Some know her as Princess Diana of Themyscira or Diana Prince, but to me, she will always be Wonder Woman. Naturally, I fell in love with this DC Comics Amazonian princess when I was 6’7″ and only 12 years old. I used to tie my invisible lasso of truth around my cat, Midnight and bring her to me (it was probably the Pounce moist treats that convinced her to come, though, those treats were like catnip to her).
Why a Wonder Woman Movie is Needed
Ages 11-15 were probably the roughest years of my social life, I had outgrown all the women in my family by age 9 and all the men in my family by age 10. Being 6’7″ at the age of 12 made me stick out like a sore thumb in my public Jr. high school (full of thousands of kids). I wasn’t just made fun of by my classmates, the entire school would look at me funny, say disrespectful things in passing and barely speak to me, including teachers.
I didn’t have anyone to talk to about being bullied by the kids at school, so I turned to characters I saw on TV. My favorites were Xena Warrior Princess and Chyna of WWE. I didn’t learn about her through a Wonder Woman movie or show, my older sister actually introduced her to me inadvertantly. She was really into manga and comic books at the time, so one day I discovered a comic book in my sister’s room that had Wonder Woman on the cover. Wonder Woman has always fascinated me more than any other Amazonian character ever since. I think it has a lot to do with my familiarity with her story- ever since I can remember, I had this superhuman body and strength. I used to dream about discovering my “amazon powers” and flying back to Themyscira to be accepted into their great amazon tribe, but realistically, I wasn’t going to be raptured back to Paradise Island any time soon. The only thing in my life that made me feel good about myself was basketball. Ron, a security officer at my middle school, introduced me to a few AAU coaches when I was 13. But, shortly after I started playing basketball, kids not only made fun of my height, they started making fun of my body- I started working out and developing muscle tone, especially in my legs. Girls in my class would laugh at me for not being skinny and for having muscle definition, which led to guys making fun of me, too. I’ll never forget my first homecoming dance in high school, a group of guys had dared my “friend” Ryan to dance with me (he was 5’8″) and then they took pictures of us dancing and showed it all over school, saying he “slayed the giant” that night. I became ashamed of my body and I started becoming self-conscious on the basketball court thereafter, which led to my inability to play consistently-well. During these tough times, reading Wonder Woman comics inspired me to stop caring about what others said about me. She aesthetically has a lot of muscle tone and now that I am older, I know that having natural muscle mass and being tall as a woman is not wrong or bad. I am genetically built the way I am and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I love and accept myself.
I Would be the Perfect Fit in a Wonder Woman Movie
The one thing I regret the most in my life is allowing other people to impose their insecurities onto me, causing me to change my way of thinking resulting in a lack of self-respect. I had low-self-esteem because I allowed people to have control over my feelings. Now, I realize that being unique is better than being a sheep- I no longer let others bring me down with their jealousy and malicious attitudes. Growing up, I think a Wonder Woman movie would have made a huge difference in my life. She is the truest role model for girls like me and movies are very powerful in social settings. I would have loved to see a Wonder Woman movie when I was in my early teens. Instead, we got Deuce Bigalow. Remember the tall, blonde cop scene?
That’s why being Wonder Woman in an upcoming Wonder Woman Movie is my dream-role and would mean the world to me- she has been in my life through thick and thin. Because of her, I came to the realization that I had to stop being a victim and start taking charge of my life. I changed my mentality and still triumph over the negative stigma society throws at me for being an unusually tall, strong woman. Wonder Woman is more than just a pretty face with an Amazonian stature, she is the symbol of female strength and empowerment. Wonder Woman has more important things to do other than worry about what people think of her (Like get a freaking Wonder Woman movie up already!! Sheesh.). Anyway, I began looking outside of myself to helping others and that’s when my life changed. Since I’m one of the tallest women alive on the planet, I firmly believe that most women cannot connect with Wonder Woman in the same way that I can. When acting, you have to become the character you are portraying- I live each day in the mind-set and physical body of an amazon, so I feel like I understand and identify with her more than anyone else possibly could. I want to be the ultimate role-model for tall girls who don’t have anyone to talk to about their insecurities and playing this character would definitely give me the opportunity to do so. After all this time, a Wonder Woman movie has yet to be made.
