I’ve gone on record to offer my own subjective opinions about how to cast comic book or other established cultural icons, who was best, and why. It’s fine to disagree, but today, unfortunately, everthing seems to have an undertone of identity politics and outrage for the sake of outrage that is really starting to bother me. There are two examples lately, one being the pandering way LeFou was turned into a token gay character in the new Beauty and the Beast, and the other is the laughable controversy over whether Gal Gadot’s armpits should be shaved.
I’m just going to comment on the Gal Gadot issue on ths post…
At the time Shatner did this skit, it felt like a sword through the heart, but now I totally feel that people take this stuff way too seriously.
How I would phrase the Wonder Woman thing is “For Cryin Out Loud. It’s just a superhero movie, not a f*cking documentary on ancient Greece.”
I mean, supposedly the actual amazons removed one breast to allow them to be better archers. Gal Gadot doesn’t have a big bust line but should we protest that she didn’t remove a breast or have it digitally erased? This is a character that is supposed to be able to deflect bullets with her bracelets, can sometimes fly, and has had an invisible jet and a lasso that acts like a truth-serum. That stuff’s ok, but shaved armpits?
Why are people up in arms (pun intended) about the armpit hair? It sure seems to have something to do with modern everything-is-offensive feminism, as Wonder Woman is probably second only to Barbie in being a bellweather for controversy about female role-models.
Lynda Carter will always be my Wonder Woman, just as Christopher Reeve will always be my Superman. That’s just how it is and I don’t care how any of how they looked or acted jives with anything approaching the real world because they are imaginary characters. They represent abstract ideals.
I’m sure the real reason some want her to have armpit hair is to continue to shift her away from classic (male) notions of feminine beauty and history is a red-herring.
Anytime you hold out an ideal, it makes people who feel they don’t measure up to them in some way feel bad. But nobody’s supposed to. They’re superheroes. Gal Gadot only being a B-cup and not having an hourglass figure doesn’t change the fact that Wonder Woman is an immortal amazonian warrior with superpowers none of us possess.
The fact is nobody REALLY wants to see a Wonder Woman with armpit hair. I don’t think even those crying out for it do. They just want, as everyone does these days in the era of the internet, to grab some attention. And I guess by writing this blog post, in some way I’m enabling them. But it just deserves nothing but this:
Despite the fact I have my preference, I’ve found myself turning the corner lately on the overall Gal Gadot and muted Greek armor costume (with sword and shield) issue. This new Wonder Woman is as different from Lynda Carter’s as Christian Bale was to the 60s Batman. Based on what I’ve seen of her actually in action in the trailer (I did not see her in BvS) I think she definitely has her own unique charisma. Being cast as a superhero is sort of like being elected for public office. It tends to split people into pro vs. con. But this armpit hair thing just makes me more sympathetic for the sh*t-storm she’ll probably receive from various sides.