At the age of 75, the Amazonian Warrior Demi-Goddess and founding member of the Justice League is hitting the big screen for the very first time – in less than a month. Wonder Woman is finally getting a movie, and the trailers we have seen look fantastic.
So, like any upcoming superhero movie, here we are expecting to be swamped with teasers, behind the scenes footage, interviews, merchandise, advertising, magazine covers, talk show appearances – except that’s not what is happening at all.
There’s a makeup line (available only in the US), a Dr Pepper campaign, and last year we got a Snapchat filter. Not what anyone would call overwhelming support for one of the biggest superheroes in history.
Now there’s this.
Thinkthin is just one of a myraid of products that exist these days, aimed at women who have a goal to be thin – I mean, the clue is in the name. It not Thinstrong, not Thinkfit, not Thinhealthy – Thinkthin.
This partnership further reinforces this obsession that exists with focusing on Wonder Woman’s physique as her main offering for audiences – one that has resulted in everything from her removal as an honorary United Nations Ambassador to the never-ending barrage of unsolicited criticism sent Gal Gadot’s way for being (ironically) apparently being “too skinny” to play the iconic powerhouse.
Focusing on Wonder Woman’s body is a gross disservice to her character, fans, and is downright patronising. The idea that all Diana has to offer is her body sends a straight-up damaging message to the people (yes, I’m one of them) that look up to her for her strength.
I’m not just talking about the “can smash Superman in a fight” kind of strength, even though she can do that too.
It’s the strength of character that sees her adhering to her values of compassion and justice. It’s the strength that makes her an ideal role model in a world of shallow superficiality.
And it’s that strength we should be seeing everywhere right now. So why aren’t we?
If you head to Warner Bros YouTube channel, you’ll find a Wonder Woman playlist with a “sneak peak”, three trailers and a series of four television commercials. It’s four weeks from today that the film will hit cinemas.
By way of comparison, the Suicide Squad playlist has thirty videos. For Suicide Squad. This is Wonder Woman.
Unless the marketing team is planning to flood us in Wonder Woman‘s final weeks (and I genuinely hope they do) it’s pretty obvious Diana is being woefully under-marketed. The response to what’s already out there has been universally well received, so why isn’t there more being done?
Where are our introductions into some of Diana’s iconic sidekicks? Etta Candy is hilarious. The Amazons are an amazing group of diverse kickass women. When can we meet them?
Vanity Fair says not to worry, because a lot is being spent on ads. But no – I am worried.
I am worried that what I’m seeing in my social media feed is weight loss products instead of Diana punching Nazis in the face like the badass she is. I’m worried that this movie will have lower than expected numbers at the box office and we will hear “see, female-led superhero films just don’t work.”
I’m worried that it will be generations before little girls will have the opportunity to see a hero they can relate to on the big screen because “girls don’t buy merchandise” and this film will be held up as a symbol of a failed experiment into pandering for a female audience.
Wonder Woman deserves better.