doing lacework and buying $375 dollar dresses with fanciful patterns on them telling other girls how to get into the subculture. Dos and don’ts. How to not look like a rank amateur.
I sighed because there really isn’t anyone out there telling me how to be…well, anything. Which is okay, but sometimes I feel like I could use some guidance. And then the light bulb came on. I could give guidance! I’ve only read about a zillion comics with ladies in them and I could write a guide about how to be an awesome heroine and cherry-pick all the good qualities I like and skip the bad ones! Sure, it won’t help me when I go back to the cube farm tomorrow but…maybe it could? Maybe, if this little list of reminders can help me, it’ll help someone else?
So! I present, for your delectation, The Lovefool Guide to Being a Heroine.
  1. Own it. Seriously. Adam Warren’s Empowered is, to most of the universe, a terrible superheroine. But she gets on with it because it’s what she’s got to work with and if she sometimes needs a little help from her friends, that’s okay. Because she’s got them and they’re there and she is who she is. And that’s awesome. And using her skills and her assets (which could be a terrible pun, yes, but don’t), she occasionally manages to save the day.
  2. Enjoy your skin. Ross Campbell draws some pretty, pretty girls in his Wet Moon books. But they’re not all stick-thin, like you see in most comics, they look like real girls, all kinds of real girls. And they wear what they want and they do their hair how they want and they are who they are and they’re beautiful. The characters may not be okay with every piece of their bodies all the time but who is?
  3. If you’ve screwed up, fix it. Jean Grey kind of messed up. I mean, she was possessed by some space spirit or whatever but there was some bad stuff happening there. And she worked hard to make it right and will still occasionally, after her death, show up in someone’s brain to save the day because she wasn’t happy with the way things stood. She’s making it right. As all heroines should do.
  4. Have a little self-control. The Black Widow has many, many talents, including the ability to not blurt out stupid things in work settings, which I would pretty much murder someone to be able to do. More importantly, she’s able to mask her emotions and thoughts, which I’ve never been able to do and it gets me in trouble sometimes. I feel like a heroine should be able to stop herself from rolling her eyes whenever someone she’s slightly iffy on is talking during meetings. I don’t need to go into the Red Room to learn how to parkour up walls or whatever, but I feel like this is kind of important.
  1. Embrace joy. Whenever I think of some of my favorite comics moments, I always think of Jakita Wagner in Planetary, on some horrible island in the middle of nowhere where something awful has just happened that she has to make sure gets cleaned up, looking up at the sky where someone has just pointed out that a mutated flying dinosaur that they previously thought had died out is flapping around in the skies above them. Instead of being irritated about her bad information or annoyed about the incident they have to cover up, she chooses to be delighted that this little slice of weird still exists and smiles and says “Isn’t that great?” And isn’t it?
This list, of course, isn’t one-size-fits-all. But it seems like the bare minimum of things that I admire about superheroines that I could maybe manage while I’m flailing around in my cube or a booth at my favorite bar. Superheroines, after all, don’t flail. | Erin Jameson

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