Strong Female Character Costumes

Strong Female characters are quite the trend today.  The public wants less kind and sweet Snow White and Cinderella types, and more Black Widow and Katniss Everdeen kick-butt, cool-story types.

A while back, I read this good article about character development for strong female characters: Strong Female Characters.  You can read about the way newer strong female characters fit into the stories there, because that’s not what I’m here to write about today.

I recently watched Avengers: Age of Ultron with my sisters (skip the rest of this paragraph if you haven’t seen it yet).  I enjoyed the film overall.  I haven’t read any of the comic books, so I really like Hawkeye’s family life twist.  The scene where the characters take turns trying to lift Mjölnir is one of my favorite movie scenes ever.  The scariest part for me wasn’t during the action scenes, but was when the new Vision guy held Thor’s hammer.

(You can come back now, no more spoilers.)  Black Widow and Scarlet Witch both fit into this “strong female character” category without being just cookie cutter molds.  They both have their own terrible backstory and have individual struggles as a result.  They each have super cool robot/alien fighting skills.

So why do they dress like this?

These costumes don’t give the independent impression at all.  They don’t tell us that these women stand up for themselves and that they don’t rely on others’ affections.  These outfits cry, “Look at me!”

Not only do these outfits disagree with their characters, but they’re impractical.  If I were to go into a high-intensity, super-dangerous situation like the ones these girls face, I wouldn’t wear a tight suit.  It could rip when shattering glass flies, or when I kick too high.  I’d put on as many layers as comfortable in hopes of impact protection, especially in a rather cold country in Eastern Europe.

These aren’t the only strong female characters that dress like this.  I’m just using them as my example.

I like J.R.R. Tolkien’s strong female characters.  The Middle Earth ladies, particularly Galadriel and Éowyn, exhibit dignity and respect.  Galadriel is married and Éowyn marries, but they both stand on their own.  And their costumes tell that story in Peter Jackson’s movies.


Éowyn has a rather tragic back story.  Her father and mother are dead, and her uncle, the king of Rohan, is possessed.  She has always lived under the shadow of her brother Éomer.  When the time comes, Éowyn is the one who kills the Nazgûl.  Yet, she wears a modest (and gorgeous) dress.  When she goes to battle, Éowyn goes all Disney-Mulan and dons the armor she finds.


Galadriel is the fairest of the elves living in Middle Earth.  She has powers strong enough to keep Sauron and his armies away from Lórien, the land she rules with her husband.  She is the Lady of Light, which her costume radiates.  It is as pure as she is.  Her dress is gentle, but not plain.  Galadriel and her dress speak the same message.

I’m not much of a fashion designer, but I love stories.  Clothing is a part of the story telling.  Right now I’m wearing jeans and a T-shirt.  I have a watch on my left wrist, and I threw a clip in my hair to keep it out of my face (my mom called it the ‘messy clip look’). You can’t tell my entire life story from it, but you can tell a few things about me.  You can see I like being productive, and that I don’t think through too much about what I wear on a normal day.

What does your clothing say?  It doesn’t need tell everything about you, but it shouldn’t contradict your story either.  Proverbs 31:23 says that the godly woman is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.  Do your clothes shout for attention from guys or do your clothes whisper confidence?

Strong Female Characters @ Unreached by the Frost

Photo cred:
Scarlet Witch:


One thought on “Strong Female Character Costumes

  1. I totally agree with you. The clothing does help tell the story and I admire the modest, yet strong female characters not the skimpy, attention getting dress that lots of modern female characters are wearing. Great post!


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