The Fitting In Room: New Wonder Woman

Forgive me, kids – when I saw that Wonder Woman had her costume updated, I went on a bender that has lasted this past week. I am here now – sober, conscious, and am no longer allowed back in Honduras. But that’s another story.

From a New York Times article:

The new look — with an understated “W” insignia, a midnight blue jacket and a flinty fusion of black tights and boots — is darker than the famed swimsuit-style outfit, and aims to be contemporary, functional and, as Tim Gunn of “Project Runway” might say, less costumey.

It is a costume. That was the whole point, DC. She’s an Amazonian princess who is voluptuous and practically spilling out of her costume. She’s strong and soft. She wears an outfit no one would wear to fight crime because it’s not an outfit – it’s a costume.

I could go into work tomorrow in boots, leggings, red tank, baggy jacket and gold headband with matching cuffs. Despite the “no costumes at work” in place at my day job, I wouldn’t be asked to change clothes. Because that’s not a costume. It’s barely fashion (but since I live in Los Angeles, it will pass).

“What woman only wears only one outfit for 60-plus years?”


Don't mess with tiaras. They are to women what eye patches are to men. Here, Nick Fury exhibits a major gender bender, thanks to Photoshop.

I think going about Wonder Woman with a frame of mind of “What would a real woman wear?” is as ridiculous as Wonder Woman’s silhouette. She’s a heightened form of the feminine ideal – of course she’s wearing a bustier. She is fighting crime and what looks to be a sure fire yeast infection and looking fierce! When I see Wonder Woman, I see someone who is confident enough in her strength and beauty to wear what she wants. I have no doubt that clothes are a compromise she has with the Western world.

There is a fantasy that goes with our super-heroes. I don’t wonder how Wonder Woman manages, I’m too busy shouting, “Go, woman, GO!” My ovaries stand up and salute when I see an Adam Hughes drawing of Wonder Woman.

Given the hope that the character will one day have her own international film franchise (a feature has long been gestating at Warner Entertainment, DC’s parent company), one test of the design was to imagine how it would look standing next to, say, Batman’s politically neutral ensemble. “The original costume was the American flag brought to life,” Mr. Lee said. “This one is a little more universal.”

Who in their right mind would go see a Wonder Woman movie where her iconic costume would not be represented? Nobody watched the live action Wonder Woman television series because of Diana’s smart cardigans that looked ravishingly neutral. And did Batman ever complain about the costume? “Woe, my dark past. Woe, I walk alone. Woe, I – uh, Diana? Your nipple is showing. Woe, my wallet is too small for my fifties.”

And again – I take offense to the use of the word “costume”.

Seriously, DC – if you are giving makeovers to superheroes, are you aware that Superman still insists that wearing undies outside the spandex is cool? And any time I see Superman near Batman, I wonder if Batman stopped off at the circus on his way home and picked up a new ward, Bozo Hensley.

I am betting that the costume change – like Communism – is a red herring. I don’t think the internet is alive with the latest plot development of Wonder Woman. Never have I heard this much Wonder Woman talk since I was four and somehow, Superfriends ended and an episode of the live action show came on and I would not shut up about how this was the best day ever. Remember New Coke? Or, more accurately – remember how everybody hated New Coke and then Classic Coca-Cola was brought back? I have no doubt that Wonder Woman will go back to her most iconic outfit. I just wish that to give her more attention, she didn’t have to become New Coke first.

Posted on July 8, 2010 at 01:17 by Neva Reese · Permalink
In: Columns, Comics, Fashion · Tagged with: , , , ,