You Go Girl!
By painting the positive portrayal of women and girls in Pokemon, the biggest media franchise ever,
my ambition is to highlight and amplify an empowering narrative.
It's fascinating how comic books and popular media reflect and contribute to societal norms and stereotypes over time.
In the 1950s romance comics, or movies, women were mostly depicted as helpless and dependent on men for their salvation and fulfillment. These stories reinforced traditional gender roles and prescribed societal expectations for women to prioritize domesticity over independence. Roy Lichtenstein's artworks based on these comics captured this moment in American society, exposing the prevalent clichés and stereotypes of the time.
Knowing the subliminal power of such stories, I wondered how women and girls were depicted in the biggest media franchise ever: the Pokemon. I was happy to observe the presence of powerful female characters who are not just damsels in distress but have ambition, fighting spirit, and diverse roles such as scientists, inspectors, and bosses while still being feminine and sexy.
These female characters gain their strength from their work and mental fortitude rather than being portrayed as superheroes, which helps to break away from the notion that women's power is inherently tied to supernatural abilities and highlights the importance of determination, intelligence, and dedication.
It has to be said that male characters still have the main role most of the time, and in the ranking of the most powerful trainers, the top two are boys, followed by two girls in 3rd and 4th position. Patriarchy is hard to beat.
As my son summarized it “there are not a lot of girls in Pokemon but they are powerful”.
By featuring these powergirls in my paintings, my ambition is to amplify this positive narrative. You Go Girl!.