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Wonder Woman Has Radically Changed Kids’ Lives and This Is Why We Need Movies Like Wonder Woman

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Director Patty Jenkins shared a post about all of the Wonder Woman-related events occurring at just one Kindergarten, and it’s inspiring as well as ridiculously adorable. Representation is important. Representation is important. Representation is important.

What blows my mind about the list is that this is just one class amongst the millions of kids who have seen Wonder Woman—I imagine variations on these themes playing out in schoolyards and classrooms across America and around the world and I’m feeling a little verklempt.

Here’s the full text of the post Jenkins shared:

  • I work at a kindergarten and this is a collection of cute Wonder Woman related things that happened within a week of the movie being released.
  • On Monday, a boy who was obsessed with Iron Man, told me he had asked his parents for a new Wonder Woman lunchbox.
  • A little girl said ‘When I grow up I want to speak hundreds of languages like Diana’
  • This girl had her parents revamp her Beauty and the Beast birthday party in THREE DAYS because she simply had to have a Wonder Woman party.
  • Seven girls playing together during recess on Tuesday, saying that since they all wanted to be Wonder Woman they had agreed to be Amazons and not fight but work together to defeat evil.
  • There is this one girl that refuses to listen to you unless you address her as Wonder Woman.
  • Another girl very seriously asked the teacher if she could ditch her uniform for the Wonder Woman armor bc she ‘wanted to be ready if she needed to save the world.’ The teacher laughed and said it was okay, and the next day the girl came dressed as Wonder Woman and not a single kid batted an eye.
  • They are making a wrap-up dance show, and they asked the teacher if they could come as superheroes, they are going to sing a song about bunnies.
  • This kid got angry and threw a plastic car over his head and a girl gasped ‘LIKE IN THE MOVIE’
  • A boy threw his candy wrapping in the floor and a 5-year-old girl screamed ‘DON’T POLLUTE YOU IDIOT, THAT IS WHY THERE ARE NO MEN IN THEMYSCIRA’
  • On Wednesday, a girl came with a printed list of every single female superhero and her powers, to avoid any trouble when deciding roles at recess.
  • I was talking to one of the girls that hadn’t seen the movie, and the next day she came and very seriously told me ‘you were right, Wonder Woman was way better than Frozen.’
  • Consider this your friendly reminder that if this movie completely changed the way these girls and boys thought about themselves and the world in a week, imagine what the next generation will achieve if we give them more movies like Wonder Woman.

This is so, so incredible and essential. Not only do little girls finally have a big-screen female superhero who’s the star of the show to emulate, but boys can want—and actually receive—a Wonder Woman lunchbox. The empowerment offered to an entirely new generation by Wonder Woman is incalculable. And it’s not just the kiddies: TMS Assistant Editor Charline and I spoke to an actress recently who was part of a production with some problematic elements in terms of the treatment of women. When we mentioned this, she told us, “All of us ladies [in the cast] saw Wonder Woman together and since then we’ve been talking about the problems.” This is to say, adults are still susceptible to being influenced by powerful characters and just as in need of heroic examples to aspire to.

But I think many of us forget how critical and immersive play is for children. Kids take games extremely seriously, and these playacts—which feel real, when you’re young—shape our view of the world. Take it from me, a girl who was friends with a lot of boys and was always made to play the “girl’s part.” In my day, April O’Neil didn’t get to kick ass alongside the Ninja Turtles—she was kidnapped by the villains and sat it out on the sidelines, and so did I. Princess Peach had the same role, always waiting to be rescued. And until Mulan, we never had a fighting Disney princess. By then, I was too old to play pretend.

I would’ve loved Wonder Woman as a kid, and I can only imagine what I would’ve gotten up to with my band of Amazons. I’m thrilled that the movie is having such an impact, and that both girls and boys have the chance to be inspired by a tough, uncompromising, clever and kind-hearted superwoman. Let’s make sure that this becomes the norm in media and not a one-off phenomenon.

Also, to the girl who refuses to listen to you unless you address her as Wonder Woman? I’m going to try this one.

(image: Warner Bros.)

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.