Supergirl: A New “Type” of Superhero


Rani Patel, Reporter

Just this week, in English class, I learned about gender stereotypes faced by Americans every day. An article we read had mentioned there were more “princesses” than female heroes. That may have been true before, but today, more female heroes appear in popular culture than ever before.

Witness Supergirl, a strong example of a new female superhero crushing the typical stereotype in her super fist.

Supergirl is on CBS. It breaks a different way than most superhero shows, at least gender-wise. Kara Danvers, played by Melissa Benoist, is an awkward and quirky girl who happens to be the personal assistant to Cat Grant, the CEO of CatCo industries.This story sounds fairly similar to that of Superman’s, but as Kara has said multiple times on the show, her story is different from her cousin’s. Even though she’s considered weak compared to him in the beginning of the TV season, she trains hard. She works on her weaknesses, and viewers gradually see her become the great superhero she was destined to be.

Viewers watch her juggle her work and crime-fighting lives with grace and determination. She’s extremely compassionate and caring, which sets her apart from other superheroes. She doesn’t refer to herself as “Superman’s cousin,” but as someone completely unique, which is what makes me the happiest.

Cat Grant, Supergirl’s boss, is portrayed as the powerful CEO of her own company—which she built herself. She may not have super powers, but her character also beats the typical stereotypes through her influential role and ability to make tough choices. Cat repeatedly talks about the unfairness she’s faced in her job position just because of her gender. As well as being a role model to Kara, she also molds Supergirl’s hero image for the people of National City. Considering her commentaries on feminism and great advice delivered to Supergirl, Cat Grant is a new type of character refreshing to see on TV.

BHS English teacher Mrs. Whalen, who teaches about gender stereotypes, said, “Supergirl is a superhero that deviates from the stereotypical male superhero we usually see.”

Supergirl touches on gender discrimination and feminism in its own light-hearted way, but continues to deliver its message.

Grace Jang, a junior at BHS, said, “Supergirl is one of my favorite shows; she’s so funny and such great character. Cat Grant is too—she actually speaks the truth on how things really are.”

Supergirl demonstrates female representation and shows girls that there are more female superheroes to emulate. Thankfully, articles about girls only having princesses to look up to are being proven wrong, and hopefully in the future, we’ll see more TV shows like Supergirl, with strong, stereotype-crushing female leads.