Even if I never get the chance to play this role in a Wonder Woman Movie, I’ll never stop aspiring to be the almighty Amazonian Warrior.
After all this time, a Wonder Woman movie has yet to be made.
Game of Thrones is my favorite TV show, hands down. The show stars some really good talent such as Sophie Turner, Kit Harrington and Gwendoline Christie and the plot continuously keeps me on my toes.
When I’m not swooning over Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and her blonde locks, perfect skin and loyal dragons, my favorite is a Song of Ice and Fire character called Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) whom is portrayed as a tall, strong and masculine knight. She doesn’t consider herself a “lady”, neither does anyone else. She spends her days tossing grown men around like rag dolls and beating people up, I definitely can identify with Brienne.
I love that Brienne doesn’t consider herself a woman or a man, her character is not gender-specific. She is tough and skilled enough to overpower both genders, so they respect her. I love that she just is.
I first learned of British actress Gwendoline Christie and the Game of Thrones last March when I was in Tokyo, Japan filming R100, people kept asking if I was her, so I looked her up. I’m flattered whenever this happens because she’s such a great role model, especially for us tall girls. I love the message she rocks- accept yourself and the universe shall accept you, too.
Gwendoline doesn’t just talk the talk, she actually does the work necessary to get to the next level. Once she was casted for Game of Thrones, she took up a crazy workout routine and gained about 14 lbs of muscle in just a few months in preparation for the show. I respect her work ethic and look forward to seeing her in Star Wars: Episode VII. She inspires me and I love that she embraces who she is. I think that it would be an incredible honor to one day work on-set with the awe-inspiring talent that helped materialize legendary Brienne.
“In one quarter mile, take a right.”
A quarter mile? Are you kidding me? I’m passing through USC’s campus, in blistering heat, when my BFF Siri notifies me that I have another quarter mile to WALK. It is nearly 100 degrees outside, I’m in jeans, boots and a button up. A leisurely stroll on USC grounds has turned into a trek through the desert. Where is this place?
I’m headed to a red carpet kickball event, hosted by the Dave Thomas Foundation. Can you believe there are 100,000 children currently in the foster care program that are in need of a forever home? Ugh. So sad.
I see some typical Californian landscapers ahead on the same side of the sidewalk, hard at work. As I approach, I can see them putting down their rakes, hoes and other lawn equipment and gathering back at their truck. God, they must be sweltering in this heat, dying of thirst. This job must really suck. I cross over to the opposite side of the street in search of the event. Out of nowhere, they start chuckling and pointing in my direction.
I hear this one man shout, “¡Mira! Mira esa chica del ella es mas grande.” The others join in, laughing and pointing.
Mira. Look. One of the most despised words in my Spanish memory-bank. And ‘grande’. Doesn’t ‘alta’ mean ‘tall’ and ‘grande’ mean big? I guess it depends on the context- but after hearing it 24/7 in this particular context, I have learned that ‘grande’ means ‘giant’. I can’t believe people think they can get away with openly calling me a ‘giant’ just because they say it in another language- it’s really rude.
I pause while taking a long stride and say, “oh, es eso cierto?” I grit my teeth and stare them down, hoping to catch someone’s eye, but they’re too chicken to look back at me. Now that they’re caught, every single one of them pretends like they don’t see me.
Mira tu madre. Look! Look! Seriously, how rude can you be? Calm down. You can’t change what others think of you and you sure as hell can’t give them power by caring. Just focus on the kickball tournament and have a good time. Shake it off.
I round the corner to the track and field where I check in and pose for some pictures with Wendy and a milkshake in front of a small camera crew and banner. I’m finally here. I don’t have any children of my own. I’m not married nor old enough to really care for a child, so for now, I’ll settle for just doing what I can at events like this.
I ask my guide where the restroom is, he takes me on a brief tour of the facilities. I can see a little girl at the adoption booth come over my way. She follows me to the bathroom. I’m standing at the sink, washing my hands, as she stands in back of me. We make eye contact through the mirror.
“You’re really tall.”
