Being able to fly, to defeat all the villains of the world, and having supernatural power are just some of the supernatural characteristics of a superhero. However, these characteristics are the personification of what society would indicate to be the perfect man; or, depending on what superhero, a woman. I grew up admiring and idolizing Superman. From wearing his underwear to owning every one of his videos, I yearned to become Superman. This, however, was obviously impossible.
Superman can fly, create a laser beam from his eyes, and he can lift the heaviest of objects. Thus, not being a totally clueless kid, it was the ideals of being a man, that superman possessed, that I tried to copy: having incredible strength, being flagrantly courageous, and being heroic. This, through my admiration of Superman, is what I thought a man should be.
Some would say that aggressive male behavior is innate; however, it also has to do with the glamorously powerful superheroes that act as role models to males as they are growing up. Superman?s incredible strength has led him to victory over even the biggest and strongest of enemies. Watching him, I thought I could prove my strength by defeating other kids.
This did not mean that I went and tried to beat everyone up. Instead, I tried to be better than others at everything. I would try to hang on the monkey bars the longest, be the person who got picked first for any sport, and wrestle anyone to submission. Although my behavior sometimes got to aggressive, and got me in trouble, it always seemed to make me feel like more of a man.
Superhero?s also possessed that perfect body that went along with being powerful. They would have perfect biceps, gigantic pecks, and six-pack abs.
Although body image is more of an issue with teenagers and adult, this does have an effect on kids. The role models, that kids are introduced to, almost always have a perfect body. Superman, undoubtedly, had a perfect male body: lots of muscle and no fat. In fact, I cannot remember a superhero, male or female, that did not have a perfect body when I was a kid. It is from these images that teach kids, from the beginning, that being fat and weak is ugly. This translated into the ?ugly? kids being made fun of.
I, too, fell into the trap of mocking others, who were not perfect, when I was a kid. I also remember trying to hide any blemish of my own body, so that I would not become a victim of the scorn.
Besides the many physical strengths of a superhero, they also possess great mental strengths. It takes allot of courage to deal with evil villains and all their devious trickery. Superman encounters many difficult and virtually impossible challenges, and manages to take them head on without any evidence of fear on him. Watching him be so courageous had great impacts on me as a kid.
I never liked to cry, especially if others were watching. That was probably the worst thing you could get caught doing in elementary school. Another effect it had on me was that I never showed fear even if I was petrified. An example of this would be with the first time I sat on a roller coaster. Although I was completely scared to go on the Vortech when I was eight years old, every one else was going on it. Instead of getting ridiculed by the others, I decided to suck in my fear and hop on the ride.
There were many other examples just like this one in my life: swimming, diving, and bungee jumping are just a few. In many of these cases I felt that I had to be fearless and brave, just like superman, because that is what being a man is all about.
A characteristic of all superheros is their great heroism. Superman, no matter how dangerous the situation, is constantly saving the world and others from harm. Although I did not have supernatural powers to save everyone and everything, I always tried to help the people I loved. I was always the first the person .