As my longtime desktop companion, Wonder Woman is my chick. To me, she’s not just an Amazonian Princess/superhero/badass, but a symbol of strength, positivity, truth and a reminder to stay focused. And yes, I’m beyond excited about her big-screen debut in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman and her very own movie in a couple years. #wonderwomanwatch
I’ve been a superhero and comic book buff since I was little. The early 90s were a good time for animated shows, and I’d race home from school, grab some fruit snacks and a Cosmic Brownie, and watch back-to-back X-Men and Batman. At the same time, my older brother collected the Spiderman, X-Men, and Punisher comics and as older brothers often do, forbid me from touching, reading, and breathing on them. Obviously, I never listened and would sneak into his room while he was gone to read through every issue. As an awkward, shy, and emotional kid, X-Men was my favorite as I felt a certain fondness for the term “mutant.” If Professor X showed up at my doorstep to whisk me away to his school, I would’ve joined in a heartbeat. Most of all, I loved seeing women superheroes. Storm, Rogue, Jubilee, Jean Grey; they were all awesome, but I wanted more. Eventually, my brother figured out I was reading his comics (most likely from the peanut butter and jelly stains on the pages) and took me along to the comic/arcade nearby to get something for myself. That’s where I found my first Wonder Woman comic.
Comics were sexed up a lot back in the 90s. Let me rephrase that. Comics have been sexed up since the beginning of time! Despite this, I never looked at the comics for what their bodies looked like, but more for what they were fighting for. Wonder Woman has certainly fallen into interesting phases and scenarios, but she still kept it real. I think people often get hung up on the bloated, over the top personas of superheroes and their ridiculous costumes, but it’s Wonder Woman’s message, not her body, that still rings true to me today. The invisible plane helps, though. I think one of the reasons she has stood the test of time is that she represents the complexities of being a woman. She wears many hats, from daughter to Hippolyta, (sometimes) diplomat to Themyscira, (sometimes) lover to Steve Trevor, but most of all she’s just Wonder Woman. She belongs to herself before anyone else, and that to me is the definition of grace and courageousness. She’s not an unreachable form of perfection, but someone who aspires to do good, often battles, yet reaches her goals.
So that’s why I look to her as not just a pop culture symbol, but a good friend to keep around. I shoved aside the comic books for a while when I was trying to make friends in school, but I never totally forgot about her. There’s that strange time of life when you desperately want to fit in and being “obsessed” about something wasn’t really considered “cool.” As I mentioned in my previous post, I got to a point in life where I felt incredibly alone as I battled my eating disorder. After going through a series of events that landed me in further treatment, I found myself talking about finding strength and confidence with my therapist.
“What does confidence look like to you?”
Those memories of sitting on my bedroom floor reading comics flooded back, and I remember blurting out, “Wonder Woman.” From then on, she became my inner sidekick. A symbol of good days to come and things to achieve. A symbol that reminded me to not suffer in silence, but to choose strength. I’m more confident now, not simply because I like Wonder Woman, but because I used the same mindset to achieve some impossible feats. Now, I ask my clients the same question when we work together. This is often a difficult question to answer, and it’s ok to not know what to say, at first. It’s more about the act of thinking about and creating an even larger circle of confidence to lead you to a better, balanced self.
If you had to choose, what would strength and confidence look like for you? Do you have a certain person, character, or symbol you look to?