“I know.” I say back. I walk out of the bathroom door and past security, again, she follows. I take out my phone and look down at it. I see her smiling up at me, she squints at the sun in her eyes and tells me, “but I wouldn’t mind having a really tall mommy. All mommies are taller than me and I don’t really care if you’re taller than other mommies.” My heart sinks to my stomach.
I kneel down and look her in the face. “What is your name?”
This poor child.
I’m in no way ready to be a mommy- I travel a lot and I already have FOUR dogs- I can’t adjust my lifestyle quite yet. But, how would a child understand that? So, I hold out my hand and take her to the kickball field. I kick and toss a ball around with her for a few minutes and then I have to leave- I have another event to attend over on the Westside.
I know it’s not much, but I give her a huge hug, spinning her around, high off of the ground. Before I put her down, she tells me she feels like a superhero way up in the sky. I hand her a cold bottle of water, then I pat her on the top of her head and she runs off to play with another little girl.
“You’re really great with her.” a nearby adoption counselor says to me. I smile over to her, thanking her and then finally, I walk away. I can feel the tears burning holes in the back of my eyes.
Take care of yourself, Whitney.
It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon and I’m in my local hair salon, sitting under a hair dryer, waiting for the bleach to lift that Vivian, my hair stylist, just applied to my hair. I’m not a natural blonde, but I love the color. Besides, something about coming to the salon and getting “beautified” makes me feel renewed and refreshed.
Every time I go to the salon, it is two hours of torture and dare I say, slight humiliation. I’m used to slouching down in a chair so that the stylist can see the top of my head, but it doesn’t exactly make it any less embarrassing. I’ve been this tall since I was thirteen. My long legs always end up getting in the way of other stylists in the salon. Between me trying to keep my legs tucked in and the other stylists apologizing every two minutes for tripping over them, I manage to tell Vivian about my day and engage in small talk.
Heat acts as an accelerant and makes the color process a little faster, so sitting under a dryer is mandatory. Vivian moves me to the dryer, which is the worst part. I dread the dryer because I have to cram my near six-foot-nine-inch frame in it and sit that way for over an hour, not to mention it is unbearably hot.
So, here I am, terribly uncomfortable, with the whirring sound of the dryer deafening the world around me. I wonder why it is that I do this to myself, then my mind drifts to daydreaming about being sprawled out on the beach so I can ignore my butt going numb and my body crying out for me to move.
Every so often, I think of what others must think of this sight. I imagine myself as one of my Boston Terriers that has snuggled in between another one of my dogs and the couch, her fat rolls exposed. If only I were as cute. Ha!
“Just ten more minutes,” Vivian sweetly says to me.
Oh, is that all? Just ten more minutes? Tell that to my neck, back and legs! I’ve been sitting like this for about an hour now, you said ten minutes ten minutes ago! But, instead of lashing out, I just look at her and smile- I know it’s not her fault, so there is no need to act like a jerk. “Sure, no problem, thank you.”
The slogan “Beauty is pain and pain is beauty” is my truth, as my height makes getting beautiful a little more challenging than your average girl. Sure, my scalp is burning from the bleach like anyone else’s would, but my body is stiff from having to keep bent and slouched down the entire time.
FINALLY, I’m at the wash bowl, my feet are resting on the lockers straight ahead because there is no other place for them to go, the so-called “leg rest” stops halfway down my thigh.
She turns on the water and tells me to relax. This, this right here, after about an hour or so, at this wash bowl, is where I can finally, truly chill.
The lukewarm water relieves the burning sensation on my scalp and her fingertips roam through my hair, gently cleansing the product away and massaging my scalp. She washes my hair with a lavender shampoo, while slightly tugging my hair at the roots, opening the cuticles to absorb the conditioner. I close my eyes and reflect back on my day, this is by far the best five minutes of it.
A towel is wrapped around my head and soon I’m rushed back to her station in this busy salon. It’s Friday night and there are a zillion people in here getting groomed for the weekend. I can finally sit up straight in the chair as she gets a workout blow-drying my rather thick, course hair.
“All done!” Just like that, it’s over- I take a glance in the mirror and I see myself transformed. My hair is soft and bouncy, it shines like diamonds in the late afternoon’s sunlight. I run my fingers through my hair and I thank her. At last, I’m able to stretch out of my temporary cocoon and fly away into my own Friday Night adventure.