The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl - Unbeatable Role Model

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2020-12
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Maxwell, Kathryn
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Natural Resource Ecology and Management
The Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management is dedicated to the understanding, effective management, and sustainable use of our renewable natural resources through the land-grant missions of teaching, research, and extension.
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This project is about how a pop culture figure can be used to present a positive role model in today’s society. Squirrel Girl is a comic book superhero who demonstrates that being a strong individual is less about physical strength and more about strength of character. Through the media form of comic books, she is a role model to readers of all ages. She demonstrates a positive self-image through her narration, most importantly her positive self-talk. Mainstream media often sends messages that undermine self-perception, especially tweens who are struggling with who they are becoming. Squirrel Girl is also drawn with an appropriate body shape for who she is (part girl, part squirrel) that is very relatable to the average person, especially females. Her body shape is compact and muscular like a gymnast, appropriate for the human athletic equivalent of a squirrel. However, today’s society more often values female shapes which are thin and curvy, which can lower self-esteem in individuals who aren’t shaped like what society considers ‘beautiful’. She also shows that girls (females) can do math by attending college and majoring in Computer Science, a STEM field that is underrepresented by females both nationally and here at ISU.
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