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Why Starlight's Outfits In The Boys Mean More Than You Think

The Supes of "The Boys" are not the heroes that comic fans have come to know and love. Based on the Garth Ennis comic of the same name, Amazon Prime's "The Boys" depicts a startling portrait of what happens when people are given too much power. "I was writing about corporate corruption of government, abuse of power and abandonment of ordinary people," stated Ennis to the Los Angeles Times. "In terms of fiction, the kinds of protagonists we had at the time were Tony Soprano and Vic Mackey — bad men guiding us around a bad world." Superheroes are privatized and controlled by corporate interests like Vought and its Seven. Helmed by the psychotic Homelander (Antony Starr), the seven superheroes have been warped by their power and influence because they are treated like celebrities.

One of the newer additions to the team, however, refuses to be manipulated. Starlight (Erin Moriarty) is at first naive, thinking that she will change the world. But she soon realizes that everything is not as it seems. She was first used by her mother, who capitalized on her success, and was then taken advantage of by Vought, which forces her to wear a costume that she is uncomfortable with. But upon closer inspection, her wardrobe choices become even more meaningful.

Her costumes mirror her sense of self

When Starlight first appears in Season 1, she is a bright-eyed optimist who believes in doing the right thing and is certain that joining the Seven is the best way to do that. She auditions wearing a homemade yellow-and-white outfit with a full skirt. The outfit is feminine yet practical, allowing her freedom of movement for fighting. But once she joins the Seven, she is immediately micromanaged. Her old outfit is thrown out in lieu of something sexier. While Starlight is appalled that they are telling her what she can do with her body, ultimately, she is powerless.

As the power dynamics in her life change, so do her outfits, as pointed out by some fans on Reddit. "It was a good visual representation of what roll [sic] she was playing and the power dynamics between her and Vought," noted u/Personage1. "Sexy outfit when she is under their thumb, and escapes by changing into street clothes, then her original uniform when she again has the upper hand." Once Starlight takes a stand and comes into her own, she sheds the outfit Vought forced upon her. This Starlight detail in "The Boys" makes it all the more satisfying when she appears in her original outfit at the end of Season 2. She stayed true to herself and is now powerful enough not to be controlled by corporate interests.