And I felt represented just now when I read your piece and it resonated with me. Thank you.
Love this one. A very important essay given the way so many schools buy into the need for kids to "see themselves in" literature, history, etc. Eduardo's Superman reminds me of the fact that as a kid my favorite cartoon hero was Mighty Mouse. I think perhaps because I was the younger of two brothers and my brother often lorded it over me in various ways. Mighty Mouse's small size but invincible courage anyway made him someone for me to be represented by. As an adult now, I often think of my gritty hometown neighborhood, in Norwalk CT in the 1950s, as the very essence of who I am, along with New England-America-Polish-Russian Jewish heritage. Never have seen anyone in literature or film exactly like that, which is itself only a bare-bones outline of my "identity." Guess I will just stick with Mighty Mouse -- even if he is just a mouse.
I (a white male) remember identifying with and admiring characters portrayed by Jet Li, Keanu Reeves, Samuel L Jackson, and Tom Jane... as well as female characters. My favorite American hero as a kid was Harriet Tubman, and I sometimes liked to pretend to be her (and no, this doesn't make me trans, either!).
Now, this isn't really about being 'represented,' but it's more like, the characters they were playing were representing people I wanted to be like.
Representation should be about ideals, not about trivial things like looks.
Yes! Thanks for this. I've seen white women on TV and in movies my whole life, but I don't relate to most of them. I relate to Anita Hill, Rosa Parks and others who have challenged a narrative or pushed against the status quo.
Thanks for saying this so well, with respect to various viewpoints on the meaning and value of "representation", but not pulling your punches on your main point.
The first fictional character who came to mind for me was Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice (despite me being male).
Yes this!!! Superficiality seems to be everywhere these days or maybe it always was.... just seems more.