Comic books featuring all of our favourite superheroes have been around for a long time. Since your parents were kids. Since your grandparents were kids, even!Although that doesn’t mean many of the stories, the characters, the superpowers and the badass things they do aren’t still great today.

Batman, for example, first cropped up in a comic book waaay back in 1939. Nineteen-thirty-goddam-nine. Since then, there have been a lot of comic books, movies, TV shows and other cool stuff made about him, starring him and celebrating him. But you may have noticed there are often far too many superhero dudes on our TVs and in our cinemas and jumping through our comic books. Which begs the question: Where are all the badass female superheroes?

Well, there are actually lots out there if you look carefully. And the good news is, more and more are appearing each day. They’re also representing more and more actual girls and women too, which is always a really good thing.

So if you’re already into comic books, can’t get enough of the new Supergirl show or need a helping of badass female superpowers in your life and don’t know where to start, then check out our list of favourite female superheroes who are totally #goals…

(And if you like superhero stories and comic books, there are so so so many more characters and stories for you to explore. This list is just the beginning.)

1. Rogue

If you’ve watched any of the X Men movies or TV shows, chances are you’ve come across Rogue before. She’s really different in some of the older comic books, but in the modern day films she’s a teen just like you, trying to get her head around regular teen stuff – like growing up and crushes. The problem is, when she touches people she sucks all of their energy out of them. Eek! Not great for a first kiss.

Rogue soon learns how to harness her powers and use them for good – she just needs to wear gloves at first a lot to stop her hurting anyone. We like her so much because we get to see how she learns to better use and understand her powers over time; a classic rise of a superhero story. BOOM!

Superpower: She can absorb powers, energy, memories and sometimes even skills via touch.

2. Gamora

Gamora is another classic comic book superhero who has recently appeared in a big movie. She was played by Zoe Saldana in Guardians of the Galaxy and her back story is she’s the green-skinned, adopted alien daughter of Thanos, a huge supervillain who is a massive deal in the world of The Avengers.

She naturally has some awesome superpowers, like enhanced strength, speed and durability. But she’s also trained in all of the martial arts you could imagine across all kinds of worlds. Why do we love her so much? Well, due to all her training she became known as “the deadliest woman in the whole galaxy”. What. A. Title.

Superpower: Super human strength, speed, agility and durability

3. Storm

Like Rogue, Storm is part of the X Men, which means fans of the films will be all too familiar with her awesome white hair and eye-changing abilities. Take a look at her back story and you’ll see she’s the daughter of a tribal princess from Kenya, but moved around a lot when she was growing up, finally settling with the X Men team.

We’re such huge Storm fans because she can control the ACTUAL weather. You may think that’s not that cool. Making it rain? Yeah, we get that everyday. But when you’re fighting big baddies being able to whip up a hurricane or throw a bolt of lightning is nothing short of amazing.

Superpower: She can control the weather. And also, just a small thing, she can fly.

4. Jessica Jones

Thanks to a recent Netflix adaptation, this little known superhero is one of our favourites. We love Jessica Jones so much because in many ways she’s a bit of an anti-superhero. She doesn’t really want to be out fighting crime or helping people that much – she’s a private investigator, and helping people just kind of… happens. Sometimes.

She also doesn’t have to wear silly (or cool, depending on your preference) costumes to fight crime either. She wears normal clothes and messes up a lot. Maybe she doesn’t sound like the best role model in the world, but we can relate to her very real, human story.

Superpower: Super human strength and endurance.

5. Supergirl

You’ve probably heard of Superman before, obvs. But, thanks to a new TV show all about Supergirl, she’s set to become even more popular than her big cousin.

Supergirl’s official name is Kara Zor-El and the back story is that she was sent to Earth from the doomed planet Krypton. Sound familiar? That’s because this is Superman’s back story too. The thing is, his little space pod thing got to Earth but Kara’s didn’t. Well, not until years later. Hence the reason he’s zooming around being all super for ages before she doesn’t turned up.

But we love her now she’s here, not least because her show is so refreshing when we’re all used to seeing Superman with the big ‘S’ on his chest. She has it too!

