When we picture a superhero, we usually picture a guy in a tight costume with perhaps a nice, majestic-looking cape to go with it. We imagine someone ripped and handsome with brains as well as brawn. And a perhaps a devoted sidekick that only serves to make the main hero look all the more powerful.
Okay, so I’m not exactly well-versed in the world of comic books, but that’s what I assume is the “typical” image that comes to mind when most people think about superheroes.
But what if the concept of “superpowers” was not so much about supernatural abilities, but more about being able to achieve incredibly difficult feats that are seemingly impossible for any human to accomplish.
What if it was about being able to achieve something phenomenal, against all odds, in this world rather than in some fantasy world? And what if, for instance, it was about being a pioneer in an impressive field or being able to achieve multiple things simultaneously?
By the way, you might want to check out this incredibly inspirational project which has seen kids with various illnesses being turned into “superheroes”:
And what if the people we celebrated for achieving these feats were women? Because, as it turns out, women have a whole bunch of “superpowers” – as proven by science – and here are just a few of them:
Some people say women are talented multitaskers because they have an incredible ability to drown out interferences during particular activities. And as shown above, it would appear that being able to breastfeed while putting on makeup is part of a woman’s multitasking repertoire.
2. Being both a commander of a space shuttle and a doting mother
The incredible and inspirational Eileen Collins was the very first female pilot and first female commander of a space shuttle. In 2006, after a 16-year long career, she left NASA with the intention of spending more time with her husband and two children.
3. Not letting bullies defeat her and persisting with her dream of saving the planet
Nadia is an incredible young woman. She started collecting trash on the route from school to home, and in no time at all, she managed to pick up more than two trash cans worth of plastic. Her classmates were not impressed, however, and began taunting her, calling her “Trash Girl”.
Now she has an actual fanbase and a Facebook support group to her name. Plus her very inspired fans also made her into a cartoon superhero.
4. Women won’t stand for police brutality
Unfortunately, police brutality is an epidemic in the US and it’s no secret that it disproportionately affects people of color. This brave lady, however, decided that enough was enough and decided to stand up for those who couldn’t defend themselves.
5. Women are pioneers
Pictured above is Maud Wagner in 1907 – the first known female American tattooist. She was also a circus performer and she and her husband Gus have been credited with bringing tattoo artistry inland in the US. Just because the industry started with men, it doesn’t mean it had to stay that way!
6. Being a record-breaking polar explorer and mother to four kids
Ann Daniels is a testament to the fact that people can do pretty much anything they put their mind to. What she has achieved in her life is nothing short of spectacular. Daniels is, in fact, the very first woman in history to reach both the North and South Pole.
And you know what makes it even more impressive? The fact that she took part in her first polar exhibition without any prior experience and when her triplets (yes, there were three of them) were only 18 months old.
If you haven’t yet seen Meghan Markle’s inspirational UN Women speech, what are you waiting for?
7. Women can make their points in very powerful ways
To protest the large number of executions which take place in Iran, this brave lady by the name of Sarah Constantin decided to hang herself (not literally) from a bridge in Paris on 28 January 2016.
8. Dedicating your life to being a real-life Spider Woman
This insanely impressive woman is from a small town in West Africa and her superpower is her ability to climb cliffs and walls and making it seem like a walk in the park. It’s actually as adorable as it is impressive considering she learned her climbing skills from her pet monkey, Georgie, when she was a kid.
She is now retired from professional competitive rock climbing but continues to give motivational speeches on the activity.
9. Running marathons in heels
We all know that heels are horrendously uncomfortable. So the last thing you’d want to do is wear them in a race, right? Well, not according to former ballroom dancer, Irene Sewell. She set a marathon Guinness World Record by running 26.2 miles in stilettos. Plus she finished the race in seven hours and 28 minutes.
10. Keeping fit while having a small child to tend to
Yoginis everywhere are rejoicing – you don’t have to give up on what is essentially a way of life just because you have a little baby to look after.
11. Mother and child yoga classes
Mom and baby yoga classes are steadily increasing in popularity. So, guys, it is possible to work out even when you have a little baby.
12. Did you know that morning sickness saves lives?
Yes, morning sickness is not one of the most fun parts of pregnancy but it actually serves an incredible purpose. It’s a defense mechanism which protects the expectant mother and her unborn child from parasites and harmful toxins found usually in meat and fish.
13. Women aren’t stronger than men?
At 21-years-old, Julia Vins has taken the world by storm due to her stunningly delicate features and outrageous muscular frame. Proving that strong is beautiful, this Russian “Muscle Barbie” has amassed over 820K followers on Instagram, and each day proved that woman are indeed as strong as men.
14. The miracle that is pregnancy
Carrying a child and giving birth are some of the most incredible “superpowers” that exist in this world. The photo above was posted by a Spanish blogger called Laura and it was taken just four days before she gave birth to twins.
