Girls’ Superhero Underwear Is Selling Out Online: Are Retailers Listening?

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About Tom Burns

Tom Burns is a husband, a dad, and a veteran of the educational publishing industry, living just outside of Detroit Rock City. He’s also been a writer and contributing editor for a number of web sites, including 8BitDad, and founded - a website devoted to helping parents find the right books for their kids. You can find him on Twitter at @buildalibrary.


  1. Pretty sure those are “Batgirl” underwear. But all the same, this is great.

  2. Fair point. But, when you consider that manufacturers and retailers were barely making any superhero underwear for young girls, I consider this a baby-step in the right direction.

    • What Red Seven is saying is that your caption says “Batman underwear for girls”, but the underwear themselves say “Batgirl” and have images of the character Batgirl. Still very cool, but different than the caption. Maybe that’s what you’re saying too, but as a comic nerd dad, I had to say something. :)

      • Oh, thanks for the clarification, Brent. As a huge comic nerd dad myself, I apologize. That’s totally a typo – will fix in a minute.

      • Joanna Schroeder says:

        Well, to be clear, Batgirl is part of the Batman theme and brand. It’s like saying that Jessie undies from Toy Story wouldn’t actually be Toy Story undies.

        I added an asterisk to clarify, though, because you’re right that it’s not actually Batman, just Batman-branded.

        • As a nerd non-dad, but something of a feminist, I actually *like* the fact that the underwear features Batgirl, specifically. She’s a great character, and a good role model for little girls who are likely to be inspired by costumed crimefighters.

        • As a nerd non-dad, but something of a feminist, I actually *like* the fact that the undies feature Batgirl, specifically. She’s a great character with a terrific backstory (couldn’t get into the Police Force or FBI, so aligned herself with Batman and became a kick-ass vigilante crimefighter in her own right, complicated by the fact that she’s actually the Police Commissioner’s daughter), and arguably a better role model for the little girls who will be wearing these garments than Batman himself. One could argue that she stands in Batman’s shadow somewhat, and yes – he’s a more popular character. But she has her own comic book, which I read every month, and in it, he’s the minor character, with only a few appearances here and there.

  3. John Anderson says:

    It’s more curiosity, but do we know who is buying the underwear and why? One of my first thoughts was that female action figures are generally worth more than male action figures and are snapped up by collectors. The thought process is that fewer girls have (and do) play with action figures so fewer female action figures have been (and are being) made. It makes them rare and so valuable.

    Looking at this thread, it seems that it may be the dads that are buying the underwear for their daughters. It might be partly influenced by the rising number of SAHDs and the greater role dads are playing in parenting. I’ve known girls who were into comic books (some Archie and some super hero) and who’ve played sports in grade school and high school. They aren’t into either anymore. The girls who played sports don’t follow professional or college sports.

    It’s a great article. I’m just curious as to why girls don’t maintain the same interests that they did in the past. I have a friend who watches sports with his daughter. He’s raising her to be a Bear’s fan (Yay) and a Cubs fan (They haven’t won in over 100 years. Would that be considered child abuse?). It’s interesting to see if she continues.

    • This is part of the nature vs. nurture conversation. Are girls really more interested in tea parties and playing with dolls that represent infants than comic books and action figures that represent kick-ass superheroes, or do we just condition them that way? Left to their own devices, which would they choose for themselves?

      Well, the obvious answers, both of which are likely correct are a) some girls would want to play Mommy, and other girls would want to play Batgirl, and b) it’s a stupid question – we live within a cultural construct where there’s no such thing as “left to their own devices,” because we’re all influenced by the culture around us, every waking hour of the day, seven days a week. Given that, are we serving girls by adding a side dish of superhero to their pop culture diet? I’d say yes, we’re doing them a big favor by showing them that a “good woman” can take many forms, from June Cleaver to Wonder Woman and lots of stops in between. If a dad buys Batgirl underwear for her daughter and she doesn’t like them, that’s not child abuse. But if he buys her nothing that isn’t pink or frilly because he believes that girls are “just that way,” when in fact there’s a latent superhero inside of her that’s chomping at the bit to get out, that’s a pretty big disservice.

      Besides, Batgirl rocks. Everybody knows that.

  4. As a mother of two little girl’s I am happy they finally have superhero undies for girl’s. My 4 yr. old loves to watch Small Ville with her big sister but believed that only boy’s were superhero’s. My husband told her about Wonder Woman being both a princess and a superhero. Then one day at Wal-Mart we found some Fruit of the Loom superhero undies for girl’s and of course had to buy them. Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Batgirl now proudly share a dresser with Disney Princesses. Now if I could just find Star Wars for girl’s.

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