When Will Wonder Woman Be a Fat, Femme Woman of Color?

Wonder Woman is a feminist. She’s certainly been considered an icon of feminism at different times throughout her 76-year career. In the early ’40s, when she first debuted in All-American Comics, she freed herself from chains, a symbol used by the suffragists to represent patriarchy. When Ms. launched in 1972, Wonder Woman graced its cover, solidifying her place as a feminist figure.

Now that the female superhero has finally made it to the big screen, critics and audiences are asking whether Wonder Woman is a feminist film. But the question itself is problematic. For one, it makes “feminist” a subjective adjective. Also, it suggests there’s a monolithic Feminism, when really feminist movement encompasses innumerous feminisms in motion. The more inciting questions are: How does this film represent Wonder Woman? What’s missing from this representation? And, what does it say about this particular moment in time?

There’s no doubt that the film has already broken records. In its first week, it surpassed its $149 million budget by bringing in over $200 million globally. It had the biggest opening weekend ever for a female director (Patty Jenkins) and is the highest-grossing comic book superhero movie with a female lead. Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman, will likely arrive in the prestigious list of female leads in a top-100 domestic grossing film.

These statistics, however, are more about the poor state of affairs for women in the industry than the film itself. For example, this is only the third time that a woman has ever directed a comic book movie, and the only time they’ve had a budget over $30M. We could count on a hand or two the number of famous female comic book superheroes, let alone the blockbusters made about them. Since 1996, four out of the top 10 highest-grossing films with female leads were cartoons. Hollywood is still in the dark ages when it comes to gender equality. This movie and its record numbers may help change that.

In a nutshell, the movie starts with Diana’s early life, before she is Wonder Woman, on the island of Themyscira, where only female warriors live. By the time her love interest Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) arrives, Diana is a young woman ready for battle. Trevor is from the U.S. but works for the British as a spy in World War I and must get back to London to save the day. Wonder Woman goes with him and the story unfolds.

Although it doesn’t go far enough, the film tries some things around race and representation, as seen in Steve’s motley crew of sidekicks. A Native American sidekick called Chief (Eugene Brave Rock) tells Diana, “The last war took everything from my people.” When she asks who took everything, he responds, “His people,” pointing to Steve. Later, Chief ends up communicating via smoke signals, which seems a bit trite, but having a Native American in Europe in the early 1900’s doesn’t just happen: it was a conscious decision by the filmmakers. Samir (Said Taghmaoui), an Arab character who wears a fez, tells Diana about his lost dreams: “I wanted to be an actor, but I was the wrong color.” This seems out of place and more about the filmmakers calling out Hollywood than about character development.

Wonder Woman no longer fights on behalf of U.S. imperialism, which is a big shift from the early comics and a welcome change, even if it’s likely more about wanting to capture global audiences than politics. In December, the UN voted Wonder Woman an honorary ambassador, but members protested and she was subsequently dropped. They felt that a white woman in a bustier was not a good role model for girls around the globe.

Indeed, there are many ways this film does not challenge the status quo. Without the first 15 minutes on the island, it wouldn’t pass the Bechdel Test. And it does nothing to challenge modern-day racist beauty standards.

Why couldn’t Wonder Woman be a woman of color? When it was announced that Gadot would play Wonder Woman, audiences went wild body shaming her for not having large enough breasts. One can only imagine the white supremacy that would have emerged had the announcement said instead that she would be played by a Black woman. On Paradise Island, there are Black warriors in addition to white ones, which is a good start, but other women of color are missing. Also, while the female warriors are strong and ass-kicking, they all have tall, thin body types and they all could be models on a runway. In fact, in a pivotal battle scene, Wonder Woman struts across the battlefield as if on a catwalk. As a result, their physical strength plays second fiddle to their beauty, upholding the notion that in order to access power women must be beautiful in a traditional way. Especially with the body positivity movement gaining steam, the film could have spotlighted female warriors with fat, thick and short body types. While people have said that warriors can’t be fat, some of our best paid male athletes are, particularly linebackers on the football field, and no one doubts their physical strength.

Another problem is that the story’s overt queerness gets sublimated by heteronormativity. Diana comes from a separatist commune of women who have intentionally chosen to live without men. In one of the first scenes between Diana and Steve, she explains that she read 12 volumes of a series on sex that concluded that while men are required for reproduction, when it comes to female pleasure, they’re unnecessary. While a love story develops between them, a requirement in superhero stories, Diana thankfully doesn’t compromise her integrity for him.

