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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“I honestly wouldn't like to communicate with brands, unless it is to solve problems their brand is causing.”—Female, 27, MI

Why don’t people seem to care as much about fake followers on Instagram as on other platforms? Because while Facebook and Twitter are bashed for feeds full of fake news, no one holds Instagram to the same standard. The image-centric platform is inherently “a hyperreality,” where no one’s candid shot is truly spontaneous, and photo-shop freely fills feeds. Where does it get tricky? With Influencers, who are expected to garner true engagements for brands. (Real Life)

Influencer marketing faced another tricky situation this week when PopSugar replaced influencers’ affiliate links with their own. RewardStyle and its Instagram product LikeToKnow.it’s network of content creators’ photos and sometimes entire feeds “were copied to the site via “thousands of ‘falsified vanity pages’ containing millions of images belonging to the network’s content creators.” The group is planning on seeking a class-action lawsuit on their intellectual property and for the lost revenue that PopSugar made each time a customer clicked to purchase. (Racked)

Colleges are giving out more merit-based aid to win over top students. Tuition discount rates have risen to a record 49.1% for first-time, full-time freshman attending private universities, up over 10% from ten years prior—according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. By using data-driven analysis to calculate just how much aid is likely to lure a top student in, colleges are seeing success upping their prestige. However, the practice has also “created a closing of the doors for low-income students,” according to one policy analyst. (WSJ)

Apple is betting that young consumers could bring back magazines via a magazine subscription service. The tech company took a gamble by buying Texture, a subscription service for over 200 titles that’s been dubbed the “Netflix of Magazine Publishing.” The app aggregates articles into a single browsing experience, rather than being separated by title, and pays the included publications. Apple has announced plans to integrate the service into their Apple News app, the latest incarnation of their less-than-successful Newsstand app. (Bloomberg)

Function of Beauty is customizing hair care, blending up shampoo and conditioner for each customer based off a five-question quiz. Beauty companies big and small have hopped on the Customization Nation trend, and Function of Beauty takes that to the next level with their hyper-personalized hair care set. They're customizing everything from the fragrance to the chemical components, and even going so far as to print the purchaser’s name on each product. The founder explains, "Every single person is unique and different...why negate that instead of catering to it?" (Paper)

“[Allison Raskin] is open about her struggles with mental health, and she is also funny.”—Female, 19, CA

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