Let’s begin with the obvious: The Powerpuff Girls are not your stereotypical, macho superheroes with supernatural powers, willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of humankind.
The Powerpuff Girls are the result of a scientific experiment that went wrong because of the addition of Chemical X, a mysterious substance that gives the girls their characteristic appearance. This is the first thing to keep in mind: their super strength is an accident, not something inherent to their personality, but the traits that are intrinsically theirs are: willpower and bravery.
Although the days when we sat in front of our TV to watch their new episodes are long gone, we can never forget the valuable lessons they gave us about feminism, equality, and respect in their daily struggles against evil-doers.
Feminism means equality
Many of the misunderstandings that society faces when dealing with the word “feminism” stem from the fact that people tend to equate it with “machismo.” Some people think that feminist women think men are inferior, useless beings. However, feminism is actually about trying to achieve equality.
Feminism, not discrimination
The Powerpuff Girls fight super villains, but when they face an evil female villain they do so with the same strength. Do you remember the villainess who robbed banks in coins of Susan B. Anthony? They treated her with equal force. This is what this way of living and thinking entails: to treat everybody, men and women, as equals.
Self-reliance, not over-confidence
The fact that women are self-reliant and strong doesn’t mean they do not need help from others. They are people with strengths and weaknesses, as everybody else, and whenever they need help, they ask for it. Oftentimes, being self-reliant is mistaken for not needing anything from anyone, but this attitude eventually leads to loneliness.
To be a strong woman doesn’t mean you run around kicking puppies or breaking things, or that you necessarily look like a tomboy. Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup live a normal, everyday, little-girl life until they need to get serious and fight crime, but they never lose their essence.
This follows the previous point. The historical stereotype of women is that of an impossibly delicate flower, and if that is how you want to define yourself, that doesn’t mean people have to look down on you. Your strength can perfectly live side by side with your gracefulness.
These outdated and hurtful prejudices must eventually vanish from existence. Of course, it is an endless and tiresome job, but the Girls have shown us that, to achieve anything, you have to fight every day.
Being feminine doesn’t mean being weak
Being delicate, taking care of your appearance, and being sensitive doesn’t ever mean you are weak. Your sensitivity or cute looks should never be mistaken for weakness. Bubbles is the cutest of the three, but she can show strength when needed.
If you are going into a fight, you need allies
The Girls know that, although they are strong and have superpowers, some fights are not to be fought alone. That is an intrinsic part of recognizing you are a three-dimensional human being. To understand the need to ask for help as a “female weakness” is a social construct, which is precisely what The Powerpuff Girls fight against.
A woman is perfectly capable of keeping things under control
Although the stereotypical image of masculinity is that of a cold head and even temper, women are just as capable of keeping things under control without losing their minds. Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup have both asked for help when needed and solved the problems themselves.
The gender gap closes a bit everyday thanks to those who fight everyday
The huge gap that separates women’s conditions from those of men will only close with a lot of daily work or, in the case of The Girls, with the daily fight against monsters. Change is not something that happens overnight: it’s a long, hard, and grueling process that must be done every day.
Stereotypes hurt everybody
There is nothing more hurtful than the stereotype of the weak woman who can’t stop crying or buying shoes, or of that of a fragile, ornamental creature whose head is only good if there is a luscious mane of hair on top of it. These stereotypes can be taken down, but it will take time and effort. The Girls are proof of that.
The issue of “bad” girls
To be a “bad” girl is not just a phase, or a personality: “bad” girls are just one side of the moon. Both qualities (cute and bad) can perfectly be part of the same person. There is no need to repress one of those two to fit. Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup all have different and well-developed personalities that make them very real… well, aside from their superpowers.
The three Girls have their own personalities, different from the other two, and they act accordingly, without caring what others might say.
Know what you are capable of
Feminism begins when you understand you are a capable, useful, thinking human being, just like everyone else. To know yourself and to know your limits and weaknesses is the first step to break down all barriers.
It all depends on you
Everything in this life depends on how much you want it and how much you care about it. Anything you want to change or improve, all of it depends on how much you work for it.
We will never forget these lessons Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup gave generations to come!
All photos: @powerpuffgirls
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