Wonder Woman has been an icon for people all around the world for close to 80 years, serving as a symbol of equality, strength and courage. Unfortunately, in spite of all this, she's been mired in controversy for the majority of her existence due to one specific aspect of her appearance: her outfit.
People have long argued that Wonder Woman's costume is too revealing to make her a true symbol of strength. Even now that she's finally getting her very own film starring #GalGadot and directed by #PattyJenkins, the topic continues to be an issue. Indeed, Wonder Woman became (and was hastily dropped as) an honorary UN Ambassador last year, but a petition was started to take away her title, stating:
Although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent “warrior” woman with a feminist message, the reality is that the character’s current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee high boots –the epitome of a “pin-up” girl.
Fortunately, one of the top authorities on all things Diana has stepped in to offer her two cents on the matter.
Patty Jenkins Weighs On Wonder Woman's Wardrobe Choice's Controversy
During a recent interview with CBS, Patty Jenkins was asked to give her input on whether the character can in fact be a symbol of power while wearing such a revealing outfit. The director said she very much could, and that she sees that discussion as a sexist point of view:
"I think that that's sexist. I think it's sexist to say you can't have both. I have to ask myself what I would apply to any other superhero. This is fantasy and it's not for anyone other than the person having the fantasy."
Jenkins went on to explain that as a child, she would be inspired by the idea of stopping a school bully while also being able to look like Lynda Carter.
"I, as a little girl, like took a huge amount of delight in the idea that for my power and my ability to stop that bully on that playground, I could also look like Lynda Carter while I was doing it."
That's a very powerful statement — and it's true that this scrutiny isn't faced by male superheroes. Male superhero outfits can be incredibly revealing; the only difference is that their ability to represent hope and strength is never questioned due to their appearance. So why is that the case with Diana Prince?
As I've said in the past, while it's unfortunately common for Wonder Woman to be over-sexualized, that doesn't take away what the character stands for. Lynda Carter touched on that controversy, and she made a great point about the inherent double-standard that comes with such a debate:
"Well, excuse me, women have breasts! Superman has got a big pouch in his crotch, so does Spider-Man and Green Lantern and their muscles are bulging — no one has a problem with that. If they have a problem with a female who is strong, they’re missing the entire point; it’s the ultimate sexism to say because she has big breasts and a costume on, that is what you think represents her and who she is. Women do have breasts and women can defend themselves and fight back. Wonder Woman is about telling the truth.”
The Amazonian warrior is a symbol of strenght, one whom we can all draw power and inspiration from. The legacy and vast emotional resonance of Wonder Woman should never get buried beneath a debate over her looks. Hopefully more and more people begin to understand that.
Wonder Woman comes flying into theaters on June 2, 2017. What did you think about Patty Jenkins comments about Wonder Woman's outfit? Let me know in the comments!
(Source: CBS News)