Wonder Woman, a costume change for the worse?

This year we all realized our need for a female-dominant super hero film… a need we didn’t even know we had until Wonder Woman’s release. With its star-studded cast and female-central story and female-powered production team, it’s no surprise that it was an overwhelming box office success. So it’s no surprise that the internet has been in a recent uproar over some new scantily-clad Amazons.

I think Kimi (aka GoldenLassoGirl) says it best:

To be absolutely clear, my issue is not with the lack of modesty. The Amazons in Wonder Woman wore sports-bra-like outfits when they were not in battle and I think that is very realistic for a society that lives in a Mediterranean climate. My problem is a millennia-old military culture wearing bikinis into battle because they are women. My problem is a wise civilization that was created by the gods to protect the world thinking that soft leather is armor. I have a problem with a really great design being thrown out in favor of something that would excite the cis male gaze.

Let’s break this down: the majority of fans are not upset because women are wearing bikinis. The fans are upset because costume designer Lindy Hemming had already created the look and feel of the world, and Zack Snyder’s creative team trimmed it down. The women are wearing what looks like the undergarments of the warriors featured in Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Women. In Jenkins’ film, the women were clad in armor. Now they look like beach-going primitives. To reiterate: nothing wrong with women in bikinis (or men in bikinis!) the problem is the reasoning –or lack thereof- for changing the costumes.

All of that aside, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: why is it that when men are superheroes, they wear costumes that completely cover them head to toe, but when women are superheroes they are almost naked. Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash all literally covered head to toe. Wonder Woman and the Amazons? Tube tops and bikini bottoms.

If that doesn’t sum it up clearly enough for you, all you really need to do is take a look in the comments section of any of the numerous articles that have recently been published. They’re flooded with reductive, overly-sensitive, mainly male comments all saying one of two things: the people complaining about the new outfits are just jealous of the actresses’ bodies (essentially body shaming anyone who is against the new costumes) or saying that these new costumes are historically more accurate. I think it’s safe to say that Lindy Hemming did her research in the creation of her designs, and both of theses reasons are ridiculous.

© Lindsy M. Bissonnette FF2 Media (11/14/17)

Top Photo: Patty Jenkins’ Amazons (Warner Brothers)

Bottom Photo: Zack Snyder’s Amazons (vero)

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