Last week in class we discussed how super heroines are often infantilized, as such with Kitty Pryde in “Days of Future Past”. From her conservative costume, to her clueless, “cutesy” facial expressions, Kitty evokes sympathy from her fellow X-men. However, because of this she is also babied and viewed as weaker. Another example of infantilized super heroines is the Powerpuff Girls.
Upon further research, I discovered that the author had originally named the Powerpuff Girls the “Whoopass Girls”. However, the title was changed to better suit the audience of young girls. I personally would have enjoyed the latter title more because it describes their powers and abilities to fight evil a bit more accurately. Though I do find the current title cute and endearing, it does to some extent give them less credit than they deserve. In fact, it’s hard to say that this is the only thing that does so. From the doll-like limbs to the cute voices to the big, round eyes, the Powerpuff Girls are the definition of infantilization in super heroines.
In the video clip attached, Mojo Jojo has an ingenious plan to build a machine to turn the Powerpuff Girls into giantesses. By being so big, the Powerpuff Girls can’t help but destruct anything they touch. The episode features them unknowingly breaking buildings and telephone wires. Their clueless expressions and emotional reactions make them seem even more helpless and incapable. In the end, the problem can only be solved by the Professor stepping in to fix the machine that turned them into giants. Without the aid of an older, male figure, the girls would have been rendered helpless despite their supernatural powers.
This is seen a lot in comic books. Though super heroines are not necessarily school-age children like the Powerpuff Girls, they are still treated like they are the ones who need to be saved. Whether it be a love interest or a fellow team member, it seems as if men are always the ones to swoop in and save the day.