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Wonder Woman Wednesday: UN Ambassador or Bathing Suit Model?

Here we go! (Again.)

Wonder Woman was appointed an honorary UN Ambassador of the empowerment of woman and girls. Lynda Carter was there. Gal Gadot was there. The ceremony was held on October 21 to coincide with the 75th Anniversary of the Amazing Amazon. They ate cake and took pictures… Great! Or maybe not.

As with everything good in this day and age, it takes little time or thought for someone to take a big, old dump on what’s meant to be a positive thing. Staffers of the UN quickly criticized the choice of Wonder Woman, citing several reasons for the protest. One being she is overly sexualized and more a bathing suit model than role model.  I always find this complaint strange, if not unfounded.

Perhaps the only era WW looked like a pole dancer was when Mike Deodato Jr. was on the book. No disrespect. I believe it was the style d’jour and was fueling sales, in turn eliciting editorial requests to beef up the cheesecake. In his defense his style has evolved with modern comic styles, and it looks better than ever.

So, why do people say WW’s costume is too sexy or inappropriate?  Look how much flesh you can see during the Olympics? Is that inappropriate? Do ice skaters look like porn stars? (Well, maybe.) Does Michael Phelps’ speedo disqualify him from being a role model because of his barely there bikini?

Another beef with Wonder Woman is that she is fictional and, therefore, not a good candidate for a role model. I beg to differ. There are many fictional role models who have as much an impact on the molding of young people into good adults as real ones.  Not to mention that this is the sole purpose for some fictional characters’ creation – nothing more than to be a role model (as Wonder Woman was!). Rosie the Riveter was not a real person, but forever a symbol and role model for the struggle of women’s equalities. Wonder Woman was, after all, created to be just that: a role model for girls to look up to which was painfully absent among the role models that boys had like Batman and Superman at the time of her invention.

It seems like everyone is getting hyper puritanical lately and ultra sensitive about sexual issues.

Frank Cho left his gig on WW covers because of creative differences with writer Greg Rucka who disliked Cho’s overly sexual portrayal of Wonder Woman. Ironically, Cho produced some of the most beautiful, tasteful images of his career before resigning.  

Luckily, I seldom see Wonder Woman sexualized, whether it be fan art or commissions. I think the pure essence of the character doesn’t really lend itself well to making her slutty. I think the character has been around for so long that people pretty much get what she’s about.

Though she may be made of clay and not flesh, though she may bare more skin that Batman or Superman, Wonder Woman has maintained a symbol of hope and integrity for 75 years, giving girls, women, boys, and men hope in the strength and achievements that women are more than capable of. Not does only Wonder Woman more than deserve to be appointed role model by the UN, she deserves not to be easily dismissed as a Sports Illustrated Cover Model. Respect.

That’s all for this week’s Wonder Woman Wednesday. Be sure to check out the “I Am Wonder Fan” Facebook page and be back here next week!  


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