YouTube Stars Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart Redefine Female Superheroes

Their superhero alter egos Electra Woman and Dyna Girl are not interested in maintaining cliché superhero tropes.

Youtube stars Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart unite to reboot cult 70s show superheroes in a modern film. Hart made waves with the success of her show My Drunk Kitchen, on which she and friends prepared dishes while hilariously intoxicated. Helbig started her success with her show DailyGrace, which led to bigger hosting gigs.

Both women are also authors: Helbig has written two books, Grace’s Guide: The Art Of Pretending To Be A Grown-Up and Grace & Style: The Art Of Pretending You Have It; and Hart’s second book, Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded, comes out this October.

The pair embark on a new adventure with this larger than life project. Hart told The Guardian, “This project came about as a way of exploring the Hollywood tropes of fame and glitz and glamour and the pursuit of passion and career and what it does when you try and participate in a system that already exists but you want to bring what your interests are into it.”

No time for tropes

This power duo is changing the way we look at female heroes. (source)

“These are two indie superheroes who move to LA to try and make it big. So in a lot of ways, it’s more like telling the Hollywood story in a different realm of the universe.”

What’s most exciting about the adventures of “Electra Woman” (Helbig) and “Dyna Girl” (Hart) is their refusal to conform to the sexist tropes common to superhero films. For one, there is no romantic subplot driving the film. According to Hart, “What’s really exciting about this project is that there’s a lot of space in the market for a superhero story that’s driven by women that’s not got any romance in it.

“There’s not a revenge plot about a boyfriend or a girlfriend or whatever, it’s just about these two characters and their journey as people in this world. I think we need to see more female-led actions and dramas that don’t have anything to do with romance, frankly.”

The women also avoid the niche of the female superhero as being significantly different from a male superhero. They aren’t interested in contributing to the commodification of the female perspective; rather, they’re focusing on the basic human level at which we all relate to things, regardless of gender.

Both Hart and Helbig felt strongly about not wearing overly sexualized costumes in the film. Rather than taking on the sexy and seductive diguises female heroes are prone to, both women sought to wear comfortable costumes that made sense for fighting crime. As Hart said, “These women would be wearing combat boots, because that’s what these women would be fighting crime in. You wouldn’t fight crime in a pair of heels.”

This agrees with their avoidance of the trope that strong women can’t be friends. “We value our friendship off-camera so much, so we really wanted to make sure it was infused in these characters, that they were characters who supported and loved each other, even if they had a moment of identity crisis fallout. But at the end of the day, they’re two characters who will always have each other’s backs, so I think that’s a really important message to give women and men alike, Hart added. ”

The pair wants to send the message that a person’s sexuality doesn’t have to be their calling card. As a lesbian, Hart is proud to bring that feature out in her character, “Dyno Girl” – but her sexuality is far from the most important thing about her. Superheroes are not limited to being strong, chiseled white men, “There’s so much room for storytelling in terms of race, in terms of gender, in terms of sexuality. I’m so excited because there’s a whole world that’s underrepresented, and I’m excited for the future of entertainment,” said Hart.

Electro Woman and Dyna Girl is now available on iTunes.

Photo source.

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