Monday, September 22, 2008

Diana's Costume, On or Off

And really ultimately gets to the bottom of my irritation of people who continue to insist that Wonder Woman needs a different costume to be taken seriously.

Okay, granted, she's in what amounts to being a slightly armored (depending on the artist) bathing suit. That's remarkably ridiculous! No one's going to take a woman fighting crime in a bathing suit seriously!

It's not quite the same argument, it seems, but this reminds me much of my posts in the past regarding Wonder Woman's costume, and complaints of the character being sexualized (such as on the Playboy cover).

(The Internet is a marvelous tool for conflating different points of view; if anyone out there was reading Kalinara's post and thinking, "yeah, that's just the kind of attitude that Uh Noon Uh Moose guy had a while ago, the sexist hog", let me correct you with a sharp nun-style rap to the knuckles with a standard Catholic-issue wooden ruler.)

I'm assuming Kalinara's reaction is aimed mostly at movie speculators wondering what form Wonder Woman's costume would take in a movie, but it's another one of those little parallels that I find so interesting: When Kalinara argues for the use of the iconic costume (essentially, with a few minor modifications), she cites athletic clothing for its ease of movement and lack of armor. When Nenena argued that Wonder Woman shouldn't be viewed in a sexual manner, she also cited athletic apparel as a "uniform" with a non-sexual "message". (As I said then, intended messages can differ greatly from perceived messages: muslim clerics agree!)

Let me tell you, in case anyone had any doubt at all: If a Wonder Woman movie were to be made that closely resembled that fan-made movie poster, almost immediately there'd be eroticization galore. Because, really, that poster? Pretty hot, in the same vein as Xena Warrior Princess.

Which isn't to say I wouldn't take WW seriously in such an outfit; in the comics her costume isn't all that more outlandish than any other superhero in comics, and these things can be translated well to movies, as shown in said poster. But I'd also find it sexy in an unashamedly objectifying way.

Yes, I can do both. I contain multitudes.

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