When Mazzy was younger, she played Superheroes as often as she played Princesses, but shifted away from the stuff she deemed “for boys” as she got older. Harlow is influenced heavily by Mazzy so as a result, her obsession with princesses and rejection of pretty much everything else started much earlier.
A few weeks ago, Target sent me two huge boxes full of costumes, accessories and toys from the new Captain America movie, so I was curious to see Mazzy and Harlow’s reactions to them. I took a big box of the costumes out to the house last week. Captain America, Iron Man, Ant Man, War Machine, etc. I had talking masks, magnetic shields, shooting arm blasters— it was quite a selection.
The girls got immediately excited by all the stuff (Mazzy was particularly interested in the toys that shot nerf pellets), but they kept digging through the costumes.
“Where are the girl costumes???” Mazzy asked.
“It’s just a mask and a shield. You put it on and suddenly Captain America is a girl.”
It was that easy. Mazzy put on a Captain America t-shirt, the scope helmet and had me help her attach the shield to her arm. She looked badass.
When Harlow saw Mazzy, she ran into the other room and grabbed a random blue cape we have in the dress-up bin. I told her she could put on the Ironman mask but she was content with her cape.
Mazzy had friends over so they dressed up and got into the action too— running around and saving each other from mysterious forms of impending doom.
It’s funny because when Mazzy and Harlow dress-up as Princesses, they are usually reenacting the exact stories they know word for word. Elsa freezes Anna and leaves town and Anna must find her. Cinderella cleans the house for her mean stepsisters until her fairy godmother sends her to the ball where she meets the prince, etc. etc.
With Captain America and all the Superheroes, Mazzy and Harlow have no script to follow. They don’t know the stories or the specific powers and they make it all up as they go along.
In fact, when Mazzy was younger, she made up a Superhero called Flower Girl who sprayed water on flowers and plants to make them grow. I even made her a Flower Girl costume for Halloween one year. In the Captain America costume, particularly with the shield (which she LOVED), Mazzy clearly felt powerful and strong. She ran with purpose, shouting things like, “I’ll save you! Then I’ll save the world!”
When the other kids grew tired of playing and Harlow passed out on the couch (still wearing her cape, mind you), Mazzy was not finished.
“Nobody will play Superhero anymore!” she cried.
“Do you want me to play with you?”
“YES! Now go into the playhouse and pretend it’s on fire!”
I did as I was told. “HELP! HELP!”
Mazzy ran up to the house and threw open the door. “Never fear! I am here!” She brandished her shield as if somehow a shield could put out a fire.
“Thank you, Captain America! You saved me!”
“Now I’m off to save the world!”
Then she ran off into the yard, up the swing set, down the slide, across the driveway and scaled the playhouse until she was standing on top. I watched her survey the yard for dangers unknown.
Who is she protecting and what from? I’m not sure. But whoever and whatever it is, she definitely doesn’t need any boys to get the job done.
Take home Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War with toys, gear & more at Target.
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