Marvel’s leading ladies: the long overdue role models for young girls everywhere

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Marvel’s leading ladies: the long overdue role models for young girls everywhere

Female students Maria Vaaler (left), Ada Duncan (left-center), Nikki Chang (right-center) and Katie Bullock (right) pose in front of an Avengers: Endgame cutout prior to watching the movie.

Female students Maria Vaaler (left), Ada Duncan (left-center), Nikki Chang (right-center) and Katie Bullock (right) pose in front of an Avengers: Endgame cutout prior to watching the movie.

Maria Vaaler

Female students Maria Vaaler (left), Ada Duncan (left-center), Nikki Chang (right-center) and Katie Bullock (right) pose in front of an Avengers: Endgame cutout prior to watching the movie.

Maria Vaaler

Maria Vaaler

Female students Maria Vaaler (left), Ada Duncan (left-center), Nikki Chang (right-center) and Katie Bullock (right) pose in front of an Avengers: Endgame cutout prior to watching the movie.

By Maria Vaaler, Pleasant Valley High School

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Blockbuster films have been predominantly led by male heroes for decades, but as Marvel actresses dominate the box office and call for an all-female Marvel movie, this lengthy era of male dominance in the hero department may be reaching its close.

Recently, Brie Larson, who has received critical success for her role as Captain Marvel, told USA Today that the female cast members were interested in working together again on an all-female Marvel movie.

“It’s kind of been this new breath of fresh air for us in our industry that there’s more female ensemble films, which has allowed us the opportunity to really communicate with one another,” she said.

This call for an all-female ensemble is largely unsurprising due to the economic and critical success of the franchise’s female cast members in the past couple of years. Captain Marvel, Marvel’s first female-led film, had the sixth-highest grossing worldwide opening weekend of all time and grossed over one billion dollars total.

While the capital and critical success of the female leads in the franchise have been vital to its continued success, the female heroes have also greatly influenced female viewers around the globe in ways that previous generations of women onscreen were often unable to.

English teacher Jenni Levora said the film industry’s newfound focus on three-dimensional female characters demonstrates a real shift from the portrayal of women when she was growing up.

“Growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s females were completely objectified, especially on screen. For little girls growing up now, the expectations for what they can be and what is valuable about them is being illustrated through powerful female characters,” she said.

The influence of these female heroes’ portrayal of the newly accepted roles of women in society has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated by girls of this generation either.

College Freshman Nikki Chang said she would be excited to see an all-female marvel ensemble as she believes it would allow for the female heroes to have an even greater impact on their young female audience.

“It would continue to show younger girls that they can be heroes too. The representation of female heroes shows them they can do anything they set their mind to, which is a very important mindset to have, especially at a younger age,” she said.

Whether Marvel chooses to produce an all-female cast movie or not, the impact that Marvel’s female heroes have had as role models in the lives of this generation’s young girls is undeniable.

This story was originally published on Spartan Shield on October 29, 2019.