The relative lack of visibility and opportunity for woman, both real and fictional, means that we’re still in a place where pretty much every woman is looked at as a potential role model for all women. Actresses, pop stars, female characters— basically all women with any sort of platform— are all likely to be torn apart by critics if they’re viewed as a poor example of womanhood.
Men and male characters don’t have the same sort of burden of perfection, and how boring would every movie and book be if they did? But there are fewer stories told about women, and fewer women to look to in general, so it’s totally unfair, but also understandable to want those we do have to be exemplary.
So no, not every woman, or every female character, should be held up as a role model for all women and girls, and not every woman wants (or should be expected to want) to be viewed as such. But it’s pretty cool when a powerful, highly visible and influential woman declares that she’s nothing short of thrilled to step up to the role model plate. And that’s what Brie Larson says she’s feeling as she prepares to take on the role of Captain Marvel.
You know, the thing that’s been the most exciting now is, like, on social media I get sent a lot of pictures of young girls in the Captain Marvel costume, and I’m excited to see more than that. She’s such a great symbol for young girls, and I’m realizing the deficit we have, that we don’t have more of those.
I think it’s really cool to see a girl in, you know, a Batman costume or a Spider-Man costume. But I’m really excited that there is, like, a symbol of women. I think that that’s really important.
Brie Larson is under no obligation to take on the mantle of “good example.” But she has proven herself to be a smart, kind human time and again, and she is going to be playing an actual hero— one which, as she pointed out, is sorely needed. So for all the girls (and women and really just everyone) out there who want someone to look up to, this is a woman and a character who are worthy of the job.