ByRose Moore, writer at
Writer, cosplayer and all around nerd. @RoseMooreWrites
Rose Moore

There are so many reasons that I don’t crave the fame and fortune that so many do. Privacy is a big one, as is the ability to shoot my (occasionally foul) mouth without fear of global outrage. But the main one is that the only time I get asked about my weight is when I go to the doctor (and even then it’s just to put it on the chart).

Gal Gadot does not have that luxury. Having written a few pieces about the upcoming Wonder Woman movie this week, I was frustrated (but unsurprised) to see how many people were commenting and discussing her weight. Is she “too skinny” to play Wonder Woman? Can she gain the weight and/or muscle? There were actual debates on the speed of her metabolism, and whether she should use steroids. Steroids?!

No, I really don't. Do you?
No, I really don't. Do you?

Of course, the really frustrating part was that these debates outweigh (ha! Puns..) the conversations about her acting ability, facial features, action-movie experience or knowledge of comic books.

Body size has always been a huge issue for women in Hollywood (and to a much lesser extent, men), and every day trashy magazines and websites are discussing who is too fat, too skinny, gaining weight, crash dieting. There is an expectation to be thin, because thin apparently equals sexy, but there is also an expectation to be a good “role model”. Apparently that means not being too thin, or too obsessed with diets, because it’s a fantastic idea to look up to women who appear perfectly formed with no effort. Right.

On top of all that, with the popularity of superhero movies, and the increasing number of major superheroine roles, we have a whole new reason for actresses to be slammed for their body type; not being muscular enough.

Were THESE stars muscly enough?
Were THESE stars muscly enough?

Obviously, there is some point behind this, it’s not just gratuitous body shaming. When playing a woman with super-strength, you have to look strong. I understand that, but at the same time, do you have to look bulky? And does the size of the bicep really outweigh the size of the talent?

Of course, Gal Gadot is not the only one who has to deal with the scrutiny over her shape.

Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique
Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique

Jennifer Lawrence.

I’m never going to starve myself for a part. I never want little girls to be like “Oh I want to look like Katniss, I’m going to skip dinner”. That’s something I was really conscious of during training, when you are trying to get your body looking exactly right. I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong, not thin and underfed.

This famous quote is repeated over and over again when talking about Jennifer Lawrence as a great role model to young girls, and on the face of it, that’s exactly what it is. There are critics that love to pick it apart, claiming that “trying to get your body to look exactly right” is exactly the problem, but I don’t think so. When training for a part, an actress wants to get everything “exactly right”; mannerisms, background, voice, and yes, physical appearance.

What I see is an actress who is absolutely unafraid to talk about how much she loves food, but who also talks about training to keep herself healthy.

When playing someone as scantily clad as mystique (who spends much of the movies technically naked!) it’s fantastic to see someone who has a pretty normal relationship with her body!

Say "too skinny" again. I dare you...
Say "too skinny" again. I dare you...

Gal Gadot

I will gain body mass…. The physical preparations that I am starting now is a very serious training regime – Kung Fu, kickboxing, swords, jujutsu, Brazilian.

The “too skinny to play Wonder Woman” comments are everywhere, and Gal Gadot is dealing with them in the best way she possibly could. She’s made some fairly awesome comments in response, that “anyone can buy a pair of boobs”, and that there’s no way she could look exactly like a true Amazon.

historically accurate amazonian women actually had only one breast. So, if I’d really go “by the book”…it’d be problematic.

Her general response is a combination of laughing it off and pointing out that she is able to gain muscle for the role in any case. Actors bulk up, gain fat and slim down for roles all the time, and she is no different.

She has posted some pictures of herself at the gym, and from the looks of it, she is getting pretty darn ripped. This is another great example of strong vs skinny, where she is showing herself working out, getting fit, and training to get the body she wants, rather than waxing lyrical about some ridiculous diet. Personally, I think that seeing a Wonder Woman who is toned and muscular without looking like She-Hulk is a fantastic way to encourage women to work out and even (gasp) do some weight lifting without fear that it will make them “bulky”.

Scarlett Johansson

People are obsessed. Obsessed with weight, curves. It’s nuts. I have my own standard of how I like to look. I’m a healthy person and take care of myself.

We’ve looked at JLaw’s love of food and Gadot’s pride in working out, so where is the woman with the balance? It’s like Goldilocks and the three body types, and Scarlett Johansson is juuuuust right. The best part is that she used those key words “I have my own standard of how I like to look”.

She has repeatedly had conversations about how frustrating it is to be viewed in terms of her body or weight, and while I’m sure that is true for every actress in Hollywood, she seems to be one of the rare ones who refuses to respond to it other than to say that it is ridiculous. Even when talking about training for movies, she will comment on the look that the studio asks for, making it clear that her aim is to look the part, not change her personal standards.

Rabbit food questions...
Rabbit food questions...

She also routinely calls out the press for asking her body-related questions, which is not only funny, but makes a real point about the persistence of this topic for women. (Extra awesome points to RDJ for joining in on the one above!)

This is the kind of superheroine that should get more publicity. The one who works out to gain definition for a role, but as a general rule, who does what she wants to look how SHE wants, and ignores the critics as much as possible.

Why IS this a question?
Why IS this a question?

At the end of the day Gal Gadot is slammed for being skinny, Jennifer Lawrence is slammed for being fat. And Scarlett Johansson keeps being called “the sexiest woman alive” by just about everyone. Moral of the story? Until the day that a woman can play a superhero without her weight being a factor, follow Scarlett’s lead; she seems to be kicking ass in interviews as well as movies!


Latest from our Creators