The Case For Wonder Woman's (and Gal Gadot's) Pants in 'Batman Vs. Superman'
Hear this, makers of Batman Vs. Superman: Great job choosing Gal Gadot to play Wonder Woman, but you'd better give her some damn pants. Knowing that Zach Snyder, the man who brought us the fetish-riddled kickass-school-girl flick Sucker Punch, is behind the first big screen representation of our Amazonian heroine since 1974 is a little worrisome. Giving her booty shorts and knee-high boots feels like a costume that would be at home in his universe, but this is 2013 and I cannot stand for it.
Now, this is not a matter of slut-shaming Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman or even Malin Akerman's scantily clad Silk Spectre II in Snyder's Watchmen. Both costumes were admittedly fierce, however impractical for the action these ladies are getting themselves into. But at a time when even the comic book realm was able to update Wonder Woman to a more empowering, action-ready look, there's no excuse for the film to leave her in the dark ages — or should I say the Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Modern ages?
Wonder Woman needs some damn pants. Part of the reason is of course the matter of objectification: Carter has said that the costume garnered her some unwanted attention. "I never thought a picture of my body would be tacked up in men's bathrooms. I hate men looking at me and thinking what they think. And I know what they think. They write and tell me," she said. It's this status as an unwilling sex symbol that has made Wonder Woman one of the de facto overtly sexy Halloween costumes for years.
But the other real reason our heroine needs a more practical costume is so that she can actually be as active as she's supposed to be. Batman and Superman are covered from head to toe (well, neck to toe in Superman's case) in Spandex or whatever wonder material Bruce Wayne got his hands on. Superman's practically wearing comfy pajamas and Batman's protected from the constant blows he sustains. Without pants, Wonder Woman is dressed like she's going to the beach and a 1960s-themed Go-Go boots-heavy costume party. The last thing she needs is to be tripped up because her booty shorts are quickly giving her an auto-wedgie or because her legs are covered in small cuts and gashes because she's swinging a lasso around (backlash is a thing, people) and shrapnel from villains with guns is flying everywhere. Not to mention the other big problem for women with muscular, action hero thighs: chaffing is a bitch.
The pants and leather jacket DC gave her in 2010 would go far. After all, that little sweetheart tube top has little respect or support for the shock women's breasts sustain while they're running or moving in any sort of emphatic motion. If not a jacket, give the lady some sort of support. In fact, the reason DC gave her that makeover is because her classic costume made no sense for what she was doing. "It’s a look designed to be taken seriously as a warrior, in partial answer to the many female fans over the years who’ve asked, 'how does she fight in that thing without all her parts falling out?'" said DC writer J. Michael Straczynski in a statement announcing the change. Sure, some people were upset, but a lot of those people were men who have no idea what it would be like to fight crime in Wonder Woman's original costume.
And if all that wasn't enough, just look at the other lady superheros in pop culture. The Avengers' Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson) is in head-to-toe leather, which doesn't exactly save her from objectification, but certainly allows her the same mobility and modesty of her male co-Avengers. Even NBC's failed Wonder Woman series got the pants memo, but they did appear to find those pants in some sort of sex shop in Manhattan's West Village.
When it comes down to it, Wonder Woman is always going to be sexy — with or without booty shorts. She's beautiful, she's powerful, and she's better with a that lasso than Indiana Jones is with his whip, and believe it or not, she doesn't need to wear a sparkly bathing suit for the rest of that magic to work.
Image: DC Comics (2); Warner Bros (1)