Matilda and her beloved teacher, Miss Honey.

I remember the first time I watched Matilda, directed by Danny DeVito; I was 9 years old. I went to a theatre in Veracruz with my parents and as soon as the movie was over and we were back home, I started to stare at things to see if I could move them. Also, I tried to wear a red ribbon around my head, but my hair wasn’t like Mara Wilson’s, the actress and writer who played Matilda and I removed it immediately (don’t worry, I’ve come to accept and love my fluffy hair).

20 years have gone by since I watched the movie for the first time. I have since watched the movie countless times, but the last time was the one in which I discovered why I like it so much and the reason is quite simple: because I see a superheroine in Matilda. I don’t say this only because of her extraordinary mental power or the cool things that she does with it when she finally learns how to control it.


The above video is my favorite scene. Ever.

I say it because Matilda is a girl and being a girl, from my point of view, implies being very brave, determined and keep on breaking barriers constantly Рeven if we’re living in the 21st century. In her case, as well as other girls’ (myself included), the first barrier that has to be broken is being born and finding a place in the world. She does it basically because of the indifference that her parents and her brother show to her since she is a baby and so, she learns from a very young age how to take care of herself and mainly, to train herself intellectually.


Even if Matilda knows pretty much everything about literature, arithmetic and law, she wants to keep on learning. There are no limits for her curiosity and I believe that this is one of the things that had the greatest impact on me back in the day, that a younger girl was telling me that one never knows enough (even though Mara Wilson was my age when she filmed the movie). When she finally gets to start school, Matilda learns about something that she only knew through the books: being accepted and loved for who she is. This basically happens because of her classmates, but more so because of Miss Honey, her best friend, teacher and the only person who would be aware of her gift.


What I like the most about this character is that despite knowing too much and being so mature for her age, Matilda’s still a girl. A brilliant girl, but an innocent and kind-hearted one. A girl that’s keen on helping whoever’s in need even if she has to put herself at risk (as it happens more than once in this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book and that I haven’t read yet). A girl that finds her way to happiness through remaining true to herself and of course, her love for knowledge.

-Cristina Sousa-Martínez
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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