Jimmy Olsen’s pinks

Dear Mothercare: SUPERMAN’S COSTUME IS NOT PINK.

Screenshot from mothercare.com showing 'superbaby' babygro in standard Superman colours for boys, and pink-on-pink equivalent for girls,

Get cape. Wear cape. Cry.

Given that Superman doesn’t actually exist, I reckon anybody can pretend to be Superman with as much credibility as anybody else. (Besides, these outfits are aimed at babies. Babies are not going to be flying around saving the world; they’re not even going to be running around going “neowwww” and jumping off tables pretending to be Superman. They’re going to be lying around crying and dribbling, occasionally pooing in their pants. I don’t think even Lex Luthor ever reduced Superman to that state.) However, he’s a well-known fictional character with a clearly-recognisable, iconic costume. Even if for some ridiculous reason you were convinced that girls couldn’t possibly dress as Superman (even to the extent of wearing a Superman babygro, which is hardly an accurate costume to start with) perhaps you could have given the girls a recognisable superheroine costume of their own, like, I dunno, Supergirl? Wonder Woman? Catwoman? She-Ra? I’m not saying any of them are great feminist icons (a Mary Wollstonecraft costume babygro will be available soon from all right-on baby clothes outlets), I know they’re deeply problematic in themselves; but at least they’re actual superhero characters with their own costume and their own story.

A rubbish monochrome pink-on-pink version of Superman’s costume is neither one thing nor the other; it’s a lazy way of making a “girls’ version” of something which is perceived as being “for boys”, and that’s starting from so many flawed assumptions that I don’t know where to start. Babies may seem quite alien in lots of ways, but unlike Superman, girls aren’t actually from a different planet.

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One thought on “Jimmy Olsen’s pinks

  1. Not only is superman’s costume not pink, but there was actually a supergirl[1] character, and her costume isn’t pink either.

    [1] and lets not touch the whole man/girl thing, because we already have plenty of worms for one webpage in the current barrel.

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