The newest heroine to hit the big screen, Gal Gadot, will receive the Rising Star Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival next Tuesday for her portrayal of Wonder Woman.
Valley fans of the franchise and actress say Wonder Woman is an important role model for young women in today’s society. Sisters Ella and Olive are two of Wonder Woman’s youngest fans.
“She’s strong and she’s awesome and she’s my favorite character of all the other princesses and all the other characters,” Ella said, donning her Wonder Woman costume. Their mother, Danielle Noriega, is proud of her daughters for selecting Wonder Woman as their role model.
“Teenage girls–young girls–they’re waiting for their prince charming to save the day, and they’re making stupid choices,” said Noriega, “This idea that instead, I don’t need someone to save me. I can be independent, and I can get up all by myself and do this…I love it. That’s who my girls are becoming.”
Also adopting the Wonder Woman look in their custom costumes, the Shadow Hills High School color guard in their award-winning show from the 2016 season featuring a movement dedicated to the Amazon goddess.
“The whole superhero universe is not just a boy thing anymore. I mean, the girls are getting into it too,” said Paul Bluto, instrumental music teacher at Shadow Hills High School.
“She’s so independent, and I know a lot of girls don’t feel like they should be that way,” said Leslie, one of the color guard members, “When we would perform, it was like we really got into character and we wanted to show that we were just as powerful as she [Wonder Woman] is.”
The color guard members said they could relate to the characters while watching the movie, an empowering reminder of their own bond and individual strengths.
“The whole time I was like, ‘That was me!’ I was that on the field. I felt that powerful and it was in relation to like my actual life outside of the show. It felt really good to know that I can be that strong,” said Samantha, one of the color guard members.
Lifelong fan and Indio High School teacher Dr. Farah Meadows uses Wonder Woman actively in the classroom as a teaching tool to inspire confidence and independence in her students. She calls Gal Gadot’s portrayal powerful and important.
“I don’t think they could have cast a better person. She is everything–she embodies the character so perfectly,” said Meadows. She said role models like Wonder Woman and Gal Gadot set the standard for women of all ages.
“I love the fact that these young ladies and older women alike can look at this character and then internalize that, and then they can go out and not be afraid to take those risks and not sit back and allow a guy or a young man to take those positions, but to actually get in there with them and get a seat at the table.
Don’t miss our 2-hour live coverage special from the red carpet at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on KESQ and CBS Local 2 News on Tuesday, January 2, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.