As a little girl, I had 1 hero (besides my mom) and that was Wonder Woman. She was smart, beautiful and she was stronger than any man; plus, she was a girl. Not only was she a girl, she was a brunette and she was the superhero plus, bonus Linda Carter was a Latina.
I still remember watching Wonder Woman, sitting in my fuzzy red teddy bear rocker. It was the best thing on television as far as I was concerned. She was better than Batman or Superman because she was a girl, just like I was and that was important then… and now.
Girls need strong female role models. My girls have women like Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and myself. But, I’ve always believed that it couldn’t just be guy superheroes who got to save the world. We don’t all need rescuing. We can be the rescuer. Women are more than just a pretty face, playing second fiddle to a guy superhero or otherwise. Even then, as a little girl, I knew that I could do and be more than just the arm candy or cheerleader to a man. I wasn’t a damsel in distress and didn’t want to be treated like one.
Then Diana Prince appeared in my young life and gave hope to all little girls everywhere because it didn’t matter if you were pretty or ugly, tall or short, where you were from or if you were poor or rich.
You could care about issues and people and you could make a difference. All you had to do is decide that’s what you wanted to do. Maybe we couldn’t all be Amazons or Goddesses but we could do and be good and we didn’t need a man’s help or permission. We could just do it.
Wonder Woman was a critical part of my childhood. She was more than a fictional superhero, she was endless possibility. She was an inspiration to stand up for what I believed in. She was permission to do what was right even when it was hard, even when people didn’t agree or gave you funny looks because “girls” aren’t supposed to do those things.
I bought the Wonder Woman boxed set when I had my first daughter. I knew that I wanted her to feel that pride in her chest that swelled up and propelled her do the right thing even when it was the unpopular one.
Last week, we took our girls to see Wonder Woman in the theater. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect since I’d heard mixed reviews. I hoped they wouldn’t mess up the feature film and over sexualize Diana Prince or make her a 1-dimensional supporting cast member in her own feature, as so often happens to so many women in real life. But I have to say honestly, for me, the movie was amazing.
She was just the right blend of strong, smart, beautiful, conscientious and independent to play the character. She did the right thing in spite of making the hard choice. She gave up the guy to save humanity. She saved the world because she believed she could. She believed and saw the good in people and it was all embraced and respected. She was a warrior and a lady.
Speaking of the perfect choice to play a part, Robin Wright’s General Antiope was phenomenal casting. She’s come a long way from the damsel in distress in The Princess Bride and I saw a lot more Claire Underwood in there. Her part was short but impactive.
She chose the human race over her own personal gain. She sacrificed herself for the greater good. She was humble and a hero.
“Be careful in the world of men, Diana. They do not deserve you.”
It may appear on the surface that someone or something doesn’t deserve our help, our sacrifice or our fight on their behalf but it’s not about them, it’s about us. It’s about the kind of person that we want to be.
I teach my girls to be good, do good. Stick up for your beliefs. Fight for your rights. Help those in need. It doesn’t matter if you are celebrated or thanked. You do good because your moral compass compels you to do so. Do it for the love and the justice of the world.
We can’t control others reactions, only our actions. Put your good into the world and let it take hold. It doesn’t matter if anyone’s watching or knows that you did it. You do it because it’s right not for the glory.
Silence is equal to doing harm. You can’t hide because it’s not what’s popular. It’s not always easy but I want my girls to do the right thing, especially when it’s hard because every choice has a ripple effect. One small kind act or word can mean the difference between life and death. Wonder Woman reminded me of that.
My soul is on fire. My heart is happy to have had the opportunity to share the experience with my girls.
Maybe the world doesn’t deserve our girls but doesn’t our girls deserve to feel empowered and strong enough to do what’s right. Don’t our girls deserve to know they are strong and the possibilities are endless? Don’t our little girls, and ourselves, deserve to know that we are all wonder women?
If you’ve not seen Wonder Woman yet, go now! Take your girls, your boys and yourself. Celebrate the wonder that all women are!