‘Lightyear’ Review: A Love Letter To Black Girls Everywhere

I know I'm late to the game. Lightyear has been out for a few weeks and it seems all anyone can talk about is *sarcastically clutches pearls* "the gay", but I didn't see any part of the conversation that focused on why I loved it so much. And why many girls, who look just like me, may have left the theater in tears.

Way back in 1995, a young Quinzel (me) was able to see Toy Story in theaters for the first time. I wasn't interested in Woody as much. Sure, he was a funny cowboy. But my eyes lit up when I saw Buzz Lightyear on screen.

I told my mother as the credits rolled that I realllly wanted a Buzz Lightyear toy for Christmas.

"No," she told me in a cold voice "that's for boys."

I was disappointed to hear the same sentiment when I went to school to tell all of my friends about my new favorite character. The girls clutched their Barbies. The boys laughed and snickered. The message was loud and clear.

Sure, there were female characters in Toy Story and it's sequels. But I didn't want to be Jessie and I sure as heck didn't want to be Bo Peep. I wanted to have a laser, dammit!

When I had my first kiddo, I adorned him with all of the Buzz Lightyear merch I could afford. If I had a girl, it would have been the same outcome because Buzz was cool.

So you can imagine my excitement when I realized that there was a movie coming out about Buzz Lightyear. I was excited to share this moment with my adorable little one.

What I didn't realize is that this would be a full circle moment for me too.

Enter Izzy. She's heroic. She's clumsy. And she looks just like me.

Izzy is a perfectly imperfect space ranger. Which makes you feel even more like "man, I can't run a mile to save my soul. Maybe *I* could be a space ranger?"

All of the members of this team make you want to embrace your imperfections. I walked away from the theater learning a valuable lesson. You don't have to be perfect to be great.

I loved that Izzy's hair was natural. I could definitely pull off a cosplay as her.

Speaking of cosplay, there was something breathtaking about seeing Izzy in the full space ranger suit. Something that imprinted on my soul that no one can take away from me. I could see myself walking around conventions and little girls staring in awe saying "that's Izzy!"

But what they are really saying is "That's me!"

There are many different ways to say that Black Lives Matter. But watching Izzy looking up at the statue of her grandmother as she realizes she accomplished something great...

and all the black girls in the theater watching Izzy...

It was a frozen moment in time. A sigh of relief where we could collectively all say, "We Matter."

What did you think of Lightyear? Did you enjoy the character Izzy? Sound off in the comments section below.