I was excited to learn recently that the Powerpuff Girls, a cartoon show I watched in my youth, is making a comeback with a new series. In celebration, there is a website allowing you to make yourself into a Powerpuff Girl—with excessively large (and adorable) eyes, a large head, and a kick-butt attitude. Here’s my PPG avatar:
I even made one for my kid:
What I love about the Powerpuff Girls is the way they contradict stereotypes. I’m conflicted about the term “strong female character” because it implies that female characters aren’t usually strong. But the PPGs are indeed strong female characters. They look like cute little kindergarteners, but they can lift buildings and defeat bad guys.
As a kid, my mom, sister, and I watched the show together, each of us choosing a PPG who we most resonated with—Bubbles, the really cute one, just like my sister; Blossom, the kind of bossy one, the one with the red hair like me; and Buttercup, the fierce one, the dark-haired one like my mom.
I hope the new series will be done right—so that when my daughter is old enough to watch the show, I can draw from a whole new set of episodes that teaches her how to kick butt. Because every kid should be shown that with the right attitude, they can punch their way through limitations. After all, it’s a major part of the human spirit. And that’s something to celebrate.