“But Mommy, I thought only boys can be superheroes?”
They were innocent words out of my daughter’s mouth, but they made me cringe. As I was driving my child to preschool, we began talking about Halloween costumes. At only 4-years-old, she had gone through dozens of ideas, changing her mind on a weekly basis. On this day, though, she finally had her mind made up.
“I want to be a superhero,” she shouted with excitement! But it was the words that followed that made my heart sink.
“But Mommy, I thought only boys can be superheroes,” she said with hesitation in her voice.
I was shocked. I knew there were women superheroes, but my daughter obviously did not. And at such a young age, it makes me worry. In our society, women are sometimes at a disadvantage. We are objectified, we often don’t make as much money as men, and sometimes, we aren’t taken as seriously as our male counterparts.
Women face an uphill battle.
Without hesitation, I quickly responded to my daughter. “Oh yes there are! Women can most definitely be a superhero,” I said, trying to convince my child.
As a woman in the media, I have faced my fair share of criticism. I’ve been told I am fat. I’ve been told I am ugly. I’ve been told that I am just a dumb blonde. And that’s NOT ok. I don’t want my daughter growing up, wondering what she may be capable of. I don’t want my daughter holding back because that’s what society may tell her. I want her to reach for her dreams, even if it’s as simple as being a superhero for Halloween.
Little does she know, she is our real-life superhero, complete with a cape and miracle powers. During our four month NICU stay, our surviving triplet was gifted a cape through a non-profit organization. The magenta cape was giant draped over her tiny, premature body. But, the giant “P” for Peyton was hard to miss. Her entire life has been a challenge, but we have always shown her that she can do anything she puts her mind to. She may not be top of the class, or might not be the most athletic, but we vow to never hold her back from trying new things. The word “can’t” is not in our vocabulary.
After thinking it over, my daughter agreed with me. Even women can be superheroes. So which superhero did she choose?
No, not Wonder Woman or my childhood favorite, She-Ra. Peyton wants to be her own superhero. So, look out for “Super P” this Halloween. Our daughter is proving you can do anything when you put your mind to it.