In the end, Wonder Woman concludes that “only love can save the world.” While this may be true, I’ve never heard any other superhero say so. Why couldn’t Wonder Woman fight for justice and eliminate bad guys without having to in the end make it about love? Perhaps a more interesting question is: Why don’t male superheroes do the same?

While people argue that women are “feminine” and naturally more inclined to love, this thinking quickly slides into dangerous assumptions like women are more cut out for caring for children and processing feelings. This gender essentialism not only keeps women in the home, it undercuts men’s emotional and creative capabilities. It also reflects the current double standard that women can have it all, but in order to do so we have to work harder than everyone else and carry it all on our shoulders.

Like Wonder Woman, we have to lead on the battlefield and be the ones responsible for the emotional well-being of the family, community and world.

Stephanie Abraham is a non-fiction writer and media critic based in Los Angeles. Her writings have recently appeared in McSweeney’s, Al Jazeera and Bitch. She’s the Pop Culture Correspondent and Film Critic for Rising Up with Sonali. Follow her on Twitter @abrahamsteph and at StephanieAbraham.com.

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Comments

  1. May Rico says:

    You don’t understand the source material and how close they got To it, intentionally not.

    they jumped back in time to Marston’s original vision of who Diana Prince was, what the Amazons were, and kept that core to the story. He wasn’t a feminist, because feminists believe in gender equality. He believed one gender WAS superior… and that it was Women. He believed they should be the natural leaders because of an innate ability for love that was lacking in men. Some of you may have seen references to his bondage kink, and that he believed fulfillment could be found in submission to a loving authority. What’s often missing from those quotes is that he thought that authority was WOMEN, not men. And he intentionally created Wonder Woman as propaganda for those political views, hidden in a children’s book. THAT’S why she was talking about love. THAT’S why she inspires all the men she encounters. Because her creator wrote her that way. Wherever they take her from here, they started at her forgotten roots.

  2. Joey Eliza says:

    Excellent thoughts on this issue. I hope in the future we’ll have more female-identifying heroes who are not simply “eye candy” for male viewers in the end. I was also struck by the post-island sausage fest, though I did love that for the first time that I can remember, a girl looked to women – not men (Arya stark or Mulan for example) – to learn how to be a soldier. And, not strictly a superhero, but when Diana said “only love can save the world,” my immediate thought was Harry Potter. He’s certainly the typical male representative of the hero’s journey and he espouses the ideal that love will conquer all.

    • Nikki E says:

      Implying WW is “simply eye candy” is doing a HUGE disservice to her character. Yes, she’s attractive, but there is so much more to her than that. She’s a strong, well-rounded character who undergoes realistic and noticeable character development throughout the story. She has strengths, she has flaws, she’s multi-dimensional. She is not just a setpiece for the sole purpose of giving men something to oggle at. The fact that on top of that she’s good looking doesn’t negate that. Superheroes represent the ideal human being. They’re strong, they’re brave and yeah, they’re attractive. Captain America is attractive. Superman is attractive. Thor? A total hunk. And before you argue that it’s all just for “male power fantasies”, watch any of Chris Evans or Chris Hemsworth’s shirtless scenes in Marvel movies and tell me they weren’t made with female viewers in mind (or read a Nightwing comic. His ass is legendary). If that doesn’t preclude them from having value and depth as a character, why does it for Wonder Woman?

    • Bill bellamy says:

      What bout men being eye candy in movies huh

    • Donny Meanie says:

      Please don’t insult Mulan. Mulan is about a woman becoming a soldier like most men in times of need successfully have. It’s NOT about gender politics.

    • You call these “excellent thoughts”?

  3. Vincent Faust says:

    “Why couldn’t Wonder Woman fight for justice and eliminate bad guys without having to in the end make it about love?”

    Maybe you should ask the founder of the magazine you write for. She will let you know it’s been a core principle of the character for 75 years.

  4. @abrahamsteph

    I’m a comic artist who works in the indies. I would be delighted to create a feminist superheroine who has a full, realistic, plump woman’s figure. Let’s set up a Kickstart and it can be done.

  5. BE Jane says:

    Because films usually stay true to the cannon of the story line. Why change her from what she’s​ always been drawn as? If you want to see a fat femme black super hero then make one. What gets old is when sites such as this read way to much into a film that’s based off a FICTIONAL character. Find something more worthwhile to write about. Like the horrific practice of female genital mutilation that is a blatant human rights violation.

