Not All Superheroes Wear Capes

Growing up I watched superheroes like Batman, Superman, Spider-Man…

So I’ve always subconsciously thought the ideal superhero must:

  • Be wearing a cape ( of course!)
  • Be strong (How else were they going to rescue me?!)
  • Be male

The last one always seemed to bother me…I remember searching desperately for male figures in my life, for their undercover superhero nature; but i was always strangely unsuccessful.

After a certain point I stopped looking. There were no ‘superheroes’, at least not any that I knew of. Until i realised, i was looking for the wrong thing the whole time. Because every time i fell and scraped my knee and looked at the world with tear-flooded eyes…I saw a superhero.

I saw my mother.

Every-time I couldn’t run any further in life’s race , I would find myself on my mum’s shoulders. My mother is human (except when she’s mad at me of course!) but in her I see the strength of a thousand army soldiers. I’ve seen pain behind her glossy brown eyes and I’ve seen days where she’s struggled to work for her five kids.

But still, everyday she puts a smile on her face and tells me she loves me, this is when I realised not all superheroes wear capes. But they are certainly all strong and they CERTAINLY are not all male.

When I was younger I found this absolutely strange. Women can’t be heroes can they? I was wrong. Alongside my mum,I’ve seen other powerful figures; Suffragettes: Emmeline  Pankhurst And Millicent Fawcett, powerful women of colour displaying true Black Girl Magic: Amandla stenberg, Michelle Obama and many more!

The media seems to continuously place us women into these stereotypical passive positions, and then we are shocked when sexist comments are made?

I’m glad to be a Woman.

Yes, there are many challenges: People always doubt my strength as a young woman as opposed to a young man , people always seem to struggle to see past my appearance and body type , people struggle to believe that yes I CAN say no to what doesn’t make me happy. And how do I respond to that? Well I was elected into Hackney Youth Parliament and elected Young Speaker of Hackney at the age of 16… so I think that’s response enough, don’t you? 🙂

So let me introduce myself to you! I am Rose Ilunga . A strong ,independent woman of colour who doesn’t see my gender as a weakness but as a strength. 

Happy Women’s History Month! To all you women reading this. If you ever doubt your capabilities and what you can achieve remember you can do ANYTHING.

You ARE a superhero .