It is so easy for young boys to have heroes in today’s society. Take a look at the film industry. There are dozens of superhero movies featuring a strong male character who saves the planet, or even just New York City. They are usually kind, intelligent, strong, and handsome, and this is a good example of what boys strive to be like growing up. Boys have such easy access to role models, from Spider-Man to Captain America to Will Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean.
As great as this is, allowing our male youth to look up to decent men, it only encompasses one half of the children of our future. Girls have never had the same amount of strong female characters to look up to growing up. Of course, girls can still look up to male characters, but it is important for girls to see strong women doing the same things that the male characters are doing in their respective films. Thankfully, as the years are progressing, women are rising in prominence at the cinema. In the 90s, we had Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We’ve had Elizabeth Swann, also in Pirates of the Caribbean, and Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series.
A role of much importance as of recent, is Daisy Ridley and her role as Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. You can take a look at the advertisements for the new movie. Rey is usually front and center, which is incredibly revolutionary for women. This is especially amazing considering the Star Wars franchise is usually marketed only to boys, disregarding the strong group of female science fiction fans. With the increasing number of women having large or even leading roles in movies, girls are starting to have an equal chance of having as many role models in their lives as boys do. To see a girl on the cover of a poster in the center (rather than the background as nothing but the love interest) gives hope to young girls who have gotten used to seeing male heroes on the front of everything. It is important for the youth of our latest generations to have both male and female role models equally, and at the rate we are going, women are on their way to being just as prominent as their male counterparts.