As a kid, I adored Marvel comics. I had a compendium of The X-Men Universe, watched cartoons and read graphic novels. Though there were lots of women in strong, empowering roles, none of them looked quite like me.
Except the villains. As a tiny towheaded super nerd, the only women blonde women I encountered were bimbos or plotting to kill Dr. X.
Admittedly, I didn’t make the connection until I was researching possible cosplay options, but the conflict was there. In spending an hour or two (or three) looking through the X-Men Wikia, I found a few random, inconsequential characters who appeared occasionally to round out a shoot in the X-Men movies.
I hear you shouting “Emma Frost! What about Emma Frost?!” Yes, there were a few storylines where she was totally and entirely good from the start, but she’s a villain at some point in most of them. As I looked into the matter further, I became more and more frustrated with the Universe that used to be my escape.
After a while, I searched Reddit. Talk about a rabbit hole — I ended up spending 30 minutes looking at pictures of dogs dressed up as superheroes, but didn’t find anything that addressed the lack of blondes. Once I got back on track, I found several threads debating the hottest character, but it didn’t seem like Redditors cared about much above the neckline.
Though we female nerds have been speaking out more and more, there’s still a lot of bias to overcome within certain fandoms. I understand that the target audience for these comics is adolescent and pre-adolescent boys, but a good number of girls and women read them as well. So where’d the blondes go?!
Have any theories? Leave them in the comments.