Last Updated 17 Mar 2021

Superhero and Children

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To possess a human body, transcendental powers, and victory over evil villains are only a few characteristics of a superhero. These traits are the personification of what society has indicated to be the perfect man; or, depending on which superhero, a woman.

Many superhero fans begin as children and often remain intrigued into adulthood; from wearing their uniform, to owning every one of their movies, to becoming a superhero, themselves. However, becoming a superhero is an obvious impossibility. These supernatural beings have the ability to fly, master the intelligence of villains, lift the heaviest objects, and jump off the highest buildings with no harm being done. It is the ideals of becoming someone great, which superheroes portray, that influence children and enhance their yearning to imitate the superhero’s image and actions.

A superhero’s immense strength, chiseled toned body, and sharp intelligence are a few attributes that provoke fans to admire and idolize these beings. Many parents believe that children’s aggressive behavior is uncontrollable but it is also a result from the vigorously powerful superheroes that act as role models to children as they are growing up. Superheroes incredible strength has led them to victory over the biggest and strongest of enemies.

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I interviewed my acquaintance, Jon Wall, a senior at McNeese State University, who has an admiration for Superman, and he said, “From watching Superman, I thought I could prove my strength by defeating other kids. This did not mean that I went and tried to beat everyone up. Instead, I tried to be better than others at everything. I would try to hang on the monkey bars the longest, be the person who got picked first for any sport, and wrestle anyone to submission. ” he continued, “Although my behavior sometimes got too aggressive, and got me in trouble, it always seemed to make me feel like more of man. Jon’s explanation is one of many children who have set their standard of being a real man or woman based on the strength and accomplishments of a superhero. Achieving victories that a superhero has demonstrated has caused many fans to feel as an accomplished being, finally worthy to be called a real woman or man. Superheroes also tend to possess a perfect physique that enhances their powerful ability to conquer and defeat evil. They always have a defined figure, toned muscle in every area, and, usually, six-pack abs. Although physical image is more of an interest with teenagers and adults, this does have an effect on children, too.

These role models that children are introduced to hold a nearly impossible figure for all children to achieve. It is from these images that communicate to kids that being overweight and lacking strength is unacceptable. This aspect is a contribution to children mistreating other children who do not hold to this idolized standard. My friend Jon stated, “I fell into the trap of mocking others, who were not perfect, when I was a kid. I also remember trying to hide any blemish of my own body, so that I would not become a victim of the scorn [from other children]”.

Jon’s experience of feeling pressure to maintain a certain physical image exemplifies the cases of many superhero fans. Children are feeling pressure to portray a certain image in order to achieve self-security and acceptance from others instead of having a healthy mentality regarding food and exercise. Aside from all physical traits of a superhero, they also portray a strong sense of intelligence. It requires mass strategy and mental knowledge to defeat evil villains and their deceptive ways. Superheroes encounter many difficult and seemingly impossible challenges and manage to take them head on without any evidence of fear.

Breann, a classmate in my English 101 class, stated, “I think that the intelligence of a superhero is extremely influential because they are faced against evil villains, who are known for their intelligence and strategic ways, and superheroes always end up defeating them” she continued, “When children see the knowledge of a superhero portrayed in their planning of defeat against their enemies and them achieve victory, it is a positive influence for the children to try their hardest in school to gain an education to be able to plan, have broad knowledge, and defeat, as well. Intelligence holds a large role in the world and one’s likelihood of reaching success. Intelligence is a positive attribute that superheroes portray when their knowledge and skill is shown through their preparation and process of defeating evil. A characteristic of all superheroes is their great achievement. Superheroes are constantly saving the world and others from harm.

They have great impacts on the way most children that admired them grew up. Whether it was Batman, Wonder Woman, or some other supernatural being, they all had a lot to say about what it means to be a man or woman. Even if the ideals portrayed are imaginative beings, a superheroes image has the ability to influence any child.

Works Cited

  1. Wall, Jon. Personal interview. February 22, 2013.
  2. Debarge, Breann. Personal Interview. February 22, 2013.

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