A few years ago I ran across a Ted talk given by a social psychologist at Harvard that posited that using the “Wonder Woman” pose for two minutes a day could raise testosterone levels, lower cortisol levels, and help to make women (and men) more powerful and confident.
The Importance of Pretending
It’s an intriguing idea. That by pretending to be powerful you actual will feel more powerful and therefore become more powerful. At its core, that’s the real function of comic book superheroes too. Even fairly young children understand that our world isn’t actually populated by creatures with superhuman powers, but that doesn’t stop them from enjoying the fun that comes with pretending. It can be hard to feel powerful when you are a child. You have virtually no control over the world around you and it can feel scary. Pretending to be Captain America, Superman, or Spiderman can be a great comfort for many children and it’s one of the main reasons I am so incredibly (perhaps even unreasonably) excited about the new Wonder Woman movie coming out this week.
As a child of the 70s and early 80s I was HARD CORE into Wonder Woman. At 5 I dressed up for Halloween in a homemade costume my mom made. I wore holes in my Wonder Woman Underoos and I begged for every conceivable Wonder Woman toy, and trinket they made. Clearly I wasn’t the only one, as evidenced by the reader submitted slideshow below. Many of these photos were submitted with stories about cancer scares, childhood illnesses, and life-long obsessions with the Amazonian princess (check out the wedding photo!).
With it’s PG-13 rating I won’t be taking my youngest to the theatre with us but I can’t wait to share this story with my older daughter and I’m stoked about all the new toy options both my girls will have with the requisite tie-in merchandising. #NoMoreElsa
Wonder Woman has super human strength and power, but that isn’t what makes her unique. She’s a superwoman in a world filled with mostly supermen and for the millions of women and girls out there who are seeking to feel more powerful in order to become more powerful, she’s a much needed symbol of hope.