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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

Mo' costumes mo' problems

Superheroes have been a fixture of mainstream American culture for more than 100 years.

Characters who dish out vigilante justice without regard to the rules of traditional law enforcement are popular in a relatively repressive society like ours, although less repressive than what it once was, of course.

Superheroes’ costumes, on the other hand, can sometimes seem oddly repressive, for all that they are supposed to uplift their wearer.

All superheroes serve about the same purpose, and that’s part of their charm.

We know what to expect from them. They all act the same, but, more importantly, look the same: attractive, muscular, tall.

And their clothing further emphasizes these positive physical characteristics, whether they are male or female.

One thing remains the same: sex sells. And when the majority of superhero fans are straight, white men, female superheroes are going to be scantily clad.

But what exactly is wrong with that?

Shouldn’t we allow women to dress however they wish?

Or, let me rephrase, shouldn’t we not care about how a woman wishes to dress because it’s nobody’s business but that woman’s?

Tight outfits with minimal fabric are the norm when it comes to the costumes of superheroes.

The male superhero is almost always shown shirtless at least once in all contemporary portrayals of superheroes, whether it’s a graphic novel, comic strip or a film.

Female superheroes are less common, especially in the past when women were seen as less dominant and more passive, but they’re becoming more prevalent.

Their bodies are just as perfect as their male counterparts’, and of course their clothing shows this off.

One should consider that the majority of comic book and superhero movie fans are men, which helps to explain how the majority of superheroes in the past were male, because God forbid a man looks up to or aspires to be a woman.

But this is changing. Society is becoming more and more equal each day.

Female superheroes are empowering to everyone, especially young women, as they see that even fictional careers shouldn’t be boys’ clubs and there’s always a place for women outside of the home.

Lena Dunham exposes her breasts in pretty much every episode ever of “Girls.”

Why should it be any different for Wonder Woman?

It’s not society’s job to dictate how much clothing women should wear or how they present themselves to the world.

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