Superheroes Who Promote Positive Body Image
A hero is someone we admire in hopes of resembling (morally and in action). They are positive inspirations to have in life. In other words, they’re pretty dang awesome!
Comic books have some of the coolest heroes of all. However, the inspiration can be diminished by the realization that most heroes seem to fit one physical mold. Bummer! If we don’t relate to heroes, then how can we aspire to be like them? Therefor, our favorites are the heroes like us; flawed folk who embrace individuality and are comfortable in their own super skin.
These are comic book heroes who promote positive body image.
Bouncing Boy is a DC Universe character who proves that not all superheroes must be muscle-bound.
He debuted in Action Comics #276 (May 1961) when average Charles Taine drank a formula mistaken for soda. The boy then ballooned like a ball, able to bowl and bounce over bullies!
The rotund warrior turned a stigmatized physical trait into his greatest super power. For an added bonus—Bouncing Boy is also educated. In the Post Zero Hour reboot continuity he is an architect and mechanic.
This intelligence, combined with heroics and confidence, make Bouncing Boy a positive role model for anybody (regardless of weight).
As a member of Marvel Comics’ Great Lake Avengers, Ashley Crawford is a fashion model by day and superhero by night. Sounds like a busy schedule!
The professional pretty person doesn’t rely on looks when fighting crime, however. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Villains may recognize Crawford better by her hero name: Big Bertha.
It turns out that Crawford’s mutant abilities include swelling to an enormous size and squishing everything around her. It isn’t conventional, but it sure is effective.
Bertha is on our list because she’s at her best when she’s at her biggest. It isn’t her beautiful face that wins battles… but the fearless beast beneath.
Big Bertha is also a prime example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, a model by her headshot, or other clichés like that.
The Dark Knight. The Caped Crusader. Heard of him?
Bruce Wayne’s alter ego is one character who appears in nearly EVERY list of awesome heroes. The main reason is because Bruce’s powers didn’t come from chance. Rather, he built them day-by-day, piece-by-piece. It took years of training. He had to develop mind-body intelligence. But by the end of it, Batman MADE himself into a hero.
So while he has that classic clichéd physique, at least it was earned. One event didn’t make Batman a hero. Consistency did. This is a role model we can emulate.
Modern Ms. Marvel
Superhero versatility isn’t limited by shape, size, gender, or race.
The newest female counterpart to Captain Marvel proves that. Her name is Kamala Khan and she is a 16 year-old Pakistani-American girl from New Jersey. She is also the first Muslim hero to grace a Marvel comic cover.
The humble heroine is an inspiration to many people for many reasons.
However ultimately, it is not physical differences that make Khan special. Instead, we admire the personality traits that she shares with most other heroes (of varying demographics). Inner fortitude, bravery, and a dedication to duty are what make the modern Ms. Marvel admirable!
…That and her powers.
What hero do you look up to and why?