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CBS’ brand new drama Supergirl has been making headlines after putting together a solid premiere. The show was generally well-reviewed and absolutely crushed in the ratings, but it did so with at least a few criticisms. Among these is the fact that Supergirl ultimately opted to roll with a shorter skirt and the original name of the character, with a few people feeling the term “girl” is demeaning to the heroine. Recently, producer Andrew Kreisberg spoke out about the topic, explaining that the staff took the skirt and name into consideration but ultimately opted to keep them intact. Here’s why:
With Supergirl, I think it was even more of a challenge because you could look at some of these things as being very silly or misogynistic. For example, with the title, there was even some early talk of, you know, maybe we shouldn’t call it Supergirl. There are certain generational concerns, whether it’s the skirt or the name, but we thought rather than ignore it, that that was what the show itself was. It was a commentary on those things and actually having those discussions made the show much richer and deeper than just a superhero flying around and catching plane.
The Supergirl name has become iconic over the years. Plus, it works to differentiate TV's Kara Zor-El from Superwoman, although that gets complex when you look into the history of Superwoman and the fact that she has been a bunch of characters. In addition, I think CBS was going for youthful when they signed on for Supergirl, and keeping the name to engage a younger audience isn’t the worst idea I’ve ever heard.
Which brings us to the costume. In the interview with the Huffington Post, Kreisberg also says that the look was changed from the comics.
In terms of the costume, you look at Kara in the comic books and she’s wearing next to nothing or some iteration of that. So, again, that was an attempt on our part to address the silliness of a female superhero wearing essentially a bra and bike shorts. Again, the outfit sort of speaks to that.
Arrow and The Flash costume designer Colleen Atwood was also behind the Supergirl design, and while she ultimately chose a skirt for the character, Kreisberg says it was a way to take some ideas from the comics and some ideas we have concerning modern women and merge them together. There’s actually a great scene from the pilot that addresses this. Kara’s pal, Winn, puts her in a few uncomfortable iterations before jumping into an outfit she is comfortable with. That’s the cool thing about being Supergirl. You can look great, be comfortable and still be a badass—all while wearing the same skirt. These are heights I’m still trying to achieve. At least I have the skirt thing down.
You can tune in and see how you like the Supergirl name and look on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET, only on CBS.