For the most part, when female superheroes aren't being treated as though they don't exist, they're depicted in tiny scraps of clothing and go-go boots, which is stupid because it's definitely a lot easier to be fatally wounded when all of your internal organs are not covered by any armor or clothing.
For instance, the little girls above are dressed as Power Girl and Huntress, whose official outfits consist of leotards with bits cut out of them. As another example, my favorite superheroine growing up was Starfire, and her uniform is basically a thong whose straps also serve as nipple covers. It's an obvious result of social forces that dictate that a woman's primary value is her sexual attractiveness — sorry, Starfire, if your attempt to save the universe is hampered by the fact that the entire middle of your abdomen has absolutely nothing covering it, but that's where your toned and sexy midriff is, so...
We already know that female superheroes are just as impressive when their bodies aren't on display, but do children, who have yet to develop a critical eye, buy into this gratuitous objectification? According to bettersupes.tumblr.com, an amazing art project run by Alexandria Law, they don't. In the blog description, she writes:
Kids are more impressionable than you, but kids can also be less restricted by cultural gender norms than you. Kids are more creative than you, and they're better at making superheroes than you.
Capitalizing on this creativity and relative freedom from social norms, Law draws superheros based on costumes worn by little girls. Because young girls want to preserve the spirit of the superheroines but obviously can't don exact replicas of their hypersexualized outfits, they have to find creative ways to reimagine the uniforms. In Law's words:
One of the main reasons I like these girls’ costumes is because of how simple they are. Often times when artists want to re-design female superheroes to be less sex-objecty they end up changing a bunch of unnecessary stuff. It doesn’t have to be like that.
Another tendency of little girls is to unknowingly play with gender expectations — often, they'll wear an iconic male superhero uniform and simply add a tutu. Comic book editors, on the other hand, tend to make female versions of superheroes nearly pornographic-looking (my favorite comparison is She Hulk vs. Hulk in a Tutu).
These pictures are cute, but they serve another purpose as well: they defy the belief that, in order for a female comic book character to be somehow compelling, she has to be thin, conventionally beautiful, and huge-breasted. I, for one, would watch Tutu Hulk over She-Hulk any day.
Go check it out: Little Girls Are Better At Designing Superheroes Than You.