We all want to be able to identify with a hero. This week, create a post about a hero who speaks to you.
Last week, we published a roundtable with writers from The Nerds of Color, a pop-culture blog whose writers turn their critical eyes on film, TV, comics, and games, and how people of color are represented — or not.
An element that runs through all the forms of entertainment they critique is the superhero. Superheroes are aspirational figures, in whom noble characteristics are exaggerated to outsized proportions. The Nerds understand how important it is to be able to identify with a superhero — to be able to see yourself in an inspiring figure — and that’s why they push the entertainment industry to give us a more diverse range of heroes:
One of my favorite comics growing up was G.I. Joe. As much as I loved the cartoon and toys, I loved the comics more. My favorite characters were Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, rival ninjas who were former friends. I didn’t know it at the time, but I subconsciously gravitated to those characters because of their Asianness.
When we’re able to associate with a hero, especially as children, it helps us to believe that we could also be this better, nobler, more powerful version of ourselves.
For this week’s challenge, write a superhero story. Share an inspiring figure that speaks to you. You could:
- Invent a totally new superhero.*
- Take a photo of a personal hero, and tell us why they’re so important to you.
- Draw a version of your favorite character in a new situation.
- Write about a moment of everyday heroism you’ve witnessed.
You never know who will see themselves in your post — you might just give someone the superhero they need.
*Mine would be Outspoken Fat Lady! Able to silence body-shamers with a single well-timed barb. Oh, and she’d also be able to fly, because that’s just cool.