Superpower: All the super stuff, basically. We’re talking super strength, heat vision, speed, mostly invulnerable, x-ray vision, microscopic vision and more.

@BeccaCaddy

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Girls, working together produces some pretty magical results. No ifs ands or buts about it. Add friendship to the mix, and hey, that’s when something really really special starts to happen.

It’s a formula young design duo, Me and You (aka Julia Baylis and Mayan Toledano) have sussed. The pair, who bonded over a mutual frustration of not fitting into the fashion school mould, joined forces in college, and haven’t looked back since. Making time between assignments and classes, Julia and Mayan took to Instagram to move their collaboration from pure teen-escapism to an actual business IRL. Urm, life-goals personified.

So what can we expect from this virtual store? Well, the brand boasts classics like the ‘Feminist’ print, as well as period pants taking you through your menstrual cycle day-by-day and kickass messages of self-empowerment. The ‘Don’t Touch’ sweatshirt, worn by Amandla Stenberg, is our favourite obvs.

by baby boo @petrafcollins (up on @rookiemag)

A post shared by amandla (@amandlastenberg) on

Five years on, and the bffs are still finding new ways to revolutionise our underwear drawer, one pair of ‘Feminist’ emblazoned knickers at a time. “We decided to take that word ‘feminism’, which is loaded, and use it in a fun, accessible way, in a pretty way, turning it into something that girls can actually relate to,” explains Mayan.

However, with one look at @its_meandyou’s Instagram feed, and it becomes clear that there is a sassy message at play underneath these ‘pretty’ pink pants. Body hair, cellulite bumps, braces and periods are all proudly – and regularly – showcased on their feed, revealing the female body as we rarely see it. Whilst run-ins with Instagram’s censorship policy (which really needs addressing btw) have been public, these women with their strict no-Photoshop policy, are dead set on celebrating the female body – blood, gunk and pubes included.

Today, boasting a follower count that’s just passed 45k, Me and You are working hard to forge an online culture of body positive and self-celebratory young women – girls after our own heart.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

On a good day, it feels like feminism is taking over the world. No longer a phrase to whisper only among your closest friends, plagued by notions of man-hating and visions of burning bras (which didn’t even happen!), it’s positively uncool not to be a feminist right now. Who doesn’t want equality, right?

But despite it being a simple concept – the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes, according to the dictionary – what it means to be a feminist is apparently up for debate. And one of the major talking points is femininity.

It’s true, the patriarchy (the system where men hold power) has imposed certain standards on us. Here in the UK, we’re expected to be hairless, thin, tanned and perfectly preened. Bonus points if we’re quiet and polite, too. It can be time consuming to live up to that and it’s frustrating when boys can just roll out of bed and be ready for the day without any judgements, when we’re expected to spend an age getting ready. I definitely don’t want to know how many hours I’ve spent shaving my legs when men are airing out their hairs to the world with no dramas, that’s for sure.

In response, some women and girls choose to challenge those expectations and avoid things that are typically and traditionally feminine. They might ditch the razor, go makeup-free, wear baggy clothes or cut their hair short. It’s their way of freeing themselves from those pre-set ideals. It’s a valid choice to make and it’s important to have the freedom to express ourselves in alternative ways.

So, what if you’re clued up on the patriarchy, beauty expectations and equality and your vibe is girly? What if you love pink, always have perfectly painted nails, wear makeup everyday and love having long, swishy locks? Does that mean you’re letting the side down? You could be forgiven for thinking that. Some people talk about how being feminine is giving in to beauty standards or letting the side down. They reckon that being girly and liking things like makeup and dresses means you’re not a proper feminist.

But if you give me a second though, I’m just going to pick all of those people up, pop them in a box, tape it up nice and tight and send them out to sea where no one can hear them. Ah, MUCH BETTER.

Those people are wrong. There is no set standard for feminism. You don’t have to look a certain way or shun the things you love to fit the mould. Do you think women and men, girls and boys should have equal rights? Congratulations, you are a feminist! And guess what? There’s no uniform.

