Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Is Captain Marvel Being Stereotyped Because She’s Not “Feminine Enough”?

First things first: this article contain spoilers!

Even before it premiered, Captain Marvel was all over social media. Comments about how the main character, Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), is a really badass woman let people, especially men, to believe that it was a “feminist movie” – and just because that it would be Marvel’s biggest fail.

But the truth is that it became a huge success. With a US$900 million box-office milestone in ticket sales worldwide, it now ranks as the 10th biggest comic-book release of all time, surpassing successful Marvel superhero movies like Thor: Ragnarok ($854 million), Venom ($855 million), and Spider-Man: Homecoming ($880 million). Read the review here.

GIF Source: GIPHY​

Now, what that discussion about stereotypes has to do with it? After all, the movie is all about Carol’s journey to find herself and become the strongest superhero on Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yes it is, but we need to see between the lines.

We begin to know her as Vers, a member of the elite team of Kree warrior. When she comes to Earth on a mission, she discovers her real identity as Carol Danvers, an ex-army pilot that everybody thought was dead after a plane crash. This “accident” is the reason she has powers and also why she can’t remember this “old life”.

While on Earth, she remembers flashes of how she was a real tomboy as a child, always being called out by her father because she’s supposed to “act like a girl” and struggling in the US army to gain a little respect among men.

Even though we are introduced to many male characters, like Yon-Rog (Jude Law), and have Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) as a big part on the story, she is the one under the spotlight. And *biggest spoiler* she’s alone in this until the end. No romantic partner or soever – and not one prospect either.

Saying that, I need to address another topic in discussion: her appearance on the new Avengers: Endgame trailer. First, we have Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Everybody knows that he’s a handsome, cool guy and the hero we’re cheering for no matter what, but why is he a possible match for Carol after a 12 second scene and a “I like this one” line?

GIF Source: GIPHY​

If isn’t bad enough that people are trying to find a pair for her (can’t a woman be by herself?), another group started a debate about how it is impossible for them to be together because Carol’s a lesbian. WAIT, WHO SAID THAT?

And even if many theories about Carol and Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) being together before the accident and Brie Larson is now shipping her with Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) – it actually is a ship we want to happen, because would be just perfect and really important for LGBTQ+ women -, we still have to say that her sexuality wasn’t a topic on the movie. Everybody just assumed that she’s a lesbian because she isn’t “feminine”? And even if it is true, lesbians need to be “masculinized”?

Image Source: Twitter

Another thing about the “not feminine enough” is Carol’s style. She is always wearing uniform or basic jeans, leather jacket and T-shirt, in a mix of the 80’s rock n’ roll with a sporty touch – nothing considered “girly”, but yet doesn’t a lot of women dress like that nowadays too? Not every girl likes/wants to be on heels all day or wear tank tops, dresses and skirts, especially if you need to save the world any moment because, let’s face it, even if it is cute, it may not be comfortable to fight alien villains on daily basis.

GIF Source: GIPHY​

Even with that perspective, Carol is clearly wearing makeup on that trailer (and in many of Captain Marvel’s scenes too). What’s the matter, right? Well, it is actually our second topic about stereotypes because everyone is really mad about it on Twitter.

It became a huge discussion with two different groups: one that thinks the makeup is a “chance do feminize her” and other that is totally against her using cosmetics just because she’s definitely “not that feminine”. Although, both of them is on the same matter: how could she do that if she has this “badass and not at all girly” personality? And there are people blaming Brie Larson for doing “nothing to stop” this.

Image Source: Twitter

First of all, I have to mention that nobody knows the context of the scene yet because it was just a trailer. But the most important thing is: Captain Marvel’s a superhero that apparently saving the universe for 30 years, why can’t she do whatever she wants, single or in a relationship, makeup free or not? This things does not matter when she’s doing her job.

Her journey is a lesson while she learned to embrace her emotions and her strength to find herself not only as a superhero, but as Carol Danvers as well. She’s was the key to S.H.I.E.L.D literally starts it all.

After all, she still is a badass woman and a role model to many girls around the world because she’s closer to real women than other female superheroes. Don’t get me wrong, we love Wonder Woman, but she’s flawless and perfect all the time – we don’t get to see her failures as much as we saw Carol’s.

GIF Source: GIPHY​  

That’s the reason why we shouldn’t put Captain Marvel on a stereotype. She can’t be put in one, because she can do whatever she wants and has nothing to prove. On the end of the day, women can save the universe and show that they don’t want/need to be in a relationship or that there’s no problem with wearing makeup once in a while – or never, if they don’t want to. It’s not anyone’s business but hers.

Larissa Bomfim

Casper Libero '19

Journalist and completely immersed in pop culture (and a little bit of indie, we must confess). My "watchlist" on Netflix is only smaller than my pile of books waiting to be read.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️