Move over, Elsa, there's a new role model in town. Although "Wonder Woman" is rated PG-13 for violence, action and some suggestive content, it hasn't stopped the superhero from influencing kindergarteners.
A 20-year-old named Kassel, who works in a kindergarten classroom, posted a list of 11 things that have happened in the class within a week of the movie's release. It has since been tweeted out by Patty Jenkins, the film's director, and later re-tweeted by Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) herself.
A few gems from the post: A boy who was obsessed with Iron Man asked his parents for a new Wonder Woman lunchbox, one of the girls refuses to listen unless you address her as "Wonder Woman" and another girl even scolded a boy who threw his candy wrapper on the floor by saying, "DON'T POLLUTE, YOU IDIOT. THAT IS WHY THERE ARE NO MEN IN THEMYSCIRA."
Themyscira, if you don't know yet, is home of the Amazons and where Princess Diana, aka Wonder Woman, originates. It's everything you would imagine when you think of an island of paradise: lush green, beautifully pristine, cascading waterfalls—oh, and no men. (Well, until Chris Pine shows up.)
"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,'" Kassel writes.
"Wonder Woman" has been praised for smashing the cinematic glass ceiling as the first superhero film to be directed by a woman and as the first female superhero to get her own movie in DC and Marvel universes. And the numbers speak volumes. Since its release two weekends ago, the movie's domestic box office sales have amounted to more than $250 million so far, bringing it up to around $440 million when you add in foreign grosses, blowing away initial projections for the film.
The feeling of empowerment has been huge for both adults and kids. It's hard not to leave the theater without wanting to wield the lasso of truth, eat ice cream like it's the first time, and march through no-man's land yourself to save the world. But of course, there's also been a lot of backlash to Kassel's post, especially concerns that kindergarteners shouldn't be watching a PG-13 film.
With all the attention the list has been getting, Kassel later posted a response:
"While I choose not to return any of the hate that I’ve gotten because of this post, there is one point I would like to clarify: Not all the kids that featured in this post, and definitely not all the kids in the kindergarten, have seen the movie. What makes the impact of Wonder Woman so amazing is that even without these children actually watching the movie, it has changed the way the play games, the way they view superheroes, the way they interact with each other.
"I agree that this movie has very strong themes and scenes that are not appropriate for small children—it is rated PG-13, after all. But the publicity that Wonder Woman is getting (the signs, the TV and YouTube ads, the adults talking about it) is enough to make an impact on children. And this is why female-led films are so important. Because media shapes the environment in which children grow up."
From what Kassel has shared, it seems like a pretty cool time to be a kindergartener.