Ask any girl, any person of color, any LGBTQ individual, any disabled person: representation matters. Seeing yourself reflected in the media, in your profession, on your TV, and on the silver screen is a privilege that many don't take for granted—including one young fan at Comic-Con.
Over the weekend, the stars portraying the superheroes of the upcoming Justice League film descended upon the San Diego comic book and entertainment convention to share new clips and insights about the movie. During a meet-and-greet session, a little girl named Ashley approaches Gal Gadot, who plays the titular character in the wildly successful Wonder Woman film. In the clip, a young fan, who was wearing a Wonder Woman shirt and cape, approaches Gadot. Overcome with excitement, she begins to cry. Gadot acts fast and comforts the girl, taking her hand and empowering her with words of encouragement.
"There's no reason to cry anymore, right?" Gadot said. "We are together."
Ezra Miller, who plays the Flash in the upcoming Justice League film, helped Gadot comfort the young fan.
"You're a warrior," Miller said. "Your ability to cry is what makes you such a warrior. Come join the Justice League whenever you get ready."
Christine Keller, Ashley's mother and author of The Adventures of Danica Dreamer, took to her book's Facebook page to describe the impact.
"These characters matter and can have a huge influence on young people," Keller wrote. "What a great role model and genuine, nice person. My daughter will always remember this moment for the rest of her life."
Don't let anyone tell your representation doesn't matter—just ask Ashley.