  6. Lord Harkhan says:

    When it comes to the DC Multiverse, there are universes where she is POC and more. You can’t expect the main version of the character to be represented in such a different way in mainstream. She doesn’t need to be fat either.

  7. Allison says:

    People will complain about anything. Instead of praising the films accomplishments, you felt the need to point out what you perceive as it’s shortcomings. Wonder Woman is white because she’s white in the source material. It’s not because the director was out to under-represent women of color. As a white woman yourself, I’m not sure what you’re trying to accomplish with your attempts at race baiting and stirring the pot.

    Oh, and in regards to your last paragraph, you might find this article interesting:
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-brain-and-emotional-intelligence/201104/are-women-more-emotionally-intelligent-men

    Men and women DO handle emotions differently, and women typically have an inclination towards child rearing due to our biological role as mothers. Not every woman, but most. Recognizing these differences doesn’t “keep women in the home”. This is the 21st century. You can choose to be wherever you want to be, and YOU can choose to watch the movies you want to watch.

  8. One thing I’d like to point out is that the women cast to play Amazons were all professional athletes and fighters. They were not cast with physical beauty as the primary requirement (although I suppose it would be naive to discount that as a factor). It is true that there wasn’t a huge range of body types, but to claim they’re all runway models whose strength takes second fiddle to their beauty is disingenuous and frankly, insulting. These are real athletes and fighters; it’s unnecessary to disparage and dismiss their strength and skill, and the hard work they did to develop them, perhaps that particular point

  9. Nico S. Yosef says:

    Overall not bad, I thought this was going to be a lot different than it was due to the title. The only thing I’ll say is that I believe (I have at seen the film, but I’m making an educated guess) Wonder Woman and he Amazons were designed by the gods from clay to be warriors or something, in which case, there wouldn’t be fat warriors, because the gods would likely believe that to be a disadvantage. If that’s not the case, then ignore what I just said. If that origin story isn’t in the movie, then I’ll be mad. Love is cliché. While I’m fine with casting characters as a different ethnicity than their source material, I think we should also focus on making original characters of different ethnicities so we can have diversity and not change old characters (there’s no meaning to doing that, but still).

  10. Lily Golden says:

    A Jewish Grandaughter of Holocaust survivors is portraying Wonder Woman and you have the unmitigated gall to inquire why she isn’t a woman of color? She is. She is a Semitic woman from a people hunted and murdered and deported for their homes for 2000 years for maintaining their faith. Shame on you.

  11. The Globalizer says:

    It’ll happen, I’m sure. Only question is whether anyone will care. I’m guessing 10% of people will complain that it’s cis-normative and transphobic, and the rest will be tired of hearing about which categories’ boxes have been checked by a particular piece of escapist entertainment.

  12. Pablo Lamprea says:

    Several things:
    Wonder Woman shouldn’t be of color for the same reason that I disagree Roland Deschain in the Dark Tower should be of color: it’s not about race, is about being faithful to the characters. Specifically, is not about turning white heroes or icons black. That only proves that the only way a hero of color can succeed is if it takes the place of an already established one. Therefore, the best way to do it is by creating new, cool heroes of color. The problem is that even people of color falls in clichés and stereotypes, like the Wayans brothers. There have been (and still are) a great many original heroes of color (Black Panther, Cyborg, War Machine, just to name a few) who are coming into their own as great characters by themselves, the way it should be.

    Second, Amazons ever since the greek myth, were famous for their beauty (and their ruthlesness). They are, after all, daughters of a god (Ares) and a nymph (Harmonia). Therefore, their beauty is a given. This ties into the concept of “traditional” beauty. You argue that today’s male athletes like linebackers are fat, and that is certainly true. But in no way, shape or form one of today’s athletes would make an excellent warrior in ancient times. That’s why there’s some sort of physical conditioning even in today’s armies. Amazons were warriors before everything, and to be warriors they had to endure rigorous training in martial arts. The only outcome of rigorous training in martial arts is a fit, toned body. That’s why a fat or thick amazon is an oxymoron in itself.
    Lastly, male superheroes also talk about love. Captain America’s dramatic arc has to do with the loss of her beloved after her cryo stasis. Iron Man 3’s final dilemma had to do with her beloved Pepper, to the point he destroys all of his Iron Man suits. Thor’s main concern is Dr. Hammond, betraying his realm for his love. Even in Guardians of the Galaxy we see that Starlord’s main dramatic arc has to do with his yearning for fatherly love (which makes of Yondu a wonderful character).
    Given that love is one of the most human of emotions, an universal one, and mainly, one of the strongest ones, why would you deny Wonder Woman of feeling it? It would only place her in an unempathic realm, far from humanity. I wonder how skewed a mind must be to think that love is a weakness instead of a strength.