15. Women are sassy even in the face of adversity
Instead of cowering in fear in front of this armed officer, a woman named Jasmina Golubovska decided to defiantly put on some lipstick and kiss his shield. This extraordinary picture was taken in front of the Macedonian government building in Skopje on 5 May 2015
16. Women can do everything men can
Just like Maud the tattooist, this woman is very much a pioneer in her own right. When men left to fight during the last two world wars, women proved that they could do their jobs just as well as they could. We are capable of a lot more than just scrubbing pots and pans!
17. Women can and do love each other
We live in a world where people are slowly but surely coming to the realization that gender and sexuality exist on a spectrum, but unfortunately, prejudice is still rife. That’s why these women decided to publically kiss each other during an anti-gay marriage demonstration in France in 2012. The outrage of the people behind them says it all, really.
18. Crashing both cars and computers in a driving game
Okay, this isn’t so much a superpower as it is a flaw, but bear with me. So research indicates that women are more likely to fail their very first driving test and often admit that their (male) partner is the better driver. And, unfortunately, this fact appears to apply even when the car isn’t a real one.
But researchers are also agreed on the idea that women are generally more intent on maintaining road safety and are far more careful drivers.
19. The female concentration camp survivor who hit a neo-Nazi with her handbag
It’s no secret that the Holocaust is one of the worst atrocities in human history and affected its survivors until their dying breath. But when this woman saw a neo-Nazi after she’d escaped, she used the only weapon she had to hand – her handbag – to give him a piece of her mind.
20. Always making sure you look beautiful
The thing about beauty masks is that they have to be left on the skin for quite a while. However, beauty mask-wielding women will never let this get in the way of their day-to-day routines even if that means wearing one while playing computer games or looking after a baby.
21. Women won’t go down without a fight
Pictured above is a member of the “Women in Black” – an anti-war protest group that operates around the world. She is lying wrapped in a plastic bag in downtown Novi Sad, Serbia on 10 December 2005.
22. Women’s bodies can do unthinkable things
While most women traditionally only have one or two babies at a time, it’s more than possible for multiple births to happen, especially now that we live in the age of IVF. Pictured above is “Octomom” who had a whopping eight babies at once!
23. Women have been fighting for equal rights for decades
Contrary to what many people believe, feminism isn’t about being against men, it’s about achieving gender quality, and to draw attention to this cause, this woman removed her bra during an anti-bra protest outside a San Fransisco department store.
24. Women know how to fight peacefully
While violence is unfortunately necessary in some instances, women know how to make their point in a peaceful way. This brave lady is pictured protesting fracking police with a single feather in New Brunswick, October 2013.
25. Women have fought peacefully for years too
“Flower power” was a lot more than just a turn of phrase during the 1960s. Pictured above is pacifist Jane Rose Kasmir putting a flower on a guard’s bayonet during a protest against the Vietnam War outside the Pentagon on 21 October 1967.
26. Women don’t want violent nations to take part in the Olympics
Despite being home to some of the most oppressive and brutal regimes in the world, certain countries haven’t been banned from international sporting events. To draw attention to the extremist Islamic groups taking part in London 2012, these feminist protestors decided to stage a demonstration near Tower Bridge in London.
27. Women aren’t scared to get hurt
Women might be known as the fairer sex, but the average woman has to endure a lot more pain in her life than the average man with menstruation and childbirth. That’s why this protestor wasn’t scared to brave an extremely powerful water cannon.
28. Women will not be silenced
As this woman was arrested while protesting on the Brooklyn Bridge, she shouted out her name to fellow protestors so that they could register her as one of the many people arrested as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
29. But some women will be quiet to make a point
During the “Justice For All” march in Washington on 13 December 2014, this woman decided to tape her mouth shut to draw attention to the prejudice which marginalized groups face when they try to speak up in society.
30. Nothing was going to hold Melissa Stockwell back
After losing her left leg while serving in the US military, Melissa went on to prove that she could be a hero in the sporting world too. Her incredible story is a testament to the fact that women don’t let setbacks, well, set them back!
31. At the turn of the century, women really started to stick up for themselves
The suffragettes knew that women were just as capable as men of making political decisions, but getting the vote was no mean feat. Pictured above is the movement’s leader, Emmeline Pankhurst, being attested outside Buckingham Palace in 1914.
32. Women’s fashion should fit all bodies
At just 3ft 5in tall, Sinéad Burke is a prominent campaigner for change in the design industry so that all women can feel beautiful in their clothes. If that’s not heroic, I don’t know what is. Not all superheroes wear capes – some wear some seriously fashionable outfits instead.
33. Women won’t let evil go unchecked
When this woman saw a man dressed as Adolf Hitler supporting the newly inaugurated President Trump, she made her opinion of him known – loud and clear. There is no place for fascism in the modern world.
34. The biggest champion for women
With great power comes great responsibility, and when Michelle Obama became the first black FLOTUS, she used her position as a force for good, championing not only the rights of women in general but constantly standing up for African American women. She also straight up told men that they had to do “be better”. You go, girl!
The moral of the story here is: never underestimate a woman and what she is capable of achieving! Or a man for that matter. Basically just don’t assume anyone isn’t capable of doing the unthinkable!