Being Seen Through Hawkeye’s Ponytail

Kate Bishop, Hawkeye, Marvel Comics

As you may or may not know, my hair is just past my shoulders, and if it’s down (as in not tied up) there isn’t all that much I can successfully do without it ending up with it either my mouth, my eyes, or caught up in something. The potential for me doing anything particularly active — potentially superhero-y — without putting my hair up in a ponytail first is zero. It’s just not going to happen. It’s not practical, it’s probably dangerous, and it’s definitely going to irritate the hell out of me. Turns out Hawkeye feels the same way. Or at the very least, Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero do.

Hawkeye #1

Those panels, they are from issue #1 of Hawkeye and spoilers — Kate is putting her hair in a ponytail before she has to go get her hands dirty. She does it again in issue #3.

Hawkeye #3

Suit goes on, hair goes up; it’s the routine and it is The Best. Partially, because as we have been told by a million teen makeover based movies, ponytails are not sexy-– and we all know how important it is to be sexy all the time right? But mostly this motion is so great because of how normal it is, how regular.

I know that it’s a small, everyday, little gesture, and I’m aware that maybe a lot of the people reading wouldn’t have identified it as being of any particular note. Those who did notice it probably didn’t have to stop and excitedly tweet about it before they could keep reading, and that’s okay too. It’s just one panel after all, and it’s not even one of the exciting ones. It’s not controversial representation, and its not going to inspire a million think pieces. It’s just a little bit of normality, a moment of humanity, that could very easily have been omitted. It’s not important to the plot, not really, but it still says so much. About Kate, about the book, about its intentions, about its assumed audience. It gives a little nudge to women, reminding us that we can be seen.