Star Wars Armor Is Helping Little Girls Deal With Bullying
The stormtrooper armor was originally custom-built in 2012 for a then-8-year-old Chicago girl. Now it gets passed on to those in need.
A few years ago, Katie Goldman was being bullied by kids at her elementary school because she liked Star Wars — which the bullies reportedly told her was only for boys.
After Katie's mom, author Carrie Goldman, wrote an essay about the bullying, a group of Star Wars fans called The 501st Legion decided in 2012 to build the little girl her own custom suit of armor.
Legion spokesman Brian Troyan told BuzzFeed "scores of stormtroopers" from around the world donated money, time, and materials to build the suit after they learned about Katie's story.
Katie wore the armor everywhere and she said it helped her regain her confidence. She learned that girls can like Star Wars too, her mom wrote at the time.
But the story doesn't end there....
Earlier this year, Troyan and the Legion found out about 11-year-old Allie Jorgensen, who was experiencing bullying much like Katie had. Allie liked Star Wars and carried a Spider Man lunchbox to school, but the other kids made fun of her.
So last month, Troyan proposed an idea to Katie and her mom: pass the armor along to Allie. Carrie Goldman said her daughter not only loved the idea, but also wrote Allie letters of encouragement with her friends.
Late last month, Troyan picked up the armor from Katie and presented it to Allison, he told BuzzFeed. Troyan said Allie was stunned and excited. "She couldn’t stop smiling and couldn’t wait to try it on."
In her blog post, Goldman adds that getting the armor helped Allison realize she has "yet-to-be-met" friends.
Now, a new tradition of passing the armor on to someone who needs it has begun.
Troyan said that when Allie outgrows her stormtrooper suit she can pass it on to another girl who needs it. That, in turn, helps kids know they aren't alone.
"I think it helps them understand that they don't need to hide who they are or what they love," Troyan said. "Even if someone tries to make fun of them for something, that doesn't mean they should be ashamed of it."