Mom and cartoonist Linnéa Johansson understands the challenges of raising boys in a world full of gender stereotypes. In an effort to teach her children, and others around the globe, that it’s okay to show your emotions, Johansson took pen to paper and drew some of her kids’ favorite superheroes in surprising and unusual scenes. In her coloring book ‘Super Soft Heroes,’ she depicts a babywearing, cookie-baking Batman as well as a weepy Spiderman, and even some cross-dressing action from Superman and Catwoman, all intended to help show boys that they should feel free to express their feelings.

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More than likely, kids will find it pretty amusing to see their favorite superheroes out of context and snuggled up with kittens. Johansson created the superhero images as a response to modern society’s gender-based expectations for boys’ and girls’ behavior. On her website, she explains, “[Boys] are taught through these role models to ‘man up’ and that ‘boys don’t cry’.” When her three year-old son wanted to stop crying because none of the superheroes do, Johansson was moved to action. She drew her ‘Super-soft Superheroes’ as the “emotional and complex characters,” they are.

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Johansson’s coloring book is a labor of love, and she wants to share her message with as many children as possible around the world. To that end, she’s made the coloring book available on her website at no charge in PDF format.

Her next project? Ten more moving images for kids to color, featuring ‘Super-strong Princesses’, aimed at showing girls that they are worth more than their pretty faces.

via Huffington Post

Images via Linnéa Johansson