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Wonder Woman Makeover Makes Angry Fans

Wonder Woman Makeover Makes Angry Fans

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.

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209 comments

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11:35AM PDT on Aug 8, 2010

P.S: My comment is aimed at the illustrators of this new look, not the author of this article :P

11:35AM PDT on Aug 8, 2010

I wouldn't really consider my self a feminist by a long shot, and honestly I've never read any Wonder Woman comics or seen the show. However, images and clips I HAVE seen of her have always given off a very powerful and independent vibe to me. I don't think she needed any changes, I think she's always been a strong figure for thousands of girls and woman around the world. Bloody stupid in my opinion...how about focusing on some real issues, rather than worrying about changing the outfit of a 30 year old superhero?

11:03AM PDT on Aug 8, 2010

I'm in agreement with miss Bonnie...I've done karate, yoga, a little bit of swordfighting and horseback riding. Horseback is the only thing in which jeans are practical, but a leather jacket would be very restricting and make it difficult to perform certain maneuvers. Fighting in tight-fitting jeans? Hah, go ahead and try! You'll likely either hurt yourself or tear them, probably both. Fighting wearing tight, tough materials like leather and denim that don't breathe will not make you look tough, it'll just make you get hotter quicker, restrict your movement and cause a great deal of discomfort. Some may argue that leather is what armor used to be made of, and that's true, but that jacket certainly wasn't designed for defense! Leather armor has very specific designs, and that jacket isn't built for defense. In short, incredibly impractical.

6:52AM PDT on Jul 28, 2010

The people who came up with this new look (woman or man) must not do anything physical. I fence, I wrestle. I do historic boxing. And you don't do physical stuff in tight jeans, nails, and a tight jacket. You're giving your opponent all kinds of freebies with clothes like that. I hope they come to their senses and put her in something sensible and not restrictive. Sexy has no place when fighting evil criminals!

10:18PM PDT on Jul 19, 2010

Wonder Woman was supposed to be a sexual type figure. I don't like the transformation either, but I must say, we don't have better things to worry about than what a cartoon character is wearing or looking like? What about kid's education?

9:09AM PDT on Jul 19, 2010

I cannot believe that this is even an issue. In the first place, ALL comic strip/book characters and their appearance have changed over the years.

More importantly, in the US, we have an economy that is in a near depression - if not in an actual one. The unemployment rate is sky-rocketing. More and more families are losing their homes by the day. Many elderly people often do not have enough income to provide for the basic necessities of life. Our elected officials are corrupt. Our environment is in dire straits. People are dying every day because they cannot afford health care. Our soldiers are being killed every day in the Middle East. More and more people are finding it necessary to file for bankruptcy. Many seniors have lost their life savings and their pensions in the stock market. We are under constant threat from terrorists.

And you are worrying about what clothes a COMIC BOOK CHARACTER is wearing? You will have to forgive me if I just don't care.

2:12AM PDT on Jul 13, 2010

That looks more like a catgirl rather than Wonder Woman.

6:59PM PDT on Jul 12, 2010

True, there are other, more important things to defend and fight about... but sometimes you just have to have a moment to relax.. and voting for the old or new WW is just that, a relaxing moment. Remember she came out to fight Nazis and other such enemies and had a "curvaceous" body, not afraid to be a "real woman", leave her alone... no need to update... the original outfit is iconic and emblematic... I always wanted to be WW!!

10:46AM PDT on Jul 12, 2010

If you want to try and help Animals----- If you are on Facebook-- Click on this link and vote-- http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/charities/411838192-north-american-bear-center
You have 20 votes, theres alot of $$ for charities-- saving animals, helping children,all kinds and you can look up your own area and vote for local charities. please consider voting for the Bear center, check their website out and the Live Bear Cam. You all have big hearts on here, lets help some charities out and vote
Its all through Facebook.. thank you all soooo much...

3:32AM PDT on Jul 12, 2010

The new Wonderwoman wood look good in the flesh, but Wonder Woman she is not!

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