Just like everyone else in the world, I have my up days and I have my down days (maybe more so than others because I’m a college student). However on days where I feel especially down, on the worst of the worst days, I have adopted the habit of wearing my superman shirt under my shirt, and on days where I am especially overwhelmed or disappointed it does a lot for me to see that electric blue of my Superman shirt peeking through my button down shirt. A symbol of the man who has saved the world 10 times as many times as your favorite superhero. A symbol of hope. Which brings me to my point: WHY DO YOU ALL HATE SUPERMAN SO MUCH?? Any superhero is going to have their fair share of haters, but Mr. Kent has always had a fair share more, and why? For what reason?
When I asked other people why they felt so strongly about Superman I heard numerous answers. “He is boring” was a popular one. “He is too judgmental” “OP” “Too perfect” “Lame” the list goes on.
Why is superman “lame” for being better or a cheat code and the Hulk not? The hulk is literally a 2 ton death machine. People say that Superman is boring? The guy is the greatest to ever come through the comic book world. I could not even begin to put together a list of his accomplishments! The Golden State Warriors have lost what 9 games this year; The Warriors are the best out right now and it is absolutely thrilling and fun and in no way boring. So why can’t superman be the best and it be fun and thrilling? The 6’5 DC MVP hailing straight outta Krypton. People argue he is too perfect? To that I say that Superman has taken way more than his fair share of L’s. Then what is it? Why does superman get so much unwarranted hate? Is it because Superman has been around for so long? Have we grown tired of the Man of Steel overcoming overwhelming odds? How quickly we forget.
*****Batman v Superman spoiler alert******
This in essence is what made the end of Batman vs Superman one of the few great things about that movie. The people of this word did not appreciate Superman while he was there. How quickly everything went south for the world’s greatest hero post saving the world, a world that did not deserve Superman or maybe a world that was not ready for Superman is better. You know how they say we never truly appreciate anything until it’s gone. That is what made the “death” of Superman so iconic. The world did not appreciate him and now they are going to have to survive for however long until he comes back.
People will suffer. People will pray. People will hope for better days. Hope for a hero. Hope for Superman.
Which brings back to the real world why do we have such negative views about the Superman figure? I spent a lot of time pondering over this question and when it hit me it was relatively simple. I think that in some cases (not all of course) it can go back to a sense of self. It is because Superman represents hope that can cause this train of thought hope for all things, a better world, a better future….a better you.
A new self that you yourself may not think that you are even capable of becoming. A future that you may even go so far as to deem yourself as underserving of. An image that when you see it in the mirror you feel scared of becoming that because of the pressures that will come with living up to such lofty expectations.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” I am sure that you have heard that quote plenty of times but it fits here so perfectly. People naturally project themselves onto other figures so when we see Superman, the best of us, it frightens us. We project ourselves on Superman and it shows us how good we can be while simultaneously giving us standards we could not imagine reaching. We compare ourselves to Superman and I think that is where a lot of the negativity comes from and is in turn thrown onto the fictional character of Superman. I know that I have definitely been there and I am sure a lot of us have when I see someone is where I want to be (whether career wise, financially, mentally, ect) but I am only seeing the final product and it’s intimidating. Intimidating enough sometime to the point of just saying screw it and not even beginning the process.
The next line of the our deepest fear quote reads “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” Projecting ourselves onto Superman is alright to an extent but we have to stop comparing others peoples journeys to our own. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. We all have our own story that we are going to have to inscribe onto this planet. I write this article as more than just a deeper look into the Superman character but also to serve as a deeper look into ourselves. Don’t let Superman represent a you that you don’t think you are capable of becoming. Instead let Superman be a calling to be more. Let Superman be the hope of getting there and the motivation of taking action. If we can do that, if we can make that small shift in our psyche, I really believe that we will all begin to view Superman in a much different light. You are adequate, You are enough, You are important. That is what Superman is and can be for us.
So even now on my darkest of days when nothing seems to be going my way. I assure you that I’ll continue to wear my superman shirt under my shirt, a small but meaningful gesture. Hope. Hope for a better tomorrow, hope for working towards a better me and a constant reminder of just how powerful we all are.
The defense rest its case.
By: Taylor Bauldwin, Pokémon master
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