Bye bye star imprinted hotpants — Wonder Woman has been made over, and the new costume is making some serious waves.
Gone is her red, white and blue patriotic one piece emblazoned with a golden eagle. Instead, she is darker, more covered, and with a small element of the street fighter in her element. We feminists are supposed to be pleased that there is less skin and more shoulder pads. But, as Shelby Knox puts it, just giving her pants doesn’t make her more feminist.
This is modernity? Where are her red boots? What about modernization requires her trademark “W” emblem to fade into the background? How is covering her once rippling, now wimpy, muscles a nod to evolved images of womanhood?
I know what you’re thinking: Shouldn’t feminists be happy that Wonder Woman now looks more like a young woman freshly off a college campus, at once ready to go fight some bad guys in an alley or in a pay discrimination lawsuit? Haven’t we been fighting for women role models with more clothing as well as more substance? She couldn’t really fight evil in a bustier—is this not a feminist win?
No, not by a long shot. In fact, it feels like the sad loss of America’s first truly feminist comic book heroine.
The general consensus seems to be that this remake is a total miss. MTV polled their audience, and 65 percent of them hate the new wardrobe.
Yesterday, I asked you to let me know whether you “love” or “hate” the DC heroine’s new costume in reader poll, and the response was — to put it mildly — decisive. In one of the most active polls I’ve ever posted, more than 65 percent of readers presented with the new costume said they “Hate It!”
Yes, twice as many people hate Wonder Woman’s new look than those who love it. Owch!
Even better than the poll turnout was the number of readers who explained their vote in the comment section. Here’s a sampling of why some readers voted the way they did:
Corsairsteel: Why has no one else seemed to notice that all this costume is missing are shades and a shaved head to be the 90′s Superboy? Leather Jackets over unitards is NOT contemporary.
The fans on the DC message board seem to agree as well.
What are you people thinking???!!!!???
I have read & collected Wonder Woman since I was a little girl!
That is more than 30 years!
“But the cropped jacket with sleeves rolled up (she has to show off those famous cuff bracelets) gives her a silhouette that suggests she’s waiting in line outside some Lower East Side, NYC, nightclub to hear a new act called Debbie Harry.”
[ THIS IS ARMOR! NOT CLUBBING GEAR!
Do not put her in Jeans!
Nor change the background further!
NO MORE REWRITES TO THE HERSTORY & GET THE MEN OFF OF THEMYSCIRA!
The jacket and broach collar are atrocious!
Where are the red boots?
Where are the silver bullet bouncing bracelets?
How did the Girdle shrink?
What in the blue Moon is with the bolero leather jacket?
Wonder Woman choose to become Princess of Themyscira, after the massive crap you put her and the amazons through.
For me this is looking like the straw that has broken the camel’s back. This has convinced me to BOYCOTT ALL DC titles . I will just have to give Marvel my money!
In fact, it seems like only one person is really enthused by the change: Tim Gunn of Project Runway.
“I love Wonder Woman’s new look,” Gunn told Newsarama writer Alan Kistler. “This new look says, ‘I’m confident, I’m powerful, I’m sexy, and don’t mess with me.’ Furthermore, she looks like a citizen of the real world rather than a creature from another land.”
On “Project Runway,” one of Gunn’s most common caveats to the designers he mentors is pointing out when outfits look too “costumey,” so it’s not surprising that he’s in favor of this design. With its long pants and jacket, it’s much more reflective of the real world than the brightly colored one-piece bathing suit Wonder Woman had worn for decades.
Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke hates the new design so much she’s starting a “Free Wonder Woman” campaign.
“I wish they’d just left her alone, especially since she’s the only comic book character female I’ve ever admired,” Finke wrote. “Of course, it took a bunch of men to ruin her.” Finke then scolded DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson for “allowing this to happen,” and for not hiring a female writer to handle the character’s new direction. (UPDATE: As commenter chris points out, whether or not Finke is aware that incoming Wonder Woman writer J. Michael Straczynski is directly following Gail Simone, a female, is unclear.)
Finke continued to quote official DC press materials, calling it the “dumbass stuff that DC Comics is doing to her,” and stated that she’s starting the “FREE WONDER WOMAN!” campaign.
It could definitely work. As Knox pointed out in her column, Wonder Woman was revamped once before and had those changes rolled back due to huge public outcry.
In 1968, DC Comics debuted a “modern” version of Diana Prince who’d lost her goddess heritage and all her superhuman powers, gained a male mentor and his martial arts skills, and developed a propensity for the domestic arts. She also came equipped with a new “mod” costume: a pantsuit with no “W” emblem, no flags, and no invincible bracelet cuffs.
Feminist outrage at the devolution of their heroine was quick. A group of activists, led by Gloria Steinem, leaned on DC Comics to scrap the “new” Wonder Woman in favor of the more powerful original—and they won, convincing the company to restore Wonder Woman’s powers and history during the next version of the series. They understood that along with equal pay and childcare and the right to hold credit in their own name, young women need to be able to see themselves in strong pop culture role models in order to fashion themselves into the real life versions.
And, in case anyone was curious, Gloria Steinem isn’t a fan of this version, either.