Wonder Woman Is Just the Role Model My Stepdaughter Needs

Yesterday, my 11-year-old stepdaughter Bella and I did something I will never forget — we saw Wonder Woman on the big screen. Seeing this empowering movie just two days after it opened was as meaningful for me as it was for her.

First of all, the record-breaking $101.3M opening weekend debut for the film and its female director Patty Jenkins is just plain awesome! But it gets even cooler than that. Wonder Woman undeniably shatters any doubt in the world that a female superhero can be a compelling role model for both girls and boys, alike. For my comic book-obsessed stepdaughter, this was a fun chance to see one of her favorite superheroes in a live action movie, and it was certainly nice that she happens to be a woman! But for me, the opportunity meant far more than that.

image source: lindsay wolf

Tears filled my eyes as I witnessed a female empowerment story like I had never seen before. The women in front of me were powerful forces to be reckoned with. As Bella gripped my hand tight, we sat in awe of the incredible female warriors kicking butt on screen. I don’t want to give away too many details — you’ll just have to see it yourself! But, I will say that the message of the movie is abundantly clear. Wonder Woman shows that women have the power to save the world and they are superheroes worthy of respect and admiration. And they can do anything — and I mean anything — their male counterparts can do!

In the past year, I was lucky enough to see the extraordinary Moana, a movie about a young woman whose strength did not lie in who she would marry one day or how great of a daughter she was. Her true strength came from her inner power, her heart, and her commitment to her dreams. Much like the animated project had so beautifully illustrated, Wonder Woman is all about the fortitude of the main character — Diana, princess of the Amazons.

Diana learns exactly how much undefeatable strength she possesses in her pursuit to save mankind from a war-torn world. She is determined to make a difference and help heal everyone around her, all with a ferocity that surprises even the most unrelenting opposition. No matter who doubts her abilities, Diana continues to follow her heart and trusts wherever it may lead her.

On a side note, I was blown away when I learned that lead actress Gal Gadot filmed part of Wonder Woman while five months pregnant. Talk about a true superhero!

For our daughters — and our sons — this movie is life-changing. It can mean the difference between growing up with the belief that only boys can wield swords to fight the evil in this world or growing up believing that we all can. I mean, just look at a few of these adorable photos of young girls dressed up like Wonder Woman! You can’t ask for a more heartfelt reason to share this movie with the kids in your life.

While one of my girls is too young to understand the value of this film, it is not lost on my stepdaughter. Bella’s about to enter middle school, and with the social and academic pressures alone, she’s already questioning her worth and wondering what kind of person she needs to be as she grows. Now as parents, we need to tell our daughters as many times as we can how worthy they are of every success and kindness in this world. But sometimes, they just need to see it for themselves in a big way. And after watching a character as self-accepting and brave as Wonder Woman, Bella knows that she needs not be anything other than her amazing self. And within her amazing self lies the makings of a superhero.

I have to hold on to the hope that more movies like this will get made. I have to believe our world is finally beginning to embrace the fact that women hold up as much of the sky as men do. My daughter and stepdaughter need to grow up knowing Wonder Woman is just one of many girl power stories they can celebrate. Rock on Patty Jenkins for making this tremendous movie and reminding women of every age just how strong they really are!

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