The Force is strong with her
At one point or another, we all know what it’s like to feel different.
Maybe it’s our haircut, or our clothes, or the way we look. Maybe it’s how we communicate (or don’t). More often than not, it comes down to our passions, interests, and hobbies, those important pastimes that many of us spend hiding our entire childhood in order to “fit in.” But then, with a little encouragement, we finally learn that it’s okay to stand out.
One mother took to Twitter to explain that her young daughter was too nervous to wear Star Wars gear, but she never expected that her message would go all the way to Luke Skywalker himself.
You’re My Only Hope
N.J. Simmonds is an author of young adult novels and a self-described “fierce mum.”
Earlier this week, however, she was distraught, and so she turned to Twitter to ask for help when it came to her seven-year-old daughter.
She wrote, “My 7 year old daughter’s crying in bed right now because she wants to wear her Star Wars t-shirt to school but is scared her classmates will laugh because she likes ‘boy stuff’. I’m so sad/angry for her. Please RT and comment so I can show her how awesome girl #StarWars fans are.”
What parents wouldn’t want to do as much as possible for their young child already so aware of how other kids can easily pick apart and make fun of your hobbies and interests? In an attempt to get her message as far as possible, she also tagged accounts like @starwars and @StarWarsFanGirl looking for help.
But she never expected this response.
Return of the Jedi
The outpouring from Star Wars fans, many of whom were women or parents of women, was immediate. Other parents expressed that they’d been through similar situations with their own kids, while older fans wrote back encouraging Simmonds and her daughter to embrace their love of Star Wars. One woman—NASA employee who drives the Mars Rover—even responded with a picture of herself cosplaying as Rey while on the job.
But within a day of Simmonds’ original tweet, the most unexpected response came from none other than real-life Luke Skywalker himself, actor Mark Hamill.
Attached to his infamous “brush your shoulders off” GIF from The Last Jedi, Hamill wrote, “Just tell her to feel free to use this gesture if her classmates give her any grief. ‘Boy stuff’? PLEASE! The Force is, & always will be strong with females here on Earth & in galaxies far, far away.”
What a class act.
A New Hope
Science fiction has long been considered a genre for men, but the times are changing. Star Wars voice actress Ashley Eckstein even revolutionized the sale of women’s sci-fi and fan clothing through her company Her Universe.
After the outpouring of support for her and her daughter, N.J. continuously expressed her gratitude on Twitter, especially considering that March 8 is International Women’s Day.
In response to Hamill, she wrote, “Thank you! She’s forgotten all about how nervous she was and is totally cool with her t-shirt and her love of SW now. The Internet, on the other hand, is making sure none of us ever forget how powerful both SW and women can be. She has no idea what she’s started.”
To the rest of her followers and new-found fans, she wrote:
When I posted about my daughter being worried that her love of #starwars was “for boys” I had no idea how much it would struck a chord with so many women around the world.
The amount of comments from inspirational people has blown me away…
Today is a day to celebrate that. To show our children just how powerful a woman can be, and how fantastic men who support that truly are.
I heard from NASA scientists, screen writers, fandom queens and Luke Skywalker himself. They wanted my little girl to be brave and strong.
Of course she was strong anyway, she didn’t need Twitter to tell her that, but this outpouring of love showed us all that strangers can come together for one cause. That love is stronger than hate (ask any Jedi) and that women can do and be anything.