20 November 1983

Thoughts on ISP Topic: "Superhero Iconography in the Contemporary Struggle for Women’s Rights and Gender Autonomy"

An Australian photographer and I have proposed turning women into their super hero using my Fall 2014 collection- creating a project will the costume will facilitate their reconnection with their social superpowers.


If redefining superpower as a power that is above the norm, a super power is one that supersedes the constraints of normal power. And thus revisiting feminism within the context culture iconography of the superhero will create a space for exploring how women can supersede the constraints of patriarchal society.


There are artists who have reinterpreted the pop culture embodiment icon into various characters that address contemporary feminist issues. For instance, the character, the Burka Avenger, is a burka-clad woman with the power to beat patriarchy and male hegemony physically and metaphorically.


While some argue that the origins of western superhero iconography stems from fascism, I believe there is power in reclaiming the idea of a superhero as a form of activist embodiment. In many ways, created with either their strong physique or prominently embodied ideals, superheros are representations of bodies that society has recreated to intervene on our behalf as both socially constructed beings and activists. By designing a superhero costume or embodiment design, I believe the sartorial arts can be a medium through which we can effectively design activism.

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