From the moment she could talk, my little girl has been superhero obsessed. I attribute this mostly to the fact that all my friends have little boys about a year older than her, who helped nurture this obsession from Day One. But if you were to have peeked inside her closet just a few months ago, you would have found multiple capes, as well as shirts and pajamas, all representing Captain America, Batman, and Superman. In other words: Not a single female superhero.
For the record, Captain America has always been her favorite. In fact, not too long ago I made the mistake of saying something about Captain America flying (apparently he doesn’t — but hey, I don’t know this stuff), and she proceeded to lecture me for 20 minutes about how I was W-R-O-N-G. But the point is, all this time, she’s played boy superheroes. And honestly, it’s been fine! She’s loved them, and I’ve encouraged it. That said, there have definitely been a few instances where her little buddies told her she can’t be Captain America simply because she’s a girl. And we’ve had to navigate that, too.
So when the Wonder Woman previews first started getting released earlier this year, I instantly knew I was going to take my daughter to see it. It didn’t matter to me that some might deem her a bit too young for the movie; I knew she needed to see it. And I am so thankful I trusted my gut.
Shortly before we went, my friend got my girl a Wonder Woman costume, which she wore to the movie with more pride than you can imagine. From start to finish, she was glued to the action happening onscreen, and even began reenacting Gal Gadot’s moves as the film played out before her. And once we left the theater, it was all she could talk about — for days.
Ever since, my daughter has had a new obsession: Wonder Woman. Because now, she knows just how amazing girls can be, too. And it has been a beautiful thing to watch her embrace.
That’s why, when I saw a viral clip on my feed this morning of a tearful young fan meeting Gal Gadot for the first time, I totally choked up myself. I saw my daughter in that little girl. I know for a fact that she would be just as driven to emotion if given the chance to meet her new hero. And the kindness Gadot showed that little girl? Well, that was everything.
In the clip, which was taken at Comic Con in San Diego and shared by Variety magazine on Saturday, Gadot is seen signing autographs when a young female fan approaches in a Wonder Woman costume, wiping away tears from her eyes. And while we can’t hear what Gadot says to the little girl, she can be seen taking the girl’s hands in hers, and reassuring her as the girl nods.
The moment itself is less than a minute long, but it’s quickly touched the hearts of people across the Internet. In part, because it proves that everything we’ve heard about Gadot being amazingly sweet is actually true. But also because in a subtle way, it reaffirms just how important representation in film can be — and that finally having a female superhero for our girls to look up to is everything.
We needed an amazing female superhero movie; probably more than we even realized. Finally, our superhero-obsessed girls can see themselves reflected back in a genre that used to belong to “the boys.” And best of all, the woman they have to look up to is everything we could have hoped for: smart, strong, empowered, and kind.
It’s thanks to this film that my daughter’s closet has a few new additions these days: Wonder Woman pajamas, shirts, and that costume she still begs to put on a few times a week. She’s sleeping with a Wonder Woman action figure, and whenever she sees anything even kind of resembling a rope, she’s whipping it around like her lasso-twirling hero.
This weekend, I actually watched as she “rescued” her little guy friends from some monster only Wonder Woman could fight. I beamed. Because I love living in a world where Wonder Woman is every bit as cool, powerful, and admired as any other superhero she might be introduced to. And hey, Wonder Woman can even fly …