Saturday, June 3, 2017

5 Reasons Wonder Woman is Wonderful

In conjunction with the Wonder Woman film release, DC Comics announced that today, June 3, is officially Wonder Woman Day. It's a day to celebrate Wonder Woman, one of the most iconic female superheroes ever created. But why is she so iconic? And what makes her worthy of such grandeur and celebration? Here are my five reasons why Wonder Woman is so wonderful.

1. She's strong.
It's not hard to see that Wonder Woman is strong. She's not the unrealistic skinny-yet-powerful hero that is impossible to relate to; she's an Amazonian princess, which means she's tall, she's broad, and she's curvy. She can wield a sword and a shield without much effort. But she's strong in other ways, not just physically.

She was originally created to be an allegory of the type of women who should run society, who have strong qualities, who girls would want to be. When Wonder Woman first appeared, there weren't a lot of well-developed female characters. Wonder Woman changed that. Thus, she's more than just brawn; she also has brains. She was given abilities--including beauty, wisdom, swiftness, and strength--by several major Greek gods. She's fluent in many languages, and she's educated in psychology. She even has psychic abilities.

2. She promotes peace.
Wonder Woman first appeared in October of 1941, only a few months before America joined World War II. It was a time of turmoil, sacrifice, and violence. The world needed someone that would not be victorious because of violence; they needed someone who could triumph with peace and love. And that was Wonder Woman.

Despite being an Amazonian princess, who has god-like strength and has been trained her entire life for war, Wonder Woman promotes compassion, love, and peace. Oftentimes, she is depicted as a healer or a doctor instead of a warrior. She stands firm in her pacifism, becoming involved with violent situations only to stop the violence instead of provoking it further. She finds ways to stop violence without using violence herself.

This compassion has propelled her into becoming a cultural icon of female empowerment, giving readers of any age, gender, or era a non-violent role model, an alternative to the other brutal comic book characters.

3. She's a symbol of feminism.
Since her creation, Wonder Woman has been a feminist symbol for the world. She shows that women can be just as strong and powerful as Superman or Batman. She is strong and sexy, beautiful and smart, compassionate and determined.

Her influence goes beyond World War II. She was a feminist icon during the Cold War and the Sexual Revolution, and she is a feminist icon today, empowering women of all generations. Despite having experience as a leader, she was given secretarial duties within the Justice Society of America when she first joined. Many times throughout the comics she has rescued herself from bondage, dismantling the "damsel in distress" stereotype. As a feminist icon, Wonder Woman encourages women to stand up for themselves, to be strong and fight for themselves.

4. She's an advocate.
Throughout her history, Wonder Woman has always been an advocate for others. First and foremost, she's been an advocate for women and girls. In October 2016, she became an Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls within the United Nations. However, she was dropped from the role because of a petition that stated she wasn't worthy to be a role model due to not being culturally sensitive and for being overtly sexualized. Despite this, she is still an advocate for women and girls, not allowing a simple petition to take away 75+ years of being such an icon.

In addition, she's an advocate for LGBT. She doesn't give herself a sexual label, despite the suggestion that she is bisexual or queer. Growing up in the women-only culture of Themyscira has suggested that Wonder Woman's views of gender roles would be non-existent. She was also the first superhero to officiate a same-sex marriage in the comics.

She's also an advocate for peace, those in need, support among women, and the diminishment of "masculine" aggression.

5. She's a legend.
Seventy-five years is a long time to be an icon. Thus, there are so many reasons why Wonder Woman is wonderful. She changed the comic book industry over seventy-five years ago, and she's still changing stuff today. The Wonder Woman movie is the first "tent pole" film (a film that supports the financial performance of a studio) to be directed by a woman. This opens the possibility for future female superhero films, both DC and Marvel, to be directed by women. It's been twelve years since a female superhero was the solo lead in a theatrical film. Twelve years! And of those films that have been produced, most are mediocre at best or easily forgotten. (I'm looking at you, Elektra.) In recent comic book history, there hasn't been a truly iconic solo female superhero film, but Wonder Woman changed that.

Wonder Woman isn't fading into the background of the comic book world. If anything, she is stronger than ever and she's not going anywhere. She'll be back for The Justice League movie in November, and they're already discussing a second Wonder Woman movie. Leigh Bardugo, a well-known YA author, is publishing a Wonder Woman YA novel, Warbringer, this August, which will be the start of a YA DC Icons series and will give a new spin on the Wonder Woman story. We can expect more Wonder Woman action figures, clothing lines, Lego sets, and other toys to hit the shelves in the coming months. And, as always, we can expect more comics that continue the legacy Wonder Woman has started.

There is a reason Wonder Woman is one of the most popular, most iconic, most well-known female superheroes of the comic book world. She changed the world back in 1941, and she continues to change the world with her promotion of compassion and her determination to stand up for what she believes, no matter the cost. Wonder Woman is truly wonderful, for many reasons, and she definitely deserves to be celebrated, not just today, but every day.

What do you love about Wonder Woman?

1 comment:

  1. I'm excited to see the movie! Women are definitely super-heroes in my book and I'm happy that tons of people are turning out for the film!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen at YA Romantics