This week, the first photo of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman surfaced – and she’s outfitted for the movie Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Of course, the reactions, for better or for worse, started immediately. Of course, those who have been on board for Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman since she was announced for the role, exploded with joy. I even witnessed some of the initial skeptics change their minds, upon seeing this photo. Then, there were people, like myself, who still aren’t sold on it… for legitimate reasons.
Before Gal Gadot was announced as Wonder Woman, I had a working knowledge of what Wonder Woman should look like if there were to ever be a modern incarnation of her. Then, once she was announced for the role, I re-familiarized myself. What I re-called and re-learned, is that Gal Gadot is a poor choice for the representation of the long-awaited modern-day Wonder Woman.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have an issue with all reinterpretations of characters… just not when it comes to comic book characters, and especially when those characters are based on well-established and generally accepted mythology or history. Of course, there are people who hate the choice, just for the sake of hating it, or because their favorite actress didn’t get the role, but I have legitimate reasons.
I’ll try to keep this part as brief as possible. I don’t body shame. I think that kind of stuff is sick and counter-productive. That’s why I nipped the “real women have curves” thing in the bud. All women are real, because they are not invisible.
Plus, if we all looked the same, that would be really weird and really boring. My complaints toward Gal Gadot as Wonder Women are purely based on wanting there to be accuracy. As a model who is not even remotely plus-sized, she doesn’t fit the typical physical traits of an Amazonian woman. Amazonian women physical attributes are typically taller-than-usual, full-figured, and plus-sized (especially by today’s standards).
Gal Gadot is a model who is only three inches taller than the average female height, not even remotely full-figured, and is a size 0. She literally only weighs 110 pounds. The nationality, I can overlook some, because that’s not as big a deal, since she does have a skin color that could work for the role she’s playing. But the fact that pretty much nothing else matches up is what bothers me.
Yes, Hollywood can use smoke and mirrors, to try to make her look more like Wonder Woman. Also, I’m sure she worked out to bulk up for the role. But that is a lot of work, to transform someone into a character that they’re not right for, when they could have easily picked someone more suited for it to begin with. Plus, one wonders (see what I did there?) if Gadot thought about how hard it may be to book modeling jobs after this role. From what I’ve witnessed, the fashion industry is super picky when it comes to body types, and once she has that muscle, “losing” it could be unhealthy. That or she’s going to have to pick one or the other, more than likely.
Now, for the real reason that sparked this article–are we just supposed to accept this? I posted, on Facebook, that I, even (especially) upon seeing the photo of Gadot as Wonder Woman, am not on board when it comes to the physical representation. I added that I would reserve judgement for her acting out the role, until I see the film.
My long-time friend, Tara commented to me, and said that she “wants to support her, but that they could have made a better choice.” I responded I cannot support her, just because I am a woman and a feminist. I do want to see more female representation, especially in geek culture–just not like this.
This doesn’t just translate here–it also translates into my other fandoms, and with guys too. For example: I am an avid WWE fan. My favorite WWE Superstar is Dolph Ziggler. He is a powerhouse of talent and a force to be reckoned with. However, they’ve been screwing him over, without giving him a real push. Recently, they seemed to be giving him a push, but made it a part of two really awful storylines. My reaction to that, just as it is with Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman: “Not like this!”
One of my best friends, Dave, made the probable prediction that there are going to be people (especially involved with the film), who are going to reason, “Hey, you guys want Wonder Woman, and now you have her!” Basically, it’ll be telling us to be careful what we wish for. Again, I say: “Not like this!” As I commented to both of my friends, if we just shrug off this bad casting choice, for a female superhero, knowing every reason it’s inaccurate, we’re basically telling DC Comics, as well as the filmmakers, “See? They don’t care!” They think they can get away with it, and they’ll do it again, because they think that it’s okay with us, and that we’re giving them the right to do it again, without complaint.
I’m not okay with them thinking that, and I’m not happy with that kind of mediocrity. It’s not fair that they’re basically acting like the Ubisoft of comics when it comes to female representation.
Were there worse actresses that they could have chosen for the role of Wonder Women? Oh, absolutely! No one wants to see a Kristen Stewart, Megan Fox, or Hillary Duff-portrayed Wonder Woman. However, that’s no reason to excuse this casting failure. Will this pseudo-browbeating from unhappy fans perhaps make them not want to portray a female superhero, on film, again, for at least for another 75 years? Quite possibly. However, if that’s what they’re going to give us, then I’m not sure that I want them to.
I will be going to see this movie still. I can’t wait to see if Batffleck soars or fails. I’m also still interested in seeing if Gal Gadot can even portray a good Wonder Woman, through her acting. Like I said, I’m reserving my judgement until I see the movie. However, after Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of Catwoman, in The Dark Knight Rises, I kind of don’t have a lot of hope. If she’s at her acting best, she may win some points with me, but when it comes to physical representation, Gal Gadot gets .5 out of 5 stars, from me.
Here’s to hoping for the best with the rest of the movie!