Empowering Superhero Costume from TV’s Supergirl

Supergirl on CBS
Supergirl first on CBS, now on CW

We have ideas for the new empowered Supergirl costume, in time for the premiere of CBS fall show about a female crime-fighting action hero. After watching the show, I am sure there will be many young and older girls wanting to dress up as the newest female television superhero.

The show, classified as a drama, humorous, action-packed with some intrigue, romance and inspirational messages thrown into the mix.

Kara Danvers or Zor-el, played by Melissa Benoist, is a very likable, optimistic and hopeful female super role model, who wants to do good for her adopted planet, earth.

What is fantastic about this new character is that she has a redesigned, wearer-friendly suit, from Oscar-winning designer Colleen Atwood.

Her crime-fighting attire has the heroic Superman or girl “S” logo, but is functional (in a comic-world sense) for flying with the red cape and for fighting with thumb holes in her blue top and reasonable heels on her red boots.

We have pulled together ideas to make, modify or mash-up an empowered crime-fighting, female action hero costume for girls and tweens, or teens and adults. (Two separate pages)

Transforming a Former Glee Star

The CBS show features Glee alum Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers or Zor-El, cousin of Kal-El, better known to most as Superman. These cousins come from the planet Krypton and possess superhuman powers that they use for good.

Woman Fierce
WF (Woman Fierce) Hero

Glee fans will recognize Melissa as the very meek and mild, good girl (most of the time) Marley Rose from seasons 4 and 5 of Glee. It may be a bit hard to believe Melissa was cast as the latest superhero on television, but Clark Kent, the alter-ego of Superman, is always describe as “meek and mild-mannered.” Marley may have been a good warm-up role for this new one as Kara Danvers.

Her WF hero (to the right) from Glee’s 2012 Dynamic Duets episode, looks to have been preparation (of a sort) for her newest role as TV female super hero. She’s definitely got the superhero power fist punch going, similar to the flying picture above. Note: WF initially stood for Wallflower, Marley’s choice, but she was renamed to Woman Fierce by Kitty.

With her musical experience on Glee, I wonder if there will be some music added into the CBS show, a la, Ally McBeal, perhaps with Kara is a singer. One can only hope.

A Strong, Brave and Kind Super Hero

In an interview with USA Today, Melissa Benoist offered this insight into her character. “She’s all about hope and being good and kindness and doing the right thing, helping others.” As a beacon of heroism, this rare television female superhero is strong, brave and kind, a role model not only for young girls, but for anyone.

When you look at pictures of Melissa wearing her crime-fighting attire, it is easy to see with the transformation to the superhero before your eyes. She has commented about the transforming nature of the Superhero attire herself.

The first time I put the costume on, I definitely felt, like, this transformation — something inside of me clicked.

It’s kind of impossible not to feel strong and brave.

Melissa Benoist

Supergirl Melissa Benoist
Melissa Benoist as a Super, Action Hero

After reading the quote about how Melissa transformed and felt strong and brave after putting on the outfit with the Super “S”, all I can say is…

Let your young super hero fan feel that transformation, that strength and bravery and dress up like Supergirl.

The Costume Detective

Supergirl’s Wearable Empowering Action Hero Attire

Women’s Supergirl TV Costume

Colleen Atwood has designed a wearable, empowering female action hero outfit, by doing away with the plunging necklines and skimpy outfits normally seen in the DC Comics versions. This version has an appropriate high scoop neckline, a long sleeved top, a full skirt. To make the skirt even more uber-practical wear it with a pair of attached shorts like a skort.

For the second season of Supergirl on the CW channel, Rubie has created a premade Supergirl costume, seen to the right, based on the television version.

If you are interested in a DIY costume see the DIY Costume Ideas for Girls and Tweens and the DIY Costume Ideas for Adults and Teens. These pages have even more ideas, inspiration and resources to create your own super, action hero outfit for your super hero fan.

An Empowering Girls Costume

Supergirl was one of several that I identified as possibilities for my tween-aged daughters when I pulled together a list of Empowering Costume Ideas for Girls and Tweens in 2012. These empowering girls costumes were alternative ones to wear for Halloween, ones that will make them feel better about themselves and maybe even inspire a future career.

With her crime-fighting mission and super powers, Supergirl is much more empowering than many of the other costume choices given younger girls at Halloween by costume companies. The little girls (and those who buy their costumes) are listening.  The Washington Post noted that superheroes like Supergirl have overtaken princesses and is one of the top costumes for Halloween 2016.

SuperGirl Logo
SuperGirl Logo

She is the Strongest Human in the World

Take a look how at those involved in CBS’s new show explain how the new show celebrates strong women and girls. They are off to a good start with many strong female actors and executive producers involved with the show.

Calista Flockhart describes the show as a “Celebration of Girl Power,” but is it also “a show for guys and girls, for parents and kids,” one that will appeal to everyone.

Shouldn’t it be Super Woman?

The former Ally McBeal herself, Calista Flockhart, plays Kara’s boss at CatCo. As media mogul Cat Grant, she tackles the “girl vs. woman” debate brought up by Kara when deciding on the label and branding for the mystery flying woman who saved the plane.

Cat Grant points out by asking, “What do you think is so bad about ‘girl’?” in the season premiere.

I’m a girl and your boss and powerful and rich and hot and smart.

So if you perceive Supergirl as anything less than excellent, isn’t the real problem you?”

Cat Grant

By the time she’s done, we realize that “girl” is an empowering term, one associated with being powerful, excellent and smart, not belittling one.

A Historical Look at Female Television Heroes and SuperGirl

It is hard to believe that it has been 40 years (1975) since the last female DC Comics superhero has had a show on television. In 1975 Wonder Woman played by the beautiful Lynda Carter.

Wonder Woman has been a popular Halloween and staple for DC Comics cosplay. Her costume may have been envied by women and desired by men, but in general, has not been a practical, functional, wearable costume for women wanting to dress like this super hero. I never could figure out how she could run in a strapless top.

Brief History of Supergirl

Kara Zor-El was still born on the planet Krypton but was sent to Earth when she was 13 her planet was in peril. This is the same planet that her cousin, Kal-El (Superman) was sent to as a baby. Kara was raised by the Danvers family on earth, repressing her superhuman powers.

To learn everything you ever want to know and then some take a look at the two part series (links below) written by self-proclaimed geek consultant and writer, Alan Kistler. A lover of superheroes, Kistler explores the history and origins of Supergirl along with Superwoman and Powergirl from 1938 to 2015.

Kistler A. 2014 June 25. Supergirl, Superwoman & Power Girl Historical Timeline Part 1: 1938-1986. The Mary Sue. 

Kistler, A. 2015 July 5. Supergirl, Superwoman & Power Girl Historical Timeline Part 2: 1988 – 2015. The Mary Sue. 

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