Smart, Sexy, Feminine and Strong

‘Wonder Woman’ Gives Female Superheroes Their Due

By J.A. Giresi

From the late ‘70s to the early ‘80s, I remember as a little girl flicking on the TV to watch Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. I remember my mother telling me, “This is what all women should aspire to: brains, femininity, strength and beauty…” However, that is not how Hollywood portrayed women on the screen, and for many years women were not given the same equality as men, especially when it came to female superheroes.

Over the years, the perception of strength and beauty has been misinterpreted. Female bodybuilding competitions, until recently, had encountered stigma that many female competitors had to endure— forcing many to withdraw for fear of ridicule. In fact, recently promoter Tim Gardner brought back women’s bodybuilding in the IFBB Chicago Pro Olympia qualifier.

Smart, Sexy, Feminine and Strong - How ‘Wonder Woman’ Is Finally Giving Female Superheroes Their Due
Super Mom Gina Aliotti is pictured with her children: David, 4½ and Nicolette, 2½

A good friend of mine was into bodybuilding until she became pregnant recently, but even as she trained, she endured stigma from friends and family, who asked, “Why do you want to look like a man?

Movies about female superheroes usually sounded the death knell with audiences, with titles like “Electra,” “Catwoman” and “Supergirl” all performing dismally at the box office. So, when DC decided to take a chance with Warner Brothers to bring “Wonder Woman to” the big screen, I must admit— I was skeptical. I have a general mistrust of Hollywood, and after seeing how they’ve butchered so many of my favorite comic book heroes and animes (how I still shudder when I think of “Dragonball: Evolution” or “Ghost In the Shell”), you can understand why I didn’t seem too thrilled about this project.

Last night, a group of close friends and myself decided to go see “Wonder Woman.” I didn’t know what to expect, but what I saw went far beyond my expectations.

I never thought that anyone except for Lynda Carter herself could pull off the famed female heroine, but I was wrong. Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot brought sex appeal, beauty, brains, comedy, strength and pathos to the character. I was also pleased that director Patty Jenkins took liberties with the character, bringing out Diana Prince’s quirky interest of fashion choices and those famed glasses.

Also, I loved the relationship between Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine. The two had an excellent dynamic, and showed the love between Wonder Woman and Steve very well. In fact, Chris Pine reminded me a little of Lyle Waggoner from the ‘70s TV series, and captured Captain Steve Trevor on the silver screen.

Overall, it was a fantastic film filled with high-octane action sequences and a great plot. There was an excellent support cast with Ewen Bremner, Saïd Taghmaoui and Eugene Brave Rock that tied the whole package in nicely. A nice touch was when we see Diana hurting after seeing the aftermath of war; it was a tour de force performance for Gadot. I was thoroughly impressed.

So, now it’s official— smart, sexy, feminine and strong— are now the mainstays in Hollywood when it comes to portraying female superheroes. Hopefully, this is a trend that continues, and female superheroes continue to be played with grace, dignity, strength and honor.

I also hope that it carries into society where little girls can and will aspire to wherever their dreams may take them.

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