The Wonder Woman Complex and Empowering Underwear

Underoos are the best invention on earth. Basically they are a brand of underwear that were wildly popular when I was a child. These are no normal undies, they are magical undies with the ability to transform you into a whole different person in seconds. 

On sunny days before the body image insecurities of puberty inhabited the crevices of my mind, I would rule the whole damn world! I’d wake up in the morning with the unmistakable knowledge that the world was in trouble, and only I could save it.

Quick as lightning, I’d take off my nightie and slip into my Wonder Woman Underoos. They were a glittery gold and red decorated pair of undies and matching tank top. Finally, the pièce de résistance - shimmering gold (ok, yellow) construction paper bracelets I had made myself. I am in no way what anyone would call crafty, so the globs of glue and jaggedly cut edges likely made those bracelets horrendous.

The last step before leaving the house was letting down my hair.  My wild, golden, wavy curls looked nothing like Wonder Woman’s dark flowing locks.  But my hair has always felt like a source of power for me.  Children teased me doggedly about it all through school, often calling me Medusa because my hair was so curly I could turn men to stone.  I decided they were wrong and that my hair was my best physical feature.  To this day, people covet my hair with jealous eyes while their wispy pin straight strands escape their head during a  puny breeze.  When my hair is long and optimally highlighted , it looks a bit like Danerys from Game of Thrones.  

Once in my Wonder Woman get up, I admired myself in the mirror looking like queen of the freaking world! I’d step outside, walk down to the end of the driveway and take my stance. Legs apart, arms out - pure power!

Then, I would wait.

We lived in a very modest neighborhood on a not-so-busy street, so the waiting could often test my world-ruling patience. But my imagination kept me company better than a loyal old shaggy dog. I would pass the time  imagining battles with evil overlords  and long flights over beautiful scenery in my invisible jet.  

Eternity passed.

Gloriously, a car would creep toward me from the end of the street. The enemy has arrived! I widened my stance, glaring at the car with my arms spread. As the car passed by I used my bracelets to shoot the mind changing laser that would morph the evil doers into good people instantly.

Can you imagine what the confused families in the car were thinking when a wild haired young girl in her underwear shoved her bracelet toward them and gave them the evil eye? Years later, I’d like to apologize for the confusion and suffering I surely caused. But, damn it was worth it. Those were incredible days when I practiced being Wonder Woman ruling the world.

I’m so very grateful for Wonder Woman showing me the “outrageous” possibility of a woman saving the world, and I’m joyful she is back in full cinematic glory. After all these years, I am able to share my powerful female icons with my fearless daughter.  

We need strong women (real and imagined) for girls and other women to look up to in movies, news, books, social media and in life to find our own unique brand of Wonder Woman.  

I am now a 42 year old Wonder Woman as the CEO of my own company, bold enough to say what I really think and fighting evil and real life villians. I wake up every day wanting to rule the world, and sometimes I still wear underoos and paper bracelets.  Just not in my driveway, because I know the truth. The world can’t handle my near naked power.


(This piece originally appeared on The Huffington Post)