I have a long history with Wonder Woman, mostly involving a '70s TV show starring beauty queen Lynda Carter. An Amazonian superhero, Wonder Woman wore magic silver bracelets that repelled bullets, flew an invisible airplane, and wore a golden lasso on her hip that could trap and hold any villain.
Episode after episode, Wonder Woman vanquished her enemies with strength and smarts, yet somehow her lipstick stayed a perfect glossy red and her shiny brunette hair never went flat. On top of this, Wonder Woman maintained a no-kill policy and was genuinely nice.
In homage, my little sister made silver bracelets out of aluminum foil and wore a cape made from a pillowcase. I rolled my eyes but secretly admired my sister's moxie, because like her, I was entranced by Wonder Woman's beauty and strength.
As I grew older, I kept an eye out for other strong women. Oh, there were women like Betsy Ross and Pocahontas, whom I learned about from history class, but stitching together a flag or bringing food to the English settlers didn't quench my thirst for a female hero.
Then one Sunday afternoon, I saw her. A woman who changed the world. She wore a blue-collared shirt, sleeve rolled up over a toned and powerful bicep, arm curled, hand clenched into a fist. Her hair in a red bandanna, she looked back at me with eyes wide open. It was Rosie the Riveter, her bright and determined face splashed across the pages of a department store ad in the Sunday paper.
I was struck by the determined line of her jaw and decided to get to the bottom of her story. I soon discovered that millions of Rosies changed the world by laboring in factories and shipyards to help defeat the Nazis in World War II.