During one of the happier moments of 2016 in late December, a mother from Maryland posted photos of her 8-year-old daughter, Michele, who had dressed up as Ruth Bader Ginsburg for Superhero Day at school (because yes, the Notorious RBG is definitely a real-life superhero). Then, something just as awesome followed: On Jan. 5, Ruth Bader Ginsburg replied to the little girl in the form of a handwritten note. "We surprised Michele with it the next morning when she woke up. She was so excited," writes Krista Threefoot, Michele's mother, in an email to Bustle. "She asked me to make a copy of the note so she could bring it to school with her and show her teachers."
Shortly after receiving the note, Threefoot posted a picture of it on her Facebook page. In the short but sweet note, dated Dec. 23, 2016, the Notorious RBG tells Michele that she looks just like her, encourages her to study hard in school and offers her well wishes. The note is written on a piece of paper with an official letterhead from the Ginsburg's Chambers at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. That moment was understandably significant for Michele, a third grader, and her mother; after all, not everybody gets to hear from their personal superheroes.
"I was moved to tears. Justice Ginsburg gave my daughter a priceless gift. The fact that she took the time to respond to her, and to respond so kindly, says a lot about her, and makes her all the more admirable," Threefoot says.
Here is the full note, posted on Threefoot's Facebook:
According to Threefoot, Michele was inspired to dress up as Ginsburg for her school's Spirit Week after reading I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, a biography and picture book about Ginsburg's lifelong efforts to stand up for equality of all people and fight against injustices.
"Michele really connected with the message, especially the parts of the book that describe opportunities that were denied to Justice Ginbsurg because she was a girl," Threefoot tells Bustle. "Michele loved that Justice Ginsburg kept on fighting for equal rights."
Not only is Ginsburg the second woman Supreme Court Justice in U.S. history, but she has also launched several women's rights projects and been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. She was also named one of Forbes Magazine's 100 Most Powerful Women from 2004 to 2011.
I can imagine RBG is a busy woman, so it's pretty amazing that she would actually hand-write a letter for Michele and send it back. We already know what a badass Ginsburg is, but this just proves that she's an excellent role model and genuinely kind person as well.
Here's the original photo of Michele dressed up as RBG back in December, which received nearly 1,700 shares on Facebook:
I agree with Ginsburg, Michele. You look just like her.
In addition to the handwritten note, Ginsburg (or maybe her assistant, but hey, that's cool, too) mailed a separate sheet of paper with a quote about the power of reading books and its affect on Ginsburg's life. It reads:
As cheesy as it sounds, it restores my faith in humanity to see Ginsburg encouraging a young feminist like Michele to keep investing in her education. Ginsburg has spent the majority of her life practicing law, dropping truth bombs about the state of the modern world, and basically being one of the wisest, most well-spoken women ever, so I wouldn't take her advice lightly.
Threefoot calls Ginsburg "the perfect example" for her daughter, as they're both strong-willed and set on changing the world for the better. "Michele feels very strongly about equality between girls and boys," Threefoot writes. "She knows that girls haven't always had the same opportunities as boys (and that they still don't in many cases) and it makes her really angry. RBG is a hero to her because she has worked to change this, and that really matters to her."
"It's been incredibly fulfilling to know that my daughter has brought hope to so many people during what feels like a very dark time," Threefoot adds. "I love seeing how inspiring one little girl can be. Little girls are powerful people, and I'm glad to have helped share that message with the world."