When you see superheroes like you, you believe you can become one.
Gone are the days of the damsel in distress: Our little girls can be their own heroes and pop culture is finally reflecting this. Rey, Wonder Woman and the first female Doctor Who are part of a new era of entertainment—and the moms all across the world are showing they are here for it by sharing their daughters’ reactions to female superheroes (and the actresses who portray them).
A viral video taken at San Diego Comic-Com captured the moment Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot comforted Ashley, a tiny cosplayer, overwhelmed to meet her hero.
Writing on Twitter, the girl’s mother, Christine Keller, said the interaction between Wonder Woman and the little fan was even more heartwarming to witness in person. Said Keller, “She was so happy to meet her that she was tearing up.”
Based on her tender response in the video, it seemed Gadot was also touched by Ashley’s adorable display of admiration. “There’s no reason to cry, all right,” the Wonder Woman actress told her. “Here we are together.”
The internet’s reaction to the video echo’s Gadot’s comment. After all, it’s no wonder Ashley was moved to tears meeting the Wonder Woman—grown women cried in the movie theatre just watching her.
As the author of a children’s book titled “The Adventures of Danica Dreamer: When I Grow Up, I Could Be President of the United States,” Ashley’s own mom is on a mission to positively impact young girls—which is one reason she said Gadot’s sincere response to her daughter was so meaningful.
“These characters matter and can have a huge influence on young people,” Keller wrote on Facebook. “What a great role model and genuine, nice person. My daughter will always remember this moment for the rest of her life.”
The exchange between Ashley and Gadot is just the latest viral story in a series of social shares capturing little girls reacting to heroes like them.
When actress Jodie Whittaker was revealed as the 13th Doctor earlier this month, author Jenny Trout tweeted a video of her daughter reacting to the Doctor Who casting news.
“The new Doctor is a girl!'” the little girl exclaims in a clip that’s been retweeted more than 22,000 times and was picked up by media outlets around the world.
And this week, the little girl who sparked the hashtag #wheresRey received a response to her viral letter to Hasbro, the makers of the initially Rey-less Star Wars Monopoly game. Eighteen months after her mother, author Carrie Goldman, shared the note, Rey’s now in the game. Goldman tweeted her kiddo’s sweet thank-you note, in which the child hopes more moms will support their kids in seeking gender equality.
It seems the little girls of 2017 can’t get enough of this new crop of female role models—and we know they will grow up to be just as heroic as the characters they admire today.