When 7-year-old Katie Goldman was teased about her Star Wars water bottle being "for boys," her frustrated mother took to the Internet. Soon, Katie had a galaxy full of supporters.
When Katie asked to start carrying a pink water bottle to school in Evanston, mom Carrie was alarmed. Says CNN,
Kids at school insisted that "Star Wars" was only for boys, her daughter wailed. She was different enough already — the only one who was adopted, who's Jewish, who wears glasses, who needs a [eye] patch. If sacrificing Yoda for the color pink would make her fit in again, so be it.
Instead, her mom posted about her frustrations on her blog, which in turn caught the eye of a blogger in Orlando, who reposted the story to Epbot, with the headline "My fellow geeks, I need your help." This prompted the following post from Catherine Taber:
I am [the] actress who has the great honor of being Padme Amidala on 'Star Wars: the Clone Wars!' I just wanted to tell Katie that she is in VERY good company being a female Star Wars fans. I know that Padme would tell you to be proud of who YOU are and know that you are not ALONE! THE FORCE is with you Katie!
Soon, more than 3,000 people had left supportive messages for Katie on her mom's blog; #maytheforcebewithkatie actually became a Twitter hashtag. One person suggested that on December 10, supporters wear Star Wars gear.
Guys and gals of all ages wrote about how they'd been bullied, and how life had gotten so much better since then. They shared that they loved "Star Wars," that they wore glasses, that they were adopted — just like Luke, just like Leia, just like Katie. ThinkGeek, a nerdy online retailer, sent Katie a lightsaber. Artist Scott Zirkel sent a cartoon of Katie as a Jedi, glasses and all. A first-grade class in California sent letters to Katie as a show of support.Taber and the rest of the cast of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," sent "Star Wars" merch. Ashley Eckstein, who voices the female Jedi Ahsoka Tano, sent Her Universe clothes tailored for girls. Tom Kane, who voices Yoda, escorted the Goldmans to a screening near their home.
Perhaps nicest of all, Katie's school will host "Proud to be Me" Day — on which kids can dress as Star Wars characters...or anything they want.
The Force Is With You, Katie [CNN]