  13. I didn’t take her statement on love to be about romantic love. Ancient Greeks had different words for the different types of love, and when Wonder Woman said “only love can save the world” I thought she meant “agape”…love for mankind, community, others. Although you could argue that the other types of love (like “eros” – sexual/romantic love, or “philia” – like be between friends) are worth preserving and protecting, even at the price of war, it makes more sense to me that she stays in the world of mankind because of agape. She didn’t leave the Amazons because she was romantically in love, but because she believed she and the Amaxons had a duty to protect mankind….and she learns along the way that it’s not about whether they “deserve” her help, but about her beliefs. You see her motivated to comment or act numerous times in the film when she witnesses the suffering of people she doesn’t know, which shows she has love/agape for mankind. If everyone had this sense of agape and love for mankind, regardless of affiliation or personally knowing them, perhaps the world would be saved and there would be less war and violence.

  14. Jim Austin says:

    I thought feminists would frown on scantily-clad female superheros since they would encourage the sexual objectivization of women.

  15. It is wrong to change a comics lore simply to accommodate social constructs. If the world wants a “Fat, Femme, Woman of Color”, that character should be introduced organically on their own.

    In reality, what you are saying, is that these characteristics can not stand on their own, we need to attach them to a successful property to force acceptance, with the secondary effect of tearing down attributes you disagree with.

    I would love more diversity in film, but with new, original characters who make awesome splashes on their own. Only then can we be assured that diversity is truly being accepted. Quit trying to appropriate properties, you’re better than that. Stand upon your own.

    Oh and for the record, the protests at the UN had little to do with Wonder Woman being a “white woman in a bustier” and more to do with Gal Gadot being Israeli.

  16. DavetheRave says:

    A few problems. First, Gal Gadot is jewish and is certainly a member of a victimized community. Second, the idea of her being fat is ludicrous. A linebacker in football usually has about 10% body fat. Ever seen one with his shirt off? They’re actually ripped so they can stay fast. However, the lineman in football, which actually has body fat, is not a soldier. He’s specifically trained to push someone out of the way and sprint a short distance to bring someone down with weight. If you compare this to a soldier, they are made to be strong and light so as to give them endurance. The black woman in the movie was not fat, but she was what a large warrior should look like. She would be an amazing she-hulk.

    Constant training with a light weight for hours a day, as with a sword and shield, builds endurance and cuts fat, while building lean muscle. By the way, Gal Gadot GAINED weight for this movie and certainly looked nothing like a model once you look below the neck. As for the “awkward” race comments, those types of things were providing evidence to WW that humanity was flawed in more ways than she realized, and built a background for her reaction to Ares’ defeat not fixing humanity’s many problems.

    That said, I agree that the Justice League should adopt the morality of WW wholeheartedly now that Superman’s “American way” is obviously not inclusive enough AND she’s the most well written and developed character in the DC universe. Also, it’s absurd that men are basically not allowed to convey this notion without losing their so called “man card.” I hope this becomes a theme in the otherwise too dark DC universe setting.

    I actually see no good reason for Batman to be the leader of the group now after seeing her leadership qualities.

  17. Why do you assume that only men considered Wonder Gal eye candy? Also, what does that say about all the Justice League dudes being buff and ripped, are you saying that’s not sexualizing the characters? Wonder Woman was presented as she was meant to be from the comics. Continuity and accuracy of agenda please, thank you.

  18. I can’t say I agree with much in this article at all. It seems like yet another article who only wants to complain without doing any research.

    1) Why isn’t this Wonder Woman a “person of color”? Because this Wonder Woman is about Diana who always has been Greek. Wonder Woman is a mantle and many characters have held that mantle, but this story is about Diana. Diana is intensely tethered to Greek history. It’s like asking why Bruce Wayne’s Batman isn’t a transgender Chinese person. Because he isn’t and has never been.

    2) You complain about how many of the characters are presented without doing any research at all.
    – Ann Wolfe who plays Artemis (by the way, a race swap as the character is a redheaded caucasian in the comics) is a professional boxer.
    – Samantha Jo who portrays Euboea is a professional stuntwoman and Olympic medal-winning Wushu martial artist.
    – Madeleine Vall who portrays Egaria is also a stuntwoman and member of the Swedish national Kickboxing team with over 50 wins.
    – Hari James who portrays Trigona is a Crossfit champion.
    – Brook Ence who plays Penthiselea is a Crossfit champion as well.
    – Mayling Ng who plays Orana is a personal trainer and martial artist who represented Singapore at the Arnold Classic 2013.

