I’ve told this story several times on the podcast but I’ve never taken the time to write it down. I’m inspired to now because of the #WhyWonderWoman hashtag that started trending earlier this week. I wanted to tell my story on Twitter, but I really couldn’t do it in 140 characters.
Almost the entirety of my massive Wonder Woman paraphernalia collection are gifts I have been given at various points in my life and from various people, but they all tie back to one single person in my life: my mom.
If you ask my mom to tell a story about my childhood, she always tells the same story. I’m five years old and we are in the emergency room at the hospital. I fell down the back stairs of our house and have a pretty nasty cut on my head. The nurse is prepping me for stitches. When she leaves the room, my mom leans over me and whispers,
“I know you’ll be strong when the doctor comes in because you’re wearing your Wonder Woman underwear.”
I managed through the stitches, more I think because of my mom’s strength, but I never forgot that moment and thanks to my mom’s love of this story, everyone in my life has heard it at least once. It’s pretty telling that the moment of my childhood my mother loves to relive is a moment of imparting strength and agency. She wanted so much for my life and much of my drive stems from a desire to make her proud.
It’s cliche to say I wouldn’t be the woman I am without my mom, but I also wouldn’t be the woman I am without Wonder Woman. She was the pinnacle of strength and beauty, justice, and passion. A symbol for many women in a sea of male superheros, and weak, submissive female characters.
When we had Kristy Guevara-Flanagan on the show, I used all my self restraint not to burst into the re-telling of this story. I wanted that episode to focus on all the other women whose lives have been strengthened by the Amazon Princess. The #WhyWonderWoman hastag reinspired me to tell this story again.
So, Wonder Woman’s invisible jet might be a tool she used for surprise attacks against bad guys, but for me, it was the quiet power I carried with me knowing I could beat my own bad guys (and gals).
An invisible force… well, perhaps visible by any who could see my Wonder Woman underwear.