Quite frankly, we’re scarlet to only be writing this “review” now. Sometimes when we see things that aren’t scarlet, we actually don’t know what to do.
But, in a nutshell:
Wonder Woman was NOT SCARLET.
Yes, it could have gone further. Been more inclusive. Yes, we still have much more to do. But for now…Here are our unabashed thoughts of what is our favorite film to come out of 2017 (and even maybe our lifetimes, to date). Sometimes, we can have nice things.
Part Sci-Fi, part social critique, part Chris Pine porn, Wonder Woman put the whole Hollywood world on its head. It broke the box office and all with real, strong, boss-ass-bitches as central characters. Thighs that jiggled as they kicked ass on a 40 foot screen! Outfits chosen for aerodynamic success on the battlefield. Princess Buttercup from our childhoods LITERALLY rocking out as a warrior goddess… GODDAMN did we wish this was the version we saw of her when we were younger. We’re just grateful she’s in this form for upcoming generations. No pathetic damsel in distress “dreams” for them!
I mean. You’re talking to someone who saw Titanic in theaters (conservatively) half a dozen times. I wanted to BE Rose. My worldview had a hazy lens of “Princess” as the representation of the pinnacle of adult success from the first time I ever set foot in the cinema. That idea was rarely challenged in the box office and was further perpetuated by just about every Disney and Hollywood film I was ever exposed to as a young person.
So, as I sat watching Wonder Woman, as a 30-something adult, and suddenly, almost suprisingly, felt hot tears pour down my face, I knew what was happening.
The Princess Box that had been my entire framework of success. The Princess Box that I had never fit into, despite my attempts to be a certain size, bag a certain man, work a certain job, wear certain clothes. The Princess Box that only ever “empowered” me to feel like an absolute failure—-It was being BLOWN THE FUCK UP. My tears were joyful and angry and excited and scared and worried and empowered. They were tears for the hours I’d lost worried about the number on the scale. About whether or not “he’d text me back.” About whether or not I could find an outfit that was professional, yet slutty, but not too slutty for a presentation, while my male colleagues cut hours out of their morning routines and simply showed up, sometimes for days at a time, in the same exact outfits.
They were tears for how many calories I’d counted, how caught up I let myself get in the “Bachelor,” for the lost time spent shopping for things I didn’t need in order to “succeed” in a society that only prizes superficial bullshit, inspiring the capitalist agenda but making little girls feel really little, even when they are “too” big.
As I was watching Wonder Woman, I was seeing where this Princess Box once stood, walling-in and suffocating dreams and desires, a much MUCH bigger, unwalled box coming together… letting the light in, letting the freedom of what it means to first be HUMAN and then what it means to be a woman, come to the surface.
This new lens that was represented by Wonder Woman wasn’t a box at all. It was a flattened box. It was a leveling playing field. And it was being presented in a way that showed the next generation they can be anything. They can do anything. Their gender does not limit them, their commitment will serve them, and the world is theirs to take over. Rather, in fact, PLEASE take it over. It’s fucked.
In an ACTUAL text conversation with a male friend of mine who shared his thoughts on the film, he said, “[Wonder Woman] blew the opportunity to actually, legitimately blow up gender norms and really set the tone for real, empowered women, not Hollywood, “I need Romeo to get off the island while I wear my spandex,” crap. On the timeline of feminism, this movie was like telling women they don’t need to wear an apron anymore. ”
What this friend doesn’t understand is that for every Batman, every Spiderman (CHRIST—PLEASE STOP MAKING SPIDERMAN REMAKES!), for every MALE Superhero he’s ever seen, there’s only ever been, besides Wonder Woman herself, female counter-parts that need HELP. Female=helpless. Female=Princess. Female= RESCUE ME.
What I explained to this friend is that “She didn’t need Romeo…[the male lead] as a metaphor for humanity, NEEDED HER.”
This same friend also thought that their outfits were too revealing and referred to their kick-ass battle gear as “booby shirts,” so there’s that…A totally biased male lens on a cinema experience that he’s used to having fueled by women who appeal to male desires. But really. No matter what we WEAR, we can wear it for ourselves and for battle. It is MORE THAN time to end the Princess parameters of success.
It’s time to rescue ourselves, and the planet.
Image by @Ciaraioch on twitter.