Are These Feminist Superhero Panties Empowering, or a Tiny Bit Weird?

Amelia Earhart and more join this Dear Kate collection

The underwear brand Dear Kate, a big proponent of using real people instead of models, has a new plan to empower women: It's putting inspiring female faces right on its panties.

Its League of Ladies Collection features illustrations of four historical women—Marie Curie, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart and Frida Kahlo—reimagined as superheroes.

Additionally, Dear Kate has called on real-life influencers to model the collection, including science communicator Kelly Carnes, actor and playwright Zoe Travis, Golly Magazine editor Roxanne Fequiere, and comedian Jackie Zebrowski.

With names like "Supermarie" and "Superfrida," the panties feature a cartoon depiction of each woman's face on the front and a design on the back. Which begs the question, are women even wearing panties with cartoons on them? I asked Twitter, where reactions varied from a resounding no to an open-minded maybe:

I love the concept of celebrating extraordinary women, but I wonder if this is an idea best suited for a (much) younger crowd.

I highly respect and admire Amelia Earhart, but I don't know if I want to see her face every time I pull off a pair of jeans. I would, however, absolutely buy an 8-year-old girl a cute camisole and panties set featuring Marie Curie with a little hang tag that gives her a short lesson on Curie's scientific accomplishments. (Business idea, Dear Kate, if you want to come out with a Dear McKenna line.)

We've seen how people react to brands that empower women, and I'm reluctant to criticize any effort to promote strong women. So allow me to soften the blow by saying that while I wouldn't buy superhero panties for myself (and I am the target market), Dear Kate's Sporty Bralets are off the chain.