Yes, this blog post has an unusual title.
That’s because this blog post has unusual content, especially for this blog.
I often use this blog in critical or cynical ways. Mocking things like Ocean’s Eleven, Fast and/or Furious films, House of Cards, etc. I call things dumb or bad. The specific article that I previously wrote about this was “Guys, Let’s Take it Easy on the Superhero Shaming Concept.” And I still do agree with my concept in that, which is we should be careful about creating buzzphrases like “superhero shaming” and that the director of Guardians of the Galaxy probably isn’t really getting “shamed,” whether he wins an Oscar or not.
But I recently saw, when reading through the search terms that have lead people to this blog, that someone stumbled across it as the result of searching “made fun of for liking superheroes.” Because of the possibility that someone might end up on this site as a result of searching for help after getting made fun of for liking superheroes, I felt obligated to write a blog post to assist the next person who might end up here for that reason.
This troubled me: the idea that someone is getting bullied for being a superhero fan at school (or work, as adults like superheroes too). And so I decided to break the usual theme of either a) hypothetical gritty reboots starring Christian Bale, or b) thoughts on popular culture/literature/movies, and instead offer some thoughts:
I am someone who has always enjoyed superhero stories, whether comic books, movies, television shows, or actual books. While yes, when you’re a kid, you might get bullied for that, it will get better. And there are resources for this. Here are a few of them.
2. Dealing with Bullying: http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/behavior/bullies.html
3. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay It’s a long novel, but one that I would recommend to everyone.
4. The Avengers A fun movie, and with the wide variety of superheroes in it, there’s someone for everyone to identify with.
5. A Song of Ice and Fire Sure, maybe Game of Thrones isn’t exactly child-appropriate. And the characters in it aren’t technically superheroes. But there are a few ideas in it that can help the bullied. Specifically, the plotlines of Sam Tarly, Tyrion Lannister, and Jon Snow. The friendship between “Lord Snow” and “Ser Piggy” is a great story about conquering bullying.
6. There are lots of other websites and non-profits and good resources. Can’t name them all, but this seems like another good one: http://www.pacerteensagainstbullying.org/tab/
Finally, the most interesting thing to note, in my opinion, about superheroes and bullying, is that superhero stories are often tales of hope, redemption, and overcoming adversity. While you might be made fun of for liking superheroes, the lessons in those superhero myths can help you overcome the negative aspects of bullying. Maybe that seems like a catch-22, but isn’t it better to like what you like and become a stronger person, rather than let shame and bullying change the (comic) books you want to consume?
To end with another thought from George R. R. Martin… as Tyrion Lannister said to Jon Snow: “Let me give you some advice bastard. Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”