Fans are disappointed, but not surprised, with the change to Amazon costumes from Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman to Zack Snyder’s Justice League. The Golden Lasso posted an article about the costumes that Wonder Woman’s Amazon sisters are wearing in Justice League, and how they differ from the costumes in Wonder Woman‘s own movie.
Leather bikinis. The Amazon warriors in Justice League are wearing leather bikinis.
Zack Snyder caused an Amazonian uproar on social media when he started sharing pictures of Amazons from Justice League in leather bikinis. This abrupt change of direction is a shock and these outfits look like generic barbarian women from a game of Dungeons and Dragons. They completely lack the unique flavor of the Greco-Roman-inspired armor ensembles that Lindy Hemming put so much thought and historical research into creating for Wonder Woman. The Wonder Woman designs received acclaim from fans and costume fanatics alike. They were clearly inspired by the Amazon’s origins in the Mediterranean and were feminine but very functional. Why mess with perfection? Oh, right. The all-male team of directors and executive directors wanted women to fight in bikinis.
Confession: I used to read Red Sonja and Conan comic books in my younger days. I loved Roy Thomas’ writing. I hated Red Sonja’s chain-mail bikini. It has got to be the most impractical costume in the history of comic books. (Roy did much better with Valda, the Iron Maiden in the Arak, Son of Thunder comic books.) Bikinis, whether metal or leather, are not practical fighting garb. Bikinis are good at grabbing male interest, especially the crucial 16-34 year old male demographics. And as near as I can tell, that’s the only reason for changing the outfits the Amazons wore from Wonder Woman to Justice League.
My colleague, SCIFI.radio writer Wyatt D. Odd, said, “Wonder Woman was hailed as ground-breaking for its portrayal of smart, beautiful, competent warrior women – including Diana – without going to cheesecake. This would seem to be a betrayal of all that.”
It’s an unfortunate fact that fantasy novels, comic books, and movies rarely feature women in practical armor. Power Girl comes to mind as an example, as do Starfire, Star Sapphire, Supergirl, Black Canary, the White Queen, and a host of others. Comic books, the common knowledge goes, are written for teenage boys, and were originally written (in some cases) by teenage boys. News flash: girls like comic books, too. For decades, in order to read about an interesting heroine, female fans had to put up with the T&A of artwork designed to appeal to hormonal male teenagers.
“When the show was number three, I figured it was our acting. When it got to be number one, I decided it could only be because none of us wears a bra.” Farrah Fawcett-Majors on Charlie’s Angels
The same was true in Hollywood, and has been for years. Certainly the costume Lynda Carter wore was designed more to appeal to male viewers than to inspire females to emulate her courage and determination. Even today, Wonder Woman’s costume provides far more eye candy and far less protection than the armor her teammates wear.
It’s hard for women, real or fictional, to be respected for their deeds and their intellect rather than their physical appearance. It’s even harder when Hollywood insists that women are eye candy first, and people second. The recent raft of complaints of sexual harassment in Hollywood are proof of that. Page Six reported that Gal Gadot will not sign a contract to film the sequel to Wonder Woman unless Brett Ratner, who has been accused of sexual harassment, is removed from the project by Warner Brothers. The studio has denied this rumor, but many film industry media are repeating it.
Justice League, starring Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Ezra Miller as the Flash, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg, opens in theaters on November 17, 2017.
It turns out that the leather bikinis are, in fact, not the “modern” look of the Amazons, but of how the Justice League movie portrays them in a flashback sequence from thousands of years ago, while their appearance in present day is much as they appeared in the Wonder Woman movie.
The original images that got everybody talking came from Golden Lasso reporter Melissa Silverstein’s tweet showing the flashback costumes alongside the ones from Wonder Woman.
Here is a fantastic example of the difference between the male and female gaze.
Patty Jenkins' Amazon warriors on the left. Zack Snyder's on the right. pic.twitter.com/fRDkV8dFLe
— Melissa Silverstein (@melsil) November 12, 2017
Rob Keyes, a reporter from Screen Rant, scolded her publically. “Do your research”, he said.
Research, Melissa. Those are the costumes from 1000s of years ago. The modern costumes look nothing like this. Facts. Facts still matter. They're super important! I was on set and saw the movie. If you want facts, I can help.
— Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes) November 13, 2017
Here’s what we’re actually getting. As you can see from this tweet, they’re much more in line with what we saw in Wonder Woman, and if anything, they’re closer to authentic Greek armor than anything we’ve seen to date.
Of course, the debate still rages on Twitter about whether the flashback Amazon costumes sexualize the women unnecessarily, and not everyone is convinced that they don’t.