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Why My Daughter Loves Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel Is Inspiring My Daughter to Imagine a World Where She's a Superhero

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When my daughter was about 3 years old, she swore she could see Captain America outside our car window. I laughed and said, "Oh yeah? Is he flying by?" At which point she scolded me with her best faux-teenager attitude. "Maaaa-aahhm! Captain America doesn't fly!" What followed was a ridiculous argument with my preschooler in which I insisted that of course Captain America could fly, he's a superhero! And she insisted that of course he couldn't, and how dare I even think such a thing.

That evening, when we got home and I had a chance to Google it, I had to admit to my child for the first time ever that she was right and I was wrong — all the while wondering how my little girl had gained this intimate knowledge of superhero superpowers to begin with.

Ever since, superheroes have become one of the many subjects my daughter and I bond over. It was never something I cared about before, but her passion imbued my own. We began watching all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies together (in order), discussing the finer points of each character as she animatedly debated who was her favorite. We built superhero Lego sets, playing with the action figures and discussing who would best who in a fight. And when Wonder Woman came to theaters, my little girl begged me to let her dress up in full Wonder Woman attire to go see it. We even curled her hair for the first time, completing her Gal Gadot-inspired look.

Her love for superheroes and their backstories runs so deep that recently, when we adopted a puppy from the pound, she landed on the name Gwen Stacy for our new family member. And if I ever dare call that pup simply Gwen, or even Gwenny, I get an earful from my girl who is very clear that our dog should be called only by her full given name.

Every day, she asks me how much closer we are to Captain Marvel Day.
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But in a world full of Hulks and Iron Mans, there simply aren't enough female-driven characters for her to truly look up. So whenever she finds one she likes, she latches on. And in that latching, I can see just how desperate she is for more women in this superhero universe she adores. So I shouldn't have been surprised when my daughter knew about Captain Marvel before I did, coming home from school one day and asking me to show her the trailer. Now, we have several videos queued up on YouTube at all times, even though she's watched them all a hundred times at least. And as the premiere date grows nearer, her anticipation for the release of this new female-centered superhero film grows as well.

Every day, she asks me how much closer we are to Captain Marvel Day.

For her, this is another chance to see a strong female character represented on screen, keeping up with the boys and saving the world, as superheroes are known to do. It's another woman planted firmly in the superhero universe, headlining a movie of her own, instead of playing as a side character in some male superhero's plot. It's a reminder that she is just as strong, just as capable, and just as good as any of the men who have led films before her.

Just last week, my daughter asked if we could go to Superhero World and find Thor, so that he and I could fall in love and he could be her dad (Ummm . . . yes, please!). But she immediately followed up with, "And then maybe Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman could be my sisters!" (Well, she's almost got it.) But when it comes to arguing with her about this subject in particular, I've learned it's best to just keep my mouth shut. I want her to relate to these powerful women, and let her imagination to lead the way in figuring out what's possible. Which is perhaps why I'm most thankful for another strong female character for her to idolize to as she dives deep into her superhero world.

Image Source: Leah Campbell
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