Friday, July 16, 2010

Wonder Woman's New Costume, Part II

I meant to write this down earlier, but oh well.  Procrastinators of the world unite tomorrow and all that.

Anyway, since Wonder Woman's new costume actually hit the national news I decided I finally had a chance to talk to a non-comics reader about comics, which happens very rarely.  I like hearing the outside perspective, and there's nothing better than mother-daughter bonding over comics.  So I asked my mother, "Hey, did you see Wonder Woman has a new costume?"

"Oh, I saw it and IT'S AWFUL!" was the response I got.  So then I thought I'd try to defend the new costume a little bit (or at least the reason why the new costume came to be) via a little feminist logic: why do male comic book heroes get to run around fully clothed while female comic book heroines have to run around half-clothed?

"Oh, please!  They changed her outfit because it offends women like you.  I want the Wonder Woman I know!  I used to watch Lynda Carter ever week!  Why did women baseball players have to wear a skirt in World War II?  So what about Batman!  Batman doesn't fight crime half-naked: he's overdressed!  Do you want her to dress like a man?"

So I gave up on the feminist angle and said that Wonder Woman's traditional costume just isn't practial.  You know...things can fall out.

"Nothing fell out when Lynda Carter was running around!  It's just like a bathing suit!"

To which I replied, "They would air a scene if something fell out of Lynda Carter's costume!!  And who fights crime in a bathing suit?!"

"Maybe she'll confuse criminals with her good looks!"

"But what about the high heels?"

"Hey, you get kicked with a high heel and you know it."

So, there you have it.  Two things I learned from this exchange: I never knew my mother watched the Wonder Woman TV show that avidly, and two, I'm one step closer to going to work in my bathing suit just to see what Momma Lissbirds has to say about THAT, when wearing a high-slitted formal dress apparently "gives the boys a show."  Honestly, as a kid, I never could understand why it was okay to wear a bathing suit at the beach but not at the mall, but then again, I was a weird child.

Apparently, in the eyes of the general public (and one generation removed), a second thought isn't given to men and women dressing differently, and as long as it's somewhat similar to a bathing suit, heroines can run around in whatever they want.  I'm guessing that along with my mother, the general public hates Wonder Woman's new duds, because it's boring and ugly and doesn't signify anything.  In my opinion,  design-wise, the new costume is kind of lazy, like car companies who just use the model name on a car in lieu of an emblem or hood ornament.

So, in conclusion, Wonder Woman should just change back, but I'm glad she did try on a new outfit because it made for one heck of an argument conversation.

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