    So quite amazing that you complain that essentially the entire cast was chosen purely for their looks or because they embody some stereotypical appearance. It seems to me that many of them were chosen because they’re already top level athletes that would require little training to do the stunts and physical battles portrayed in the movie. Some had no prior movie experience at all.

    Heights of the actresses portraying Amazons range from the towering 6’1″ Jacqui-Lee Pryce (Niobe) to 5’4″ Samantha Jo (Euboea) and possibly shorter. I wasn’t able to find heights for every single actress.

    Body types range from the heavyweight boxer Ann Wolfe (Artemis) to the slight Samantha Jo or Mayling Ng.

    Of 18 named Amazons, 6 are black (hailing from US, UK and even Uganda), 3 are Asian, there’s a Norwegian, a Welsh, a Swede, a Dutch actress. Seems pretty diverse to me?

    Numerous characters were race-swapped. Artemis, Timandra, Acantha, Mnemosyne are “white” in the comics but portrayed by black actresses in the movie. Epione and Orana in the comics are also caucasian but portrayed by Asian actresses.

    Artemis was Wonder Woman for a while, which pretty much every Wonder Woman fan knows. So they DID, in a way, make ‘Wonder Woman’ (one of them) a woman of color.

    But you glossed over pretty much all of this to complain about Diana not being portrayed as a transgender black disabled lesbian.

    3) Why does Wonder Woman harp about love? Because part of her origin is that she was given something by the largest Goddesses of the Greek pantheon. This includes Aphrodite who gifted Diana her amazing heart. I could turn the question around and ask why you seem to think that women have to be portrayed as aggressive, cold and any sign of empathy or warmth makes you feel uncomfortable or patronized? What’s wrong with Diana talking about love? Why does it make you so uncomfortable and offended?

    In the end the article comes across as precisely why so many people are fed up with “social justice warriors”, no matter how much you do it’s never good enough and they’ll complain anyway instead of making positive comments about what you DID do, which in this movie was a lot.

  19. C. Stevens says:

    Surprised to see confusion between linebackers and linemen in Ms. Magazine.

    • Julie Dean says:

      Interesting defense, most of which i agree with.
      But i did not emerge from the film feeling tht it was one giant step, let alone a leap forward for feminism. A woman o ly community is by default, lesbian. Not a isue in the film. In the Greek legends, the women cut off one of their breasts so it did ot interfete when they drew back their bows. Omitted. Dissing the longings and concerns of women about the film’s shortcomings is not helpful to education and discourse. We all want something better…

  20. Kacey Allman says:

    Wonder Woman is as she’s always been, physically speaking. I’m sorry that this offends you. There isn’t anything wrong with being your own superhero, as it seems that in order for people to be able to identify with who is being shown on the screen, the character has to be exactly like the viewer in every way.

  21. DanielleinDC says:

    Can’t we just be happy that a movie with a female superhero lead is killing it at the box office? And that even guys are enjoying it?

    As for her role about love saving the world, I was a kid when the TV series was out and don’t recall Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman ever carrying a sword and a shield. She wasn’t a warrior. She was supposed to be a diplomat and a healer (according to my comic-reading boyfriend) and an antithesis to all the male superheroes who fought. (At least that was her creator’s intent.)

    As for a fat/gay/non-white superhero, if we want one, someone should maybe write one. Wonder Woman herself is the daughter of Zeus, meaning she’d likely be Greek. It’s not inappropriate that she’s portrayed by an Israeli woman.

  22. Except Diana is a queer woman of color. In the movie she talks about how men are useful for reproduction, but there are books on the island focusing solely on women giving other women sexual pleasure. In the comics it is even more pronounced that she is a clearly bisexual woman.
    Diana is Greek decent, played by a Middle Eastern woman – black is not the only color of women. She’s not fat because when you train hours a day for agility, endurance, and strength, you have a low body fat percentage. She’s on an island, so everything is whole foods. No preservatives or high sodium diets. No sugar filled drinks. Plus she is literally a goddess, so medical issues, such as T3 and T4 deficiencies, no hold on her. There are no reasons for her to be fat.
    Very few athetes are overweight, and linebackers would not fall into that category. They have to run too much to carry any extra weight. You have them mixed up with defensive linemen. While these guys do carry more weight than the majority of the team, their position requires very little running, usually 5-10 yards at the most, and their goal is to be a brick wall, preventing the opposing team from breaking though. The extra weight helps.
    Feminism is all about being exactly who you are, and being loving and compassionate while also being strong and fierce is who Diana is. She is a goddess, a warrior, a lover, a defender. She believes in the goodness in people and inspires them to be more. She stands for her beliefs and faces the darkness in the world. If Wonder Woman isn’t feminist enough for you, maybe you should take a look at your feminism and see all of the women it excludes.

