Wonder Woman entered theaters June 2, 2017 and killed box office records the first week. The movie showcases female empowerment on a number of levels. Patty Jenkins is the films director and Gal Gadot is the lead character in the movie. The movie is well written and a dynamic film to watch. I couldn’t wait to see the movie because as a kid Zena was one of my favorite television shows. Seeing powerful women on-screen is still empowering to me as a woman. While I adored the movie and would definitely watch it again, there are five reasons why I probably won’t let my daughters see it until they are older. After a friend asked is Wonder Woman for kids, I thought I’d share how I feel about showing the movie to my own children.
Five Reasons Younger Children Should Wait To Watch
1. The movie is rated PG -13.
We often see ratings, but do we really understand what it means. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom I worked for a Television network, which helped me understand ratings. When I see PG-13 (I immediately know the movie is beter kids 13 and older to watch with their parents). Thoughtco.com wrote an excellent definition:
PG-13 rated movies stand for Parental Guidance-13, with parents strongly cautioned, as some material may not be suitable for children under 13. Again, it’s a matter of what isn’t in the film; any nudity has to be non-sexual, any swear words have to be used sparingly, and, in the event of the specific obscenity we politely call the F-word, not used in a sexual context. . . . Violence in PG-13 films may be intense, but must also be bloodless – see Jurassic World or any Marvel Movie, for example – and it is, as per usual, the Ratings Board’s call if the film’s content is deemed to be more than PG but less than R. (“How Does A Movie Get Its Rating? What Do G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17 Mean?”)
There are times when I allow my kids to watch a PG 13 movie but I watch it with them to help them make since of complex themes and scenes presented.
2. The setting of the movie is during World War I.
I don’t think war is a topic that kids are really psychologically ready to handle at a young age. Frankly, I’m an adult and war disturbs me, but I’ve come to accept its existence. All too often our kids are inundated with negative violent images. Those images affect them and can’t be unseen. Also, World War I was much more complex than the movie reveals. As a result, I wouldn’t want this film to be my child’s first knowledge of the war because it trivializes the significance of World War I.
3. Sexual insinuations aren’t appropriate for little ears or eyes.
I’m traditional, some may even consider me old fashioned but when it comes to parenting my children I always try to do my best. I also do not want any of their curiosity about sex peaked before they are emotionally ready. There are not actual sex scenes in the movie, but there are sexual conversations and overtones.
According to the Association for Natural Parenting:
It is important to note that a passive lifestyle that consists of spending large amounts of time watching movies and television can influence a child’s thoughts and behaviors. If a child sees violent, sexual, and/or unrealistic child-based movies and cartoons, he or she may internalize these images and concepts, which can contribute to them acting these out in school or at home. Emotions from movies and music can also be internalized. (Langham, M.M.F.T., Ph.D.)
4. Their isn’t any animation in the movie.
This technically isn’t a deal breaker; especially because all animated productions are not kid-friendly. I’ll admit, my 8 year old kids are old enough to enjoy movies without animation, but I am still aware that animated ones keep their interest better. Children 6 and younger probably wouldn’t even find Wonder Women interesting because it has an old fashioned vintage look and feel to it. As an adult, I find older movies very appealing, but my kids aren’t as thrilled about them.
The images from the also are full of active violence. This sensory over load can be disturbing to children as may have a hard time trying to process the images after they leave the theater.
5. Moreover, Wonder Women isn’t a kids movie.
Diana is a beautiful sexy superhero. Adults don’t usually subscribe to the reality of super heroes existing, but we are still entertained by super human characters. Diana’s character embodies women’s empowerment, but at a cost that young viewers may take out of context.
First, Diana grew up on a peaceful, protected, women-only island called Themyscira. The Amazon women are strong and exhilarating but at the same time it’s problematic for young children to decipher. Here’s why, the movie makes it seem like men are negative influences, it depicts them as a those who create problems in our world, and overwhelmingly shows them as weak in comparison to women. While adults can reason this as strictly entertaining, I would not want a son of mine getting the impression that the world is better if he were not in it. While older teens can definitely look past this fantasy, the message is going into the mind of a child and creating an impression on him.
On the other hand, the message of powerful women can seem to be perfect for young girls, but I disagree. We have to learn how to co-exist in this world with each other and recognize the value and beauty of both genders. It can be argued that Steve, Diana’s co-star, really saves the day and the perception of men by ****Spoiler Alert****sacrificing his life. However, his brief act of bravery is never focused on long enough for a child to understand it’s magnitude.
And the one women who has been around men all of her life, is disfigured and making poison to kill masses of people.
For instance, there is an tweet floating around the net that talks about the positive reaction of kindergarten students. There was one reaction that really struck me as unfortunate.
“A boy threw his candy wrapping in [sic] the floor and a 5 year old girl screamed, “DON’T POLLUTE, YOU IDIOT, THAT’S WHY THERE WERE NO MEN ON THEMYSCIRA.”
Exactly, right, she saw the island of women and concluded that boys are idiots. Frankly we need unity, empathy, and compassion among by both sexes. This movie isn’t one that promotes this type of unification. Although the other kids reactions were much more positive, all of the kids who responded below didn’t actually watch the movie.
My producer just sent me this… ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE! This makes every hard day worth it. Thank you to whomever wrote it!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/3DzIaMueIh
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) June 11, 2017
For all of the reasons I listed above, I believe Wonder Woman is clean adult entertainment. It’s just not for kids. However, I want to be clear, I am not judging any parent who decides to take their kids to see Wonder Woman; even though, I caution them to wait. There is no reason we need to rush to present violent narratives to our kids even when they have a positive ending. Emotionally these films can take kids on a roller coaster ride. Which also leds me to limit the news that my children watch as well. Our children enough trouble processing the real violence we hear about in our world. We want them to be emotionally ready when they encounter fantasy so they can discern fact from fiction better.
So to answer the main question “Is Wonder Women For Kids?” I’d say it depends on how you feel about it as a parent. Lastly, the maturity of the child also plays a large role as well. This movie may be Okay for a mature 10 year old, but you as the parent should see it first to make your determination.
“How Does A Movie Get Its Rating? What Do G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17 Mean?”. ThoughtCo. N.p., 2017. Web. 15 June 2017.
Edited and reviewed by Langham, M.M.F.T., Ph.D., R. Y. “Psychological Effect Of Children’s Movies | G-Rated Movies For Kids | Disney Influence On Children”. Winmentalhealth.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 15 June 2017.
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