During the first sequence of Wonder Woman, young Diana, already adorable and hungry to learn the crafts of war, watches the Amazon woman train in the courtyard. She stands atop a platform overlooking the yard, punching and blocking and wielding her make believe sword. She’s smiling down on them, watching them flip through the air, toss daggers across the clearing, and go blade to blade in combat. To me, it was one of the most powerful scenes of the movie. Here was a girl admiring the female warriors of her island. Here were her role models. Women. All of them. Strong. Courageous. Fierce.
I feel lucky that I wasn’t deterred by the maleness of my favorite superheros, that I always felt like I could be as badass as Luke Skywalker or Batman. But I was also a huge tomboy growing up, and after seeing Wonder Woman, I have to ask myself this:
Would I have been a tomboy if I had seen more strong female superhero representation on my movie screens when I was a kid?
I obviously idolized male superheros while growing up, and didn’t drink the kool-aid of anyone who told me I couldn’t be one of them. I never wanted to be a boy, but I wanted the characteristics I saw them possess on my television: valor, strength, courage, independence, and a dose of badass-ness. I didn’t want to be a princess. I wanted to be a hero.
Wonder Woman delivered. Diana showed valor, strength, courage, independence, and a WHOLE LOT of badass-ness. She showed compassion and empathy. She showed grit. She wasn’t meek or sexualized. She was confident, inquisitive, and bold.
She was everything I ever wanted to be as a kid.
She was the superhero that my sister needed when she was younger. Similar to how she feels about Rey in The Force Awakens, my sister says that she feels that she robbed of these strong, hero-type female characters as a child. Watching the gleam on Diana’s face as she witnessed her Amazon family train had a profound effect on both of us.
She’s a superhero that millions of girls will now have the chance to look up to. To idolize. To embody.
She aims to be a pivotal force in the superhero movie genre. This movie had to be more than good; it had to be pretty close to perfect. It took years to get it off the ground. If it had failed, it would not have gotten the Spiderman treatment with a reboot in three years time. It would have been buried and stayed so for years. That’s why it was so important for them to get it right – I think they hit it out of the park.
I hope that Wonder Woman paves the way for many more female superheros. There are plenty of them, but more, there are throngs of women who are now poised to create the next generation of female superheros themselves.
Words cannot express how proud I was to give my money to a female-directed and female-led superhero film. Thank you, Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot, and everyone involved in this project, for giving us a beacon to look to when we need a reminder of the strength and compassion of women.
Have you seen the movie yet or are you planning to see it? Comment your thoughts below!