  23. I agree with most of this, however I do think it’s cool to see emotion and love being a source of power, heroism, and justice…
    We are taught at a young age that leaders have to adhere to toxic masculinity (see every movie ever). When a woman in particular expresses compassion, she’s considered hysterical. This film flipped the tables on that narrative. Wonder Woman shows us (from that first scene on the front) that emotions have a place at the table and that they can make you strong, NOT weak. Instead of calling out this aspect in WW, I’d rather call out the lack of it in other block buster films.
    The solution isn’t to brainwash women and girls to hide their emotions like we have with men and boys (see suicide rates and feminist analysises of mass shootings), it’s to spread the message of love and feeling farther.

    WW is a movie about human nature and while we can take the “only love” line to mean romantic love, I saw it in a much broader light. This is the first superhero movie I’ve seen that held individuals accountable for their actions (“i wish i could blame just one bad guy… but maybe we’re all to blame”) and the “only love” line seemed to me to work to encourage individuals to choose the good (love)in themselves over the bad (fear, hatred).

  24. All of this commentary could be turned completely on its head and still make sense.

    1) Does it occur to the author that casting the heroine as someone deliberately “less attractive” also perpetuates a stereotype–the one that only “ugly” females can be tough and strong.

    2) There is nothing stopping any aspiring artist from creating a new character that embodies the characteristics described. Why do all such commentators believe instead that they need to hijack an EXISTING character whose original creator did not envision them that way? Don’t like the old characters? Go invent your own!

    3) “In the end, Wonder Woman concludes that “only love can save the world.” While this may be true, I’ve never heard any other superhero say so.” So the commentator is saying that she would prefer that (say) a male superhero be the first one to say this? Hmm……

  25. No, just no.
    No it is not a feminist film, it is a good film.

  26. Pat McRotch says:

    She is from Israel and only for the purpose of your post is she “white.” Also, if Wonder Woman was fat, she would need to defeat gravity, heart disease, and diabetes before saving the word. Rascal scooters would have a hell of an endorsement though.

    • Brian Smith says:

      So good. I don’t get the whole thing about how she should be fat. She is a warrior who trains hours everyday. It would be near impossible to be fat

  27. Michael Windwalker says:

    The WoC thing I absolutely agree with. What is believed to be the historical basis for Homers’ Amazons were the Scythian-Sarmatians (and possibly Kurgan) and pretty much had territory as far north as Southern Siberia and as far south as Syria. Women played a prominent role in warfare as well.

    The fat? Not so much. When you have about 20lbs of armor (waxed leather with metal overplating breast and back,admittedly with a lot of liberties taken with the armor,metal vambraces,metal greaves) and another 7lbs of sword and shield strapped to your back you tend to shed weight fast when running cross country,though streams and fields on top of weapons practice for several hours a day. At this point one is talking about an island of warrior women,who are incredibly active wearing nearly 30 lbs of additional weight and train in it (much like ancient warriors did) to the point it was like wearing clothing. Meaning anything you could do wearing jeans and a t-shirt,they could do in their armor. Honestly with that said,honestly I am surprised they were not even more defined. The rubenesque period of beauty from the 17th century through the 19th was there for a reason. Because women were not allowed to be active in the higher stratospheres of society. That rubenesque stylized ideal was because the women did not have to work they were not meant to be active. Only the lower classes were fit because their lives were hard. They did not have servants and they did not get the opportunity to lay about as they had to survive.

    As to the token Native American? You were aware of Choctaw code talkers in WWI (the time that this takes place) correct? Here is a history link http://www.history.com/news/world-war-is-native-american-code-talkers

    The love thing? Yes that was not needed, plain and simple. Personally I am thinking they set it there to play on a potential love interest between Superman and Wonder Woman in the forthcoming movies. Which admittedly was foolish.,though it is what is going on in the comics. from what I have heard. Personally I would rather see her hamstringing supervillians like Doomsday or shield bashing them in the face.

  28. Belinda Sanchez says:

    Dear Stephanie –
    You have an interesting point. However, if there was a market for the kind of movie you suggest, it would be made. Hollywood is a business. Businesses that produce a product for which there is no demand … fail. If you feel so strongly about the type of super hero we all need to see, maybe you could write the script, find the investors and make the movie?

  29. Llana G. says:

    I have a great idea. If Wonder Woman isn’t __________ (insert brown, queer, feminist, busty, etc) enough for you, rather than criticize a story from the 40’s or how it’s been remade in 2016 by the people who bothered to remake it… why don’t you create your own story? Write your own comic book heroine/hero with the qualities you’re looking for! Instead of trying to fit someone else’s art into your world of what “SHOULD” be, create YOUR OWN option for people to read or watch and enjoy! Someone had a vision and they made it. It succeeded to the point of mass popularity. Cool. If you wish it represented something different, get off your judging bottom and create a masterpiece of your own vision! Maybe your idea’s time has come! Maybe your idea really is better or more ideal!
    But quit bullying other people’s art, expression, and hard work. Your energy is better used elsewhere.

  30. A Black Wonder Woman does exist. You clearly have never heard of Wonder Woman’s sister – Nubia. Hopefully, they will feature her in a future film.

  31. The Heteronormativity Scene is a Christmas tradition.

  32. What’s stopping you from creating your own superhero?

  33. Surely the notion of Wonder Woman is an outdated one? How does the LGBTQI community get represented by this? A Trans actor would go a long way in addressing this power imbalance. And surely a Trans actor from the most marginalised community, the Palestinians, would give a message to the cabal that controls Hollywood & their puppet actress. Even the idea of an able-bodied actor is regressive & of course the notion that a Wonder Woman figure, a “super hero”, can save the day for the rest of us is insulting & un-egalitarian. Surely our contemporary Trans, Palestinian, blind, deaf, paraplegic, ordinary, figure just lives a normal life & doesn’t “save” us. Let’s make this film please.

  34. Oh for gawd’s sake! Stop with the beauty shaming. As a female I have no problem with Ms. Gadot’s casting.
    BTW, as an Israeli, she IS considered a POC. And Ms. Abraham, who identifies as an Arab-American, while looking full-on white, probably considers HERSELF a POC. She should know better.
    I am ashamed of fellow females who make a career out of playing the victim card. Doing that gains you no respect at all. Grow up.

    • Gadot is not a person of color. She’s 100% ethnically European, not middle eastern and even then, she is read as a white woman in the US. She’s not racialized as a woman of color, trust me.

  35. As a female I can only say she will never be that. She was designed like that and not for male eye candy. Be happy there’s a female superhero. Lots of love~!

  36. Murtaza says:

    Ugh this movie is so sexiest. Patriarchy.
    Why can’t WW be a black albino gay lesbian transgender fat sleazy fighter?
    Better yet why is WW a woman? As gender is a construct I want to see Dwayne Johnson as the next Wonder Woman. That movie would kick ass. Literally.

  37. Ma’am as a freelance amateur comic artist and writer (I also dabble in bodybuilding and weight training) let me say this…and while I’m indeed a straight male I have a point to make in a way that doesn’t disregard your concerns and is meant in a respectful manner. If anyone feels this isn’t, than I’m sorry.
    Wonder Woman is a character who’s origins (in reality are indeed awkward to discuss) are tied into her creator’s relationship with his wife and their shared girlfriend. And while the Amazons are historically viewed as being homosexual icons. I believe this is more of a link to the oracles of Lesbos…but my Greek History is a tad rusty.
    To dismiss a character’s physical fitness as being strictly for attractiveness seems a bit silly if you realize that she’s a warrior, trained to fight at levels beyond human endurance. Her demigod status is a part of this…as the ancient Greeks viewed their Gods and Goddesses as physically perfect beings. To give humans something to aspire to. To view NFL players (who often sport thick pads of fat over their muscles) or Powerlifters, as physical perfection is sort of against the aesthetic of their ideals. The thing is you cannot portray this in a visual medium as easily as you can with someone sporting carved muscles….I’m by no means a small man, but stand me next to a fellow of similar height and build who is more ripped and compare us shirtless without any weight to move and the skinnier fellow will look physically stronger. It’s kind of like the reality of the character of Wolverine. In the comics he was 5’3 tall and nearly 300lbs (100lbs of which is his metallic bones) with wild hair and a hirsute physique. Not the 6’3 sculpted chunk of talent that is Hugh Jackman….but either way. Fans aren’t complaining as Gadot perfectly captured the spirit of the character and made her entry solo film worth watching. Have a lovely day.

  38. Just My Ownself says:

    Wonder Woman’s creator considered women to be the perfect blend of strength and softness. His views do not fit modern 3rd wave feminists’ ideas on feminism. He believed that women’s compassion and love and ability to nurture made them better suited as leaders. He also had a serious bondage kink which is well known which is why WW was constantly getting tied up.

    The article does not mention that the Amazons did not CHOOSE to live away from men, they were removed to protect them. The reason there are no fat Amazons is because they do not eat to excess and every one of them, despite other skills, is a warrior and they train incessantly. An out of shape Amazon would not survive. Linebackers are fat, yes, and they are strong, but they are fat because they need to be. If they were working out like the Amazons where speed and strength and agility were demanded, then they too would be slim and trim.

    The human body’s natural state is to be trim and lithe. It is only through hard work that bulging muscles appear. It is only through excessive eating and minimal exertion that obesity appears. The Amazons were created to be beautiful and alluring and incredible warriors. They were not “born” of flesh and none of them save Hippolyta can even conceive a child and she only could because it was the will of Zeus.

    Diana is an Amazon and a demi-goddess. That means her beauty and power cannot be surpassed by any mortal woman. In the comics she was blessed by the goddess of beauty herself to have no equal. With a god for a father and a mother beautiful enough to catch his eye, it’s guaranteed that Diana would be beautiful beyond measure. Leave her alone and go create new female characters that fit your agenda if you want ones that you can “relate” to.

  39. When Superman becomes a Short, Fat, Ugly balding man of Color?

  40. It is clear by this article the author is Reaching to find problems with the film. Rather than just celebrate a movie which has not been made or the fact that a live action wonder woman has not really been done since the 1970’s.

    The author comes off as ungrateful for having something so fun, and so awesome. She complains about the actresses skin color when you have a israeli portraying a greek which based on mediterainian skin tones is not all that far off. If some one is using logic. (I know god forbid we start using that)

    Speaking of logic. How dumb would it be to have a large ass woman playing wonder woman and the fact how very very very unlikely that someone with unhealthy body weight would even hold their own in any physical combat. Military have standards in terms of weight. So would a magic island full of militant amazons. (again Logic)

    Basing love interest in a time period of World War I and complaining that because she has interest in men that it is wrong? There is nothing wrong with relationships. especially when it comes from a woman who spent her entire life never seeing a man.

    In the end there was NOTHING wrong with the movie. j

  41. Beautiful Gal Gadot is Jewish, and you can’t get better than that! Like Esther of old, she’s in the business of doing heroic things. What is there not to love? “Ms.” gals should take a lesson from Esther.

  42. You can’t look at this film as though it happened in a vacuum. The risks they took were quite enough to have sunk this film and yet instead it has flourished bringing what good it could to it’s greatest point of leverage and making what”s better (the things you mentioned) that much more viable. It’s a marathon not a sprint and I’d rather applaud this film for how much it may have helped than deride it for not being everything all the time.

  43. CommanderWaifu says:

    Maybe because the original character is not a woman of color? Maybe because the original character is not fat?

    There is nothing wrong with wanting a superheroine with these characteristics, it might be very creative. But create a new superheroine for these characteristics, dont change established characters.

    Also I dont know why you seem to like this:

    “This seems out of place and more about the filmmakers calling out Hollywood than about character development.”

    Thats not a good thing, making blatant remarks that even you admit are out of place, to make a political statement. Thats exactly how you DO NOT make such statements, they need to feel and be natural with the flow of the story. Not being out of place ideological insertions.

  44. Michelle Samaniego says:

    You said yourself everyone was out for Gal Gadot.
    Why can’t YOU just leave WONDER WOMAN alone.
    WONDER WOMAN’S story is known world wide, young and old. Leave her story be. HOW CAN SHE NOT BE AN IDOL for young girls to look up to. WONDER WOMAN has been my idol from the first time I was introduced to her, just as SUPER WOMAN was and still is. What they wear means nothing, if the parents introduce good morals and values how can you go wrong.
    All I see and hear is nothing but badmouthing a woman who is a great comic character come to life. And for some girls young and old, new fans and old fans a dream come true to see our best girl doing her thing. Just trying to do right without any drama, my girl WOMDER WOMAN!!!

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