Why do superheroes wear capes? Do they really need them to fly? Maybe they add the necessary aerodynamic lift to propel Superman and Batman off the ground, but personally I think it’s more about their image. A cape is cool.
Earlier this week, I read my brother’s blog (www.themanatthefront.com) with interest, as his up and coming rock band struggle to find their image. First impressions count and they need to connect with their audience as soon as they walk out on stage, so they are thinking carefully about their costumes.
But, you don’t need to be in a rock band to wear a costume. We all have different guises every day of the week. A few days ago I met a sculptor who, by day, masquerades as a tiler. I once worked with a press officer who became a professional ballroom dancer at the weekend and, years ago I knew a cake shop owner who posed for saucy photos in a men’s magazine.
People are rarely what they initially appear and it can be short sighted to judge a book by its cover. The most interesting people are often those who are completely different to what you first perceive, take Clark Kent and Indiana Jones for example.
In fiction, characters go on their journey through the plot and often end up as different people at the end, just as we do in real life. Our past influences our present, which in turn shapes our future and morphs us into different people.
Jane Austen’s, Elizabeth Bennet is a perfect example of character who gradually transforms from a person who spends her days crocheting, to a feisty female who knows her mind and her heart.
In my own novel, one of my lead characters appears confident and aloof, but wears her persona as a mask to cover her insecurities and the difficulties in her past. She has chosen it as a costume to influence how people perceive her. How many of us do that?
So, do Superman and Batman really wear those capes to help them fly or to make them look cool? I’ve no idea, but I want one.