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The Girl Atlas Analysis

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Many of the adventures told in the Lois Lane series focus on the theme of physical transformation. Those stories feature Lois slipping on different roles in regards to physical appearance and femininity, something that can be considered appealing to the series’ intended readership (Williams 49). The first story in the very first issue of Superman’s Girl Friend, which was published in 1958, called “The Bombshell of the Boulevards” has Lois don a wig and take on the role of a French movie star, in order to get an exclusive interview with a foreign ambassador. In another story published in the first issue of the series Lois is turned into an old, and therefore no longer attractive, witch during the night, while remaining her young, beautiful self…show more content…
In the aforementioned story “The Girl Atlas”, physical transformations, and their intended effect on the reader are further explored: “’The Girl Atlas’ demonstrates the appeal of such stories to a pre-adolescent female audience through its emphasize of physical transformation and body image that are of central concern to such readers” (Williams 47). As previously discussed, the story focuses on Lana gaining invulnerability in order to convince Superman to marry her. By the end of the story Lana has gained a lot of muscle due to exercise, something that is traditionally considered masculine. She blames Lois for her new, less feminine appearance: “That scheming hussy egged me on to do hundreds of things that require exercise! She knew I’d develop huge, powerful muscles so I’d become ugly-looking!” (Bernstein, “Girl Atlas” 8). Despite gaining strength, which makes Lana at least physically equal to Superman, the association with masculinity takes away from her perceived femininity and thus eliminates her as a marriageable woman: “No longer appearing physically attractive to the man of her dreams is presented as the greatest calamity that can befall a woman” ( Williams 50). The truth in this statement becomes even more apparent when discussing another story from Superman’s Girl Friend: In the story “The Fattest Girl in Metropolis”, which was published in the fifth issue of the series in 1958, Lois is exposed to growth rays which make her twice as heavy as usual. Her first concern is how Superman would react to her new appearance, and she decides to avoid Superman at all cost, as she would “die of shame” (Bernstein, “Fattest Girl” 4) if he recognized her. In the following panels Lois is driven by her wish to lose weight in order to be “slim enough to face Superman
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