Our favorite Amazonian superhero is all the rage these days, and with a bunch of new films coming out devoted to her awesomeness, including her own starring vehicle 'Wonder Woman' in 2017, she's starting a bunch of conversations — not least about powerful women. Sure, everyone's waiting with excitement to see how a major action movie starring a female superhero will fare. But Wonder Woman's famous posture itself is also now being touted as a great shortcut for any woman feeling left out or hidden, particularly in the workplace. That's right, there's a new power pose in town, and it's called the Wonder Woman: hands on hips, feet wide apart, shoulders back, staring confidently forward. (No wonder Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman looks like the best bit of the upcoming Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice film — she clearly thinks she's awesome.)
The Wonder Woman power pose had its first major boost in a TED talk by Harvard sociologist Amy Cuddy in 2012, who talked at length about how standing like the Amazon warrior and pretending you're armed with your own lasso and headdress can communicate to others that you're serious, powerful, and in control. Standing in that "power pose" helped people in her study of the problem get hired for (fake) jobs, simply because they radiated confidence. It's since garnered a lot of attention, with one of Slate's journalists crediting it with helping her ask for a raise and negotiate a quick service with a dry-cleaner.
So let's look at the science behind the Wonder Woman pose, and why it's an idea you should spread — even if it doesn't make you feel like a glowing superhero right away.
The Science Of The Power Pose
Why Posture Is A Feminist Issue
It's pretty crucial to notice that the stance is the Wonder Woman stance, not the Superman one, even though he was pretty well-known for standing around with his hands on his hips too. It's an act that gives women a context in which to stand powerfully and make confident demands — particularly in the workplace, which is something we massively need.
Studies show that women often simply don't stand up and make themselves heard in office situations: a Business Insider survey from 2013 asked workers about gender equality, and many responded that they kept their heads down, hoping to be noticed on their merits. Meanwhile, the men were loudly praising themselves, putting themselves forward, and standing like Wonder Woman all over the place.
Images: CBS; DC Comics