Millennials Fight for Superwomen

Though the gender gap is ever narrowing, certain industries have yet to represent women in a significant way, and the comics industry is a repeat gender offender. We see scores of films and print publications distributed that put male writers and superheroes in the thick of the action, but fail to explain where the female heroes are. To Millennial women, who are happy to declare themselves fangirls, the absence is noticeable and often infuriating. At New York’s Comic Con this year, the co-founder of Alpha Girl Comics lamented that “Wall Street does a better job” towards closing the gender gap than her own industry. Those on the “Women in Comics” panel noted that almost half of the convention’s attendants were women, yet only 6% of the special guests were females. Adding insult to injury, 20% of digital comic readership is fueled by women, illustrating a great disparity between the ripe female comics market and the current strides towards representing them. Millennials are demanding that female superheroes be put in the spotlight, and taking it upon themselves to make it happen.

The lack of women in comics is not for lack of talent, but disregard for (or utter ambivalence to) the prospect of female superheroes within the industry, with industry execs claiming “We don’t know how to sell it.” With power players refusing to put superwomen on the screen, younger illustrators are the ones taking risks in order to bring something different to comic strips. The newest character introduced to Marvel’s lineup is Kamala Khan, a Muslim teen superheroine that breaks the traditional comic mold, introducing religious affiliation and racial diversity to the standard white-male superhero spectrum. Kamala deals with all of the tropes of being a teenage girl living in a conservative household,…

 
 

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“It[‘s] only about the music for me, nothing else dictates what I listen to, I either like it or I don't.”—Male, 28, WA

A new app is getting teens’ attention as it rises through the ranks of the new social apps to know, even surpassing Houseparty’s popularity—but the catch is it’s “piggyback[ing]” on Snapchat. Polly allows users to create anonymous surveys that they can send on Snapchat (there's that anonymity allure again), meaning many users may not have actually downloaded the Polly app, so they “could slip away if friends stop posting questions.” For now though, the app amassed 20 million users and 100 million answers last month, proving it’s one to keep an eye on. (TechCrunch)

Designers are taking to social media to “shame” the retailers ripping off their work. When Zoila Darton spotted a Forever 21 shirt eerily similar to the one she helped create to benefit Planned Parenthood, she posted a tweet to let the brand know their copycat didn’t go unnoticed—and quickly gained attention from fashion editors and others. This isn’t the first time pieces have been copied by Forever 21, but designers have a hard time taking legal recourse against the powerful company. Instead, social media posts are often their best bet. (NYTimes)

BeautyCon is continuing to take “Sephora and Coachella and smash it into one thing” to appeal to young consumers. At the latest L.A. event, 20,000 beauty fans came to meet their influencer idols and try out the latest makeup trends, surrounded by empowering slogans and messages—true to the brand’s idea that “beauty can be something beyond a concealer culture.” Of course, brands were there “to win over the new generation”—ChapStick Duo offered cotton candy while Rimmel London’s “slayground” gave attendees a chance to set down their makeup and enjoy a jungle gym and swing set.
(The New Yorker)

It turns out saving money might not be cord cutters’ top reason for switching to streaming. Instead, a recent Magid Associates survey found that “the attractions” of SVOD programming (aka their content) is their top reason for making the move, followed by the overall decline of TV-viewing among 18-24-year-olds. Cable companies are trying to reel The Post-TV Gen back in by offering lower-cost cable bundles (so-called “skinny bundles”), but stepping up their shows might be a better first step to reversing the “accelerating” trend of cutting the cord. (TheStreet)

Pokémon is reaching out to a new generation of trainers with its first app for preschool-aged kids. Pokémon Playhouse follows in the wake of the massively successful augmented reality app, Pokémon Go (which was so popular that we put together an entire infographic on it) but won’t be AR-based. Instead, Playhouse will tap into the collectibles trend by featuring favorite characters like Pikachu for kids to collect by completing activities. There will also be puzzles and more in the app’s “interactive park.” (Kidscreen)

“I'm literally listening to music any time it is socially acceptable.”—Female, 28, MN

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