If you want to fight for equal pay while wearing a whole load of pink, you do just that. If you want to wear enormous false eyelashes while you defend other girls’ rights to wear no makeup at all, go ahead. If you want to go to a protest wearing high heels, go for it.

Some people feel free without makeup, unhampered without the pressure of perfect eyeliner or flawless foundation. For others though, it’s a fun and creative outlet. It’s a form of expression and, let’s face it, a skill. Makeup can build confidence and make someone feel at home in their own skin just as high heels make some people feel powerful or long hair makes some people feel unstoppable.

Real equality means the freedom to be exactly who you want to be and if the person you want to be happens to be super girly then there’s nothing wrong with that.

In order for feminism to really work, we need to embrace and support every type of girl and woman on the planet, no matter what they look like or where they’re from or what their culture is. A feminist with hair extensions is just as authentic as a feminist with a shaved head and a feminist who wears lipstick is just as valid as a feminist who rejects makeup. So, if someone ever tells you that you’re doing feminism wrong or that you’re not a real feminist because you embrace the girly things in life, do me a favour: tell them they’re wrong and carry on being exactly who you want to be.

@SophieBenson_

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

 

Books are great for a variety of reasons. They look pretty on shelves, they’re useful for pressing flowers, they smell amazing. But one of my favourite things about reading book is uncovering great female protagonists (lead characters). The type who overcome the odds, the type who exceed expectations or the type who refuse to apologise for who they are.

Unfortunately, there aren’t as many books as there should be where the protagonist is a woman – and even fewer with girls. One study found that in 6000 children’s books, only 37% of them had female main characters. Since it was Day of the Girl on Tuesday and we are all about celebrating the sisterhood, we thought we’d have a look through our bookshelves and find our favourite literary girls.

1. Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games

If Destiny’s Child’s Survivor was written with someone in mind,  it would have been Katniss Everdeen(yeah yeah, we know it was written before the Hunger Games, but you get what we mean). We all know she’s tough, but perhaps the most wonderful thing about Katniss is how deeply she cares for her sister, Prim, for Rue and Peeta and Gale. And let’s be honest, isn’t it best to have a bit of both?

“Pity does not get you aid. Admiration at your refusal to give in does.”

2. Liesel Meminger, The Book Thief

Sometimes just thinking about this book can be enough to bring on tears. It’s set in WW2 and narrated by Death (stay with me). It’s a wonderful, quirky book about nine-year-old Liesel, who steals books but at the same time knows more about loss than anyone should ever have to.

“…She did not say goodbye. She was incapable, and after a few more minutes at his side, she was able to tear herself from the ground. It amazes me what humans can do, even when streams are flowing down their faces and they stagger on…”

3. Scout Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

Despite being published in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird is still shockingly relevant today. Scout is the daughter of a lawyer who is defending a black man accused of raping a white girl in the deep south of the USA. Scout is a fearless young girl who refuses traditional ‘feminine’ behaviours and is generally an all around kicker of ass.

“I felt the starched walls of a pink cotton penitentiary closing in on me, and for the second time in my life I thought of running away. Immediately.”

4. Frankie Landau-Banks, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks 

This is a lesser-known (and in my opinion, better) book from e. lockhart, the author of We Were Liars. It centres around a girl called Frankie, who is enraged when she learns she can’t join her boyfriend’s all male secret-society at their boarding school. So, in the manner of a totally awesome lady, she created a society of her own.

“‘You have some balls.’

Frankie hated that expression, ever since Zada had pointed out to her that it equates courage with the male equipment…”

5. Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables

Feisty orphan Anne is sent to live with a grumpy middle-aged brother and sister on a farm after a slight communication error (it was the early 1900s, so Whatsapp wasn’t available). They had actually requested a boy, but Anne quickly shows them that anything a boy can do, a girl can do better. Including totally win their hearts.

“There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.”

6. Jo March, Little Women

Little Women follows the adventures of the four March sisters as they grow up as girls in 19th century America. Tree-climber and playwright Jo is the most headstrong of the four, if she were around today I think her report card would be decorated with unsubtle pleas for her to “keep her temper under control.” The March siblings are all pretty kickass in their own ways, but Jo takes the cake.

