Dear Wonder Woman/Princess Diana of Themyscira/Diana Prince,
This note is long overdue. However, the sentiments are as genuine today as they were when I was first introduced to you. That was some 30 years ago. Three decades is a long time, and a lot can and has happened in that time. The good thing about time is that it creates space for reflection. I’ve come to believe reflection is a good thing, in controlled portions. Through reflection, I think gratefulness can deepen, and acceptance and forgiveness can take shape. I’ve seen it in my own life, in the lives of people I know, and of those who’ve shared some of their truths with the world.
Even with that much time having passed, a few things are constant when it comes to my appreciation for you. You are legit. You are more than what is expected. Your actions and message are empowering.
Given the global response to your film, there are many people who feel as fortunate as I do. To be able to witness the presentation of your story of origin on the big screen. It’s been a long time coming, but the timing seems nearly perfect. As much as I and many others would have loved to have seen this film made much sooner, I understand now that it came to fruition with the right people involved, at the time when the message and your presence could touch the most hearts and minds. I get it now.
I may be alone in this forthcoming sentiment, but here it is. For people like myself who’ve been fans and believers for decades, the arrival of your film is humbling. It’s a bit like being friends with someone the entire world just discovered is bad-arse. I’ll admit, on occasion my thoughts about others’ ‘recent’ discovery of your awesomeness were sophomoric at best. Thoughts that include ‘What took you so long,’ and ‘Oh sure, now she’s awesome.’
These are not my proudest inner thoughts, but the whole Lasso of Truth thing prompts authenticity, I guess. In any event, those thoughts faded quickly. Upon seeing photos of little girls sporting accessories emblazoned with the majestic W, it was a moment of clarity. In addition, the videos and written commentary from women and men from around the world speaking about what this film, you, and the message means to them, reminds me of the global good that is taking place.
This tremendously positive response also reminds me of one of the core messages I’ve gained from
being a fan. That is, each person has it in them to be heroic, to bring goodness and hope into the world, and to be awesomely unexpected. I think coming to a point of being cool with the unique, eccentric, and unexpected aspects of ourselves is one of the most important things we can do. Of course, in life, just as in your film, television show, and comic book storylines, part of that journey for all of us is the involvement of people who believe in us and what is possible. In a way, these people are heroic in their own right. I mean, Capt. Steve Trevor and Etta Candy are pretty valiant. It’s obvious why you value both of them.
I consider myself incredibly fortunate to know and have known people whose heroics continually amaze and inspire. My mom was no Queen of the Amazons, but she, too, was brave, wise, and strong in mind, body and heart. She also worked hard to prepare me and my sisters to do good in the world and be the best version of ourselves.
At times that meant she was extra resourceful when there wasn’t much of anything, available anytime and anywhere for loved ones as they battled diseases, sought to learn things at an age when many others may feel like their days of learning were long past, and willing to buy her chubby daughter Wonder Woman Underoos because said daughter believed they would make her strong and special. She was right to believe in her daughter and buy them, because you can’t imagine what that single pair of Underoos did for the spirit of that young girl.
Another ambassador of embracing the hero in all of us was the librarian of our small-town library. In the 1970s, when a small group of teachers were turning to comic books to try and ignite a love for reading in the hearts of their students, some of us who were looking for stories with female superheroes were left a bit in the cold. Or so we thought. After receiving the suggestion from a teacher that we look at the wonderful selection of Archie comics featuring Betty and Veronica, because they were such neat girls, we pedaled our way to the library with hope in our hearts.
With a grin and a twinkle in her eye, the bespectacled, cardigan-wearing older librarian led us to a small aisle set away from the children’s section, where she gently pulled from the stacks a couple of comic books boasting the image of you soaring through the air with your Magic Lasso in hand, and perched atop a steed facing off with a villain. I’m certain that librarian knew what a gift she had given us but was too polite to comment, except to say, “Betty and Veronica, goodness.”
After I finish writing this note to you, I think I’ll write one to the daughter of the sweet librarian. Although that kind woman passed away several years ago, she will always be remembered. Especially for opening the door to awesome unexpectedness for a few inquisitive grade-school girls.
Thankfully I was able to show and tell my mom just how much her Wonder Woman-like persona meant to me before she bid adieu to this life. I will never forget when I told her about the vintage Wonder Woman lunchbox my husband bought me. He said he purchased it because he knew I was a fan, and thought I might like to have it. My mom simply said she was so grateful I met someone like him; someone who truly understood the importance of celebrating and encouraging the things that mean something to the person they love. Whether those things are little or big.
That was more than a decade ago. My collection of Wonder Woman has grown and continues to bring a smile to my face. Some things I’ve acquired, other things are gifts from friends, and still many other items have come from the man who helped start my collection. A man who is and always has been one of the good guys. Not unlike some of the extraordinary people you’ve befriended in your seven-plus decades. During which you’ve spent time battling bad people and diminishing sentiments of hopelessness and doubt with examples and expressions of love, goodness, and possibility.
So, as I said in the beginning of this note — thank you. Thank you for being you, and in turn, helping so many to become and relish being awesomely unexpected.
With sincere gratitude and admiration,