Superheroes must fight crime, fly, wield weapons, and battle baddies, all while wearing rather tight-fitting and gravity-defying costumes to protect their identities. While male superheroes get to don a mask, cape, ab-enhancing body armor, and possibly tights, women superheroines don't always get the same luxury to cover everything up. And you can forget about a sports bra.
But what happens when little girls are let loose to create original costumes worthy of their own crime-fighting comics? They make amazingly cute and practical outfits.
Artist Alexandria Law decided to honor these creative geek girls and their costumes the only way she knew how -- by illustrating them in action on her blog Little Girls Are Better At Designing Superheroes Than You.
"A friend of mine on Twitter posted a link to an article showing various girls in superhero costumes, many of which I used for the earlier images," Law told Crave. "For a lot of the costumes that these girls wore, I thought 'these costumes look a lot better than the real ones.' So, I drew a bunch of them and posted them on Tumblr."
"Within geek subcultures, there is a perception that girls do not like geeky things," Law added. "That sentiment can be used to perpetuate the marketing of geeky things (like superhero comics) solely to a male audience. This brings with it the trappings associated with boys' media -- like a lack of female characters, or the sexual objectification of those that exist."
Looking through the costumes, it's interesting to see the variety of ideas, colors, and completely wearable costumes, unlike many of the commercially licensed superheroine costumes out there for little girls now.
"There's no single perfect design for a female superhero, because girls are all very different and like different things," Law said. "Rather, the way to improve female superheroes is to have a lot of them and to give them a lot of variation in their characterization and aesthetic."
The costumes featured on Law's blog also ignore gender rules and often have male character costumes embellished with something many little girls love -- ballerina tutus. In fact, one of the cutest selections on her blog include a little girl dressed as the Incredible Hulk -- with abs included -- and a very frilly purple skirt. Thus Ballerina Hulk is born.
Meet Princess Batman
"There are a lot of girls who like to dress up as Princess Batman," Law said. "Not Batgirl, but Batman in a tutu and tiara."
Little girls may be on to something, considering how many ill-conceived costumes for female superheroes and villains featured in comics, movies, TV shows, and video games can be downright depressing to adult cosplayers. Hopefully, the designers who create new outfits for the likes of Wonder Woman, Storm, Batgirl, and other female comic book icons will learn a thing or two from these little girls who just want to have fun in their costumes.
"It would be nice if people leave the blog feeling inspired by the costumes and the drawings," Law said. "I hope that other artists, writers, and publishers might take some hints from these costumes when they decide how to design their female characters, and who they could be making comics for."