Thursday, June 6, 2013

Exposure Is Good

There's a Canadian/Australian cartoon show that's made its way to the states.  It's called "Shezow," it's on Hub and it features a twelve year old superhero.

I think that's a good start: give the audience someone they can identify with.

The superhero story is kind of a mashup of others: a magic ring (a la Green Lantern) converts him into Shezow (credit Captain Marvel).  His powers include super strength, speed, and voice.  He has gadgets (belt, car, plane like Batman).  He protects the people of Meg(!)adale.
The ring is made to be passed down from woman to woman within his family and when he puts it on he magically acquires the SheZow costume (and hair, but he seems to keep his own voice).

He's all-boy and totally unfazed by wearing the costume.  He's clearly not transsexual in any way, but he
seems comfortable with the costume, which is a great lesson for kids (it doesn't really matter what you wear, does it?).  I guess he's an accidental crossdresser, and the show has a couple of important lessons for those outside our community:
   * women can be empowered and powerful.  One of the problems civilian males have with crossdressing is, dressing as a woman is seen as giving up power.  You're taking a strong (male) role and giving it up for a weak (female) one.  This might help kids shake that long-standing stereotype.
   * dressing is OK.  The hero (Guy) doesn't become a woman when he uses the ring.  He becomes a superhero who has long hair and wears a skirt.  If he had a hammer, he'd be Thor.

One fun thing the creators added: he gets his powers from "good grooming."  In episode two, his hair gets messed up and he loses his powers until he uses the special hairspray in his "beautility belt."  Yes, they are pun-heavy.

So far, there's one season of SheZow.  The hero is 12.  His voice doesn't change, his physical features don't change.  When he has to make an appearance he's clearly trying to sound like a girl.  I wonder if he'll have to make an effort to pass as he grows older.

Only the writers know.


  1. Lets hope he has a chance to grow older, it's shame no one is showing it this side of The Pond.

  2. If he's like a lot of other toon kiddies, he'll stay that age for as long as the ratings come in. Look at characters like Timmy Turner; he stayed a kid so long that it became a plot point in one episode.

  3. Great on target review of the new cartoon. I can think of no person better able than you to do the spot on evalualtion that you hit. Meg seems to reside at the vortex of crossdressing, cartoons, comics and technology.


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