I’m hardly the first to bring this to your attention I’m sure, in fact that’s not even the focus of this article. However, it is essential to point out the striking dissonance between the Amazons costumes in Wonder Woman vs the blatant leather pasties used in Justice League.
Yes, it’s stupid. I could probably do a whole article of insults of how bad the costumes are, but that’s not why I felt the need to write this. Let’s look at the implications of what this means by looking at what Wonder Woman did.
Patty Jenkins did with one movie what DC hasn’t been able to do before or after it, back up the hype train. Wonder Woman established a foothold against their war with Marvel by creating a fun cinematic experience. I won’t pretend that it is a perfect movie by any means, but this movie impacted people. The No Man’s Land reveal made me proud to be a woman and I’m a straight heterosexual cis male. The foundation of all of that though was an interesting world. The women and culture of Themyscira were refreshing in that it took all kinds and they actually looked like warriors.
They weren’t all scantily clad wannabe model/actresses talking in nondescript accents… (see image)
They were all shapes and sizes, tough as nails, and had really interesting armor. Look at the success of the movie and how it resonated with people. Women were excited Gal’s thigh jiggled when she landed. Women felt like they were being represented in film in a positive and realistic light.
And Geoff Johns and Jon Berg learned nothing from it. They continued to ignore Patty Jenkins (director), Lindy Hemming (Costume Designer) or any other woman involved and it’s blatantly apparent. Little from Lindy’s costume design carried over to the Justice League Film. They let fucking Zack God Damn Snyder pick his costume designer that he has picked for all his films (Michael Wilkinson) design some shitty excuse for a Halloween costume instead of anything close to what has been established. That’s right people, they let the guy who designed the “historically accurate” 300 costumes design a costume for fierce warrior women.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that it would have been an interesting idea to modernize the costumes, mesh old with new and what not, but these straps sewn together are just insulting. It’s typical male delusion and an exertion of power over strong women, by overly sexualizing them to the point it looks like Nippopolis. The entire reason they did this was to make them “sexy.” Now, I get that attraction Is subjective, but I still feel like there is a way to be sexy without being reduced to a sexual object. Because this is my article and my opinion, I’m just going to say that wearing next to nothing in and of itself is not sexy. Women who aren’t traditionally considered beautiful can be sexy (because fuck patriarchal standards of beauty), confidence is sexy, empowerment is sexy, intelligence is sexy. You know what is not intelligent, wearing lingerie into battle and expecting to live.
Marvel may be decimating DC in every possible way to such a degree that it’s not even funny, but DC doesn’t have to follow in their footsteps to catch up. DC can say, “You may have carved the path, but we are going to go a better way.” Marvel has had a stupid amount of issue with the representation and under representation of women and most of it was centered around one character; Black Widow. From not giving her a movie because they were afraid a woman wouldn’t have as much box office draw, the fiasco about her being a monster since she can’t have kids, her co-stars slut-shaming her, etc.
DC has an opportunity to be better and make a statement that, not only can women star in their own leading superhero movies, but they can head entire universes. Patty Jenkins has made the one movie that has done well (Hey Eric, Suicide Squad is an Oscar winning picture) and has proven herself to be the director needed to get DC to where it wants to go. Will they make that choice? 100% not a chance in hell. They’ll probably give it to Joss, so a man is in charge and he can go, “I’m not sexist, I wrote Buffy, look away from Dollhouse” until Batgirl comes out. Until then, with the growing number of men being ousted a sexual predators and feminism taking a hold of one of the larger voting groups, let’s see how things proceed in all industries, but specifically Hollywood.