When Wonder Woman was released this past summer, it was a wisp of fresh air for many, for multiple reasons. Firstly, it was the first DC comic book movie that didn’t take itself so damn seriously; a film that wasn’t afraid to use vibrant colors and didn’t opt for a sepia and grayscale color palette in its cinematography. Secondly, it was the first major female-led superhero flick that actually put more emphasis into the “Wonder” part than the “Woman” part.
Since it was directed by a woman, it didn’t portray overly sexualized women. The Amazon warriors were beautiful, to be sure, but they weren’t exactly models sporting skimpy costumes. They were gladiatorial women whose costumes reflected both their abilities and their island homeland climate.
That all changed with Zack Snyder’s recently-released Justice League. The 300 director loves his scantily-clad women, and the scene in which the Amazons defend themselves from the film’s big baddie was filled with plenty of robust women wearing costumes that more than showed off their abs.
This change in costuming from film to film has caused a bit of an uproar in the fan community, with many calling out that the costumes in Justice League (which were designed by a man) oversexualized the Amazons as opposed to the costumes in Wonder Woman (which were designed by a woman) that depicted a far more appropriate image of them.
The reason for this commotion isn’t simply that the costumes are revealing, it’s that they make absolutely no sense (what kind of protection could they possibly provide for warriors?) and are simply eye candy to distract from the bombastic CGI fest that’s going on. Other fans are defending the decision, stating that there were indeed some women in Wonder Woman who donned skimpy training outfits. However, training outfits and battle armor are two very different things.
Since the time of this uprising, however, one of the stuntwomen named Samantha Jo who worked on the film spoke up about it. She immediately dispelled any rumors that Snyder and costume designer Michael Wilkinson were in any way trying to oversexualize the Amazons.
“I have NEVER felt more empowered than I have on Zack Snyder sets,” she stated. “I have never once been told to stand in a pretty way or perform something with more skin or feminine movements. I have been most appreciated for my strong stances and posture in my fighting. I’ve always felt not just comfortable, but confident in what I was wearing and how I was being represented.”
She continues: “Yes, the Wonder Woman costumes might have covered some women up a little more, but….there was chafing, scrapes, pinched and bruised skin….For practical reasons, I personally was very happy when Michael offered up solutions for my Justice League costume that made me the most comfortable in my work and in my body.”