Name: Violet Parr
Appears in: The Incredibles
Powers: force-fields, turning invisible
Quote: “I feel different. Is different okay?”
The Incredibles is one of my favourite Pixar movies. It‚Äôs funny, it‚Äôs creative, it‚Äôs original ‚Äì and Edna Mode is maybe one of the best characters ever made. Of all the characters‚Äô powers however, I was always most envious of Violet. It was only pointed out to me recently that her capabilities (creating force fields and turning invisible) mirror her own introverted personality from the film‚Äôs beginning. I‚Äôm not sure if my own desire for her powers is a reflection of my own aversion to other people or just a sign that I genuinely thought these would help me most when fighting crime. Who knows. It is true, however, that her powers essentially maintain a kind of isolation, forcing others to either keep their distance from her or miss her entirely. At the beginning of the movie she‚Äôs shy and awkward, hiding behind her hair and using her powers to either spy on the boy she likes at school or prevent her younger brother from getting too close to her ‚Äì pretty mundane and relatable uses for any teenager watching. Violet’s main wish at the start of the film is to be ‚Äònormal‚Äô, her aversion to being noticed is displayed in her wearing dark, drab clothing and hiding the majority of her face. It‚Äôs interesting how despite being a superhero ‚Äì being ‚Äòspecial‚Äô ‚Äì her daily concerns are not too dissimilar from any average teenager‚Äôs. In this way the film posits a more realistic imagining of superheroes, taking a nuclear family dynamic that is (initially) only sometimes altered by their powers. As such the characters don’t seem a million miles away from ourselves. Unlike Batman they‚Äôre not blindingly rich, and unlike Superman they‚Äôre not so overloaded with powers that they cease to have any real human personalities. They are all endearingly recognizable as people we could ourselves know, or perhaps even be. I find this is especially the case with Violet. I was a young teen when the film came out and I found her development from introversion to confidence relatable. As the film progresses she becomes increasingly accepting of her powers, as she simultaneously becomes comfortable in her own skin. At the film‚Äôs end we see her with hair pulled back, dressed in bright colours, and asking out the man of her dreams ‚Äì Tony Rydinger.
Her development is a pretty clear analogy for growing into yourself and finding love and acceptance for the very things that make you different. Violet’s a strong character and it‚Äôs nice to see her not only warm to her place in her superhero family, but take charge of it several times. As with the rest of her family her character portrayal is based first and foremost on her personality, with her powers coming in as of secondary importance. That is, her identity is made up of her experiences as a teenage girl, a daughter, and a sister, rather than as a superhero.
Violet is not glamorous or sexualised, but she‚Äôs confident and smart in a manner that any young girl should aspire to be.
Girl Museum Inc.