I Can Be a Superhero
As a brown female, some might find it odd that I found a sense of identity and purpose in the character of Batman 10 years ago. I remember seeing the toy sitting untouched on the shelf in Target. My mum had promised me that if I had gotten my work done, my little sister and I could get one toy afterwards. That was our gift after studying all morning, and I could not complain about which one I was going to get my hands on.
I remember running my hands over the scuba edition of a new Batman figure. I looked to my sister sitting next to me with her new Spiderman figure and said, “One day I’ll be wearing this suit.” She laughed and called me silly.
I laughed with her, but then something felt wrong. Why couldn’t I wear the suit? Who was to say that I couldn’t be the same as Batman in strength or in character? Sure, there were other characters that were female, but something drew me to Batman.
A few years into the great days of middle school and continued into high school, my obsession had only gotten bigger. I had written an essay about why Batman was better than Superman and had dressed up as Batman for the last three years of Halloween. My mother had gotten me into martial arts, and it helped me channel my feelings into the fact that I could train like a superhero and have the abilities he had. Most people would make fun of a girl liking a superhero this much, especially one who did not technically have superpowers. But I guess that just made me like him and the idea of him even more.
You’re still probably wondering why this fictional character had and still has a huge impact on me. Well, I have a whole list of why I can tell you, but that would take a century.
I think what drew me to this character was his confidence and his fearlessness he had about everything. I was the only brown female in my middle and high school grade. I don’t think I owned my body and stride, my thoughts or my opinions as much as I do now. Middle school was a rough patch for all of us I can imagine, but having this character fueling my inner thoughts felt like I could literally take on Superman.
He was not afraid of anything. I wanted to be the one, to stare fear in the face and say “boo.” I wanted to be the one who kicked ass and took names, not the other way around.
Getting my black belt in karate, added to my witty sarcasm and boosted my confidence even more. I felt like I could handle myself better and appreciate what I had to offer. I realized that Batman was really just like everyone else, just fantastic at everything he literally did. That fostered into the idea that I could do the same thing. Broken or not broken, I pursued hope even when it ran away from me. Whether it be in school or in life, I tried my hardest to push through whatever hard times were thrown at me.
Sure, my bedroom was covered in Batman posters, books and plushies, but why go for Superman when you could have a regular ol’ human just like you?