“I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle – something heroic, or wonderful – that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all, some day.”

7. Matilda Wormwood, Matilda

If you can read this book without spending at least 20 minutes staring at inanimate objects hoping to move them with your mind, I salute you. Matilda has pretty crappy parents but when her teacher Miss Honey notices how clever she is, she discovers her magical powers. And we’re talking actual magical powers, guys, not just ‘believing in yourself’. Though of course that’s great too.

“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…”

8. Natasha Kingsley, The Sun is Also a Star

This book is about a girl who loves science and a boy who loves poetry. It’s a book about love, sure. But it’s also a book about Natasha, an illegal immigrant, who is about to be deported along with her whole family. Natasha is willing to fight really damn hard for her future – and when she meets Daniel, she’s willing to fight that little bit harder.

“He closes the file and pushes a box of tissues toward me me in anticipation of my tears. But I am not a cryer. I didn’t cry when my father first told us about the deportation orders, or when any of the appeals were rejected.”

9. Lily Owens, The Secret Life of Bees

Set in 1960s America, Lily and maid / stand-in mum Rosaleen run away from Lily’s dad and end up living with the Boatwright sisters who make honey (hence the title). This book is more adult than YA, which makes Lily’s role as the female protagonist even cooler. Lily is an amazing chick who isn’t afraid to go out and find the life she wants.

“Knowing can be a curse on a person’s life. I’d traded in a pack of lies for a pack of truth, and I didn’t know which one was heavier. Which one took the most strength to carry around? It was a ridiculous question, though, because once you know the truth, you can’t ever go back and pick up your suitcase of lies. Heavier or not, the truth is yours now.”

10. Bee Fox, Where’d You Go, Bernadette

When her mother Bernadette grants Bee’s wish to go on a family trip to Antarctica (casual), she gets enveloped in the plans. One day Bernadette disappears and it’s up to Bee to find her. As she sifts through her mum’s emails and old documents, she comes across some incredible revelations about her mum’s past.

“My heart started racing, not the bad kind of heart racing, like I’m going to die. But the good kind of heart racing, like, Hello, can I help you with something? If not, please step aside because I’m about to kick the shit out of life.”

So go and and get reading – there is so much kick-assery to discover.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome.

February is the month of love. Sure, you could be celebrating an actual romantic Valentine, or you and your mates could be each other’s Galentines. But what about celebrating the person who has your back 24/7? The person who gets you dressed and feeds you delicious unicorn bagels?

That’s right, we’re talking about YOU, you wonderful human. Why not practice a bit of self-love this month with these awesome slogan t-shirts?

A is for Awesome

Why yes, yes, you are. And you know what will go perfectly with your awesomeness? This sweatshirt.

here-to-be-awesome

Long-sleeved jersey top, H&M, £12.99

B is for Babe

You’re an unstoppable force! We know that you’ve totally got this, babe.

yougotthis

Slogan tee, H&M, £8.99

D is for date

Dinner and a movie? Sounds perfect – and this way you don’t even have to share your popcorn.

screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-14-41-22

I’d rather date myself, ASOS, £18

G is for Girl

You wanna wear an inspirational t-shirt with a bit of a 70s vibe? We say, ‘You go girl’.

you-go-girl

Ringer Tee, Monki, £10

P is for Power

You’re not just brilliant and clever and hilarious. You’re also hella powerful. Watch your vibes don’t interfere with the wi-fi.

babe-with-power-vibes

Message print, Pull & Bear, £12.99

S is for slayin’

Pride doesn’t always need to shout about it. This shirt is discreet, with a typeface you kinda have to squint to see… because you’re just slayin’ away, like NBD.

just-slayin

Slayin’, Monki, £8

T is for Texting

You don’t need anyone to text you a Happy Valentine’s Day. You’re an independent woman who has fabulous taste in tees.

dont-text-me

Rose envelope t-shirt, Pull & Bear, £12.99

Now all you need is to make yourself a handmade card and you’re good to go. Go on, be your own Cupid.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome.