my 2 cents on the new Wonder Woman

March 24, 2011

So, last week, a photo of the new Wonder Woman outfit for the TV show made the rounds.  Holy crap, people, I can’t even begin to talk about what’s wrong with this.  It looks like it came from a cheap Halloween store.

Basically, this costume illustrates in no uncertain terms that women superheroes get designed according to an entirely different set of specs than their male counterparts.  With superhero outfits for men, the question seems to be, How big/tough/cool/awesome can we make this?  I’m not saying the designs always succeed.  But those are the specs.  Then we get to the women, where the question seems to be, “How totally porn-star sexy can we make this?”  Superheroines are not designed to be heroic awesome action people; they’re designed to be sex symbols for teen boys.  I hate that.  It means superheroines can’t possibly be believable as, you know, crime-fighting action heroes.  Until that changes, we’re never going to get a good movie/TV show/whatever about a woman superhero.

(Goddammit, who fights crime in plastic?!  You need a costume that can breathe, if you’re going to be running around and beating people up!  And would it be too much to ask for pants that fit?)


27 Responses to “my 2 cents on the new Wonder Woman”

  1. wygit Says:

    Of course, I don’t think the old costume was was much better in the big/tough/cool/awesome department.

    Of course, it wasn’t plastic… I think

  2. LupLun Says:

    “Superheroines are not designed to be heroic awesome action people; they’re designed to be sex symbols for teen boys.”

    LOL. Oh, girl, you have no idea. If I wanted to, I could give you URLs that would make you squirm. Or laugh. Or both at the same time. ^_^

    Wonder Woman in particular has a rather sordid history, when you think about it. If memory serves, her “Kryptonite factor” was being either bound or having her belt removed, the latter of which can be interpreted as symbolic defloration. During the Silver Age, this happened often to keep the stories interesting, which tends to undermine her status as a feminist icon. Then, of course, you have all those BDSM-themed covers.

    Of course, Wonder Woman is positively demure compared to, say, Power Girl and her boob-window. Need to breath, huh?

    For what it’s worth, I think WW’s new look is a big improvement, but since comic-book fans tend to wail and gnash their teeth at any change to the status quo, we’ll see how long it lasts.

  3. carriev Says:

    At least she can *run* in those shorts…

    Plastic hot pants with a too-short inseam? Not a chance.

    And I actually liked the new comic design — it’s functional. I got the feeling they were trying to do something similar with the TV costume. Then they gave it to Frederick’s of Hollywood for a once-over.

  4. Ty Says:

    Hey look!


  5. carriev Says:

    Ty, just for you, here is one of my favorite blog posts about comics ever:

    (kinda NSFW there…)

  6. Ty Says:

    My god, that was a lot of buffalo shots right there.

  7. Jared Says:

    I had a bad feeling about this series the moment I heard it was from the creator of Ally McBeal.

  8. Sean Eric Fagan Says:

    Ty, not just boobies… but the eagle is fondling them, AND doing a impression.

  9. I’m just hoping that since the networks haven’t finalized their fall schedules yet, the WONDER WOMAN pilot won’t make it. Because I can’t see this as being any better than the cheesy Bionic Woman remake NBC did a few years back, especially with THAT costume.

  10. Ty Says:

    Yeah, that would be hard to take seriously on a weekly basis.

  11. Miss Bliss Says:

    Ok when I saw that costume I honestly hoped it was NOT the actual costume. Hey…I’m all for boobies but seriously that costume looks bad from a costume point of view. Which Carrie pointed out. It looks chintzy and cheap. It is a bad production value all on it’s own like set walls that move when you slam the door or prop weapons that are obviously plastic. Those reasons alone are enough to be irritating. There is, of course, the whole other issue of women superheroes/action heroes/etc looking like Barbie dolls rather than superheroes or action stars. It’s sadly something that is still quite pervasive in our society. We have too few examples of female characters that really match male characters in all aspects. I wish we saw more female action characters like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. She did not apologize. She did not give in. She may have felt bad for the price she had to pay to be that fierce but she paid it and she fought to the end. She was physically exactly what that character would have to be to survive what she had to survive. She was whipcord thin, all muscle and laser focus. There can be variations on that theme, specially once you move into the superhero realm…but why can’t the women look hot and strong the way the men do?

  12. Ty Says:

    Ripley. No one will ever be more awesome than Ripley.

  13. Erin Says:

    As far as I am concerned Jill of Steel is a superhero! Fantastic book. Well done.

  14. Andrew Says:

    Carrie, I’m so gonna skip that show. Re-boots suck major league.

  15. carriev Says:

    On the contrary, I think Wonder Woman is a prime candidate for a reboot. This is not how to do it.

    (Thanks, Erin!)

    Sarah Conner, Ripley, Valeria, Officer Lewis — the 80’s were a golden age for heroines.

  16. DebbieW Says:

    Luv that link you provided, Carrie!!! Gotta share that with my husband who lives, breathes, & eats comics!

  17. Re WIlliams Says:

    Well, the headband’s nice.

    Personally I think society is intimidated by strong women, especially physically strong women. Interesting unscientific case study: My wife had broad shoulders and her workouts at the gym have given her nice muscles. Every winter she grows her hair out and every spring she gets a crew cut. The first time she goes to work with that crew cut she gets all sort of negative comments from her male co-workers. This year she has a new job and some comments got a little nasty. Now some co-workers are avoiding her.

    I don’t think women are allowed to look too masculine, especially on TV. (Even the L-word all about lesbians only had one women in 5 seasons who looked really butch.)

    Oh. I seem to have somehow gotten up on a soap box and I think I’m starting to tangent. (steps down sheepishly) Afraid that happens when someone touches on a pet peeve subject.

  18. carriev Says:

    It’s the same soapbox I’m on…

    That’s really unfortunate. People should be able to wear their hair how they want… makes me angry that her co-workers would be so petty.

    I had a friend in college diagnosed with cancer. She underwent chemotherapy over the summer. When she came back in the fall, her hair was starting to grow back, and she had the really short, bristly new hair. She said people (who didn’t know about the chemo) complimented her on her decision to come out of the closet…

  19. Doruk Says:

    I think this would have been a far better choice, and the actress here actually has a believable amount of muscle for Wondy:

  20. Ty Says:

    Actually, yes. Those are awesome. That’s a WW I could watch without laughing.

  21. Ty Says:

    Honestly, every female superhero should just look like Zoey Bell.

    Who actually is a female superhero.

    Nuff said.

  22. Jakk Says:

    After this topic, i am dying to read Carrie’s review of Sucker Punch. I am on the fence to see it because i have had a idea what it be like, and i just can not take one more irritating movie right now

    As for the costume, i hope it will improve once they actually start to film it. It looks like a early design try-out. As for the “porn-star” issue, if this was another super-heroine, i would agree. But Wonder Woman has been iconic in her bathing suit costume for decades. I was actually glad of the new costume here having pants and also in the comic books in a attempt to make her more realistic, but fans (women fans as well as men, and i can point out the message boards to prove this) HATED her new costumes.

    I do hope the creators of the show, and the wardrobe department, take a look at some of fans views about the costume. There is some merit there on how to improve it.

  23. Re WIlliams Says:

    @ Carrie

    The unfortunate truth is people have a habit of judging by appearance. I look like a WASP. In ten years I’ve only had two people ask if I have a ‘partner’. The rest all assume I have a husband. In the beginning it made me mad. After considering a rainbow tattoo on my forehead, I opted to perfect the polite (but perhaps slightly plastic) smile with a firm correction that I have a _wife_. I’d like to imagine that they learn from their mistakes and don’t do it to the next person.

  24. Mike H Says:

    Also would it be too much to ask for an actress to actually have a little muscle tone? How hard can it be to go to the gym a few times a week and do some upper body resistance training? Look how buff and attractive Jillian Michaels is. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying she should have the role, but I wish there was an actress who is buff like her.

  25. Jakk Says:

    New pictures of the costume have been put up, and they changed it. The link for the new pictures:

  26. carriev Says:

    Saw that — I’m very impressed that the boots aren’t high-heeled! That’s an outfit that I can believe someone running after bad guys in!

  27. […] me a couple of years ago when that awful, awful new Wonder Woman TV costume design went public.  I talked about it.  This is why we can’t have nice things, […]

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