When it comes to superhero movies, there always seems to be a scantily clad woman but with Wonder Woman, those roles are reversed.
For so long, we women have had to sit through every superhero movie with the male gaze but now, we have Wonder Woman. For those who are confused, the male gaze is typically a lens that superhero movies follow.
Let’s look at a movie that isn’t even a superhero flick! Star Trek: Into Darkness was criticized for a lot of things but one of those was the treatment of Carol Marcus. She became eye candy in the movie and there was a shot that literally showed us all her body. Why? Honestly, there’s no reason.
And most superhero movies fall victim to the same thing. They believe that only men are going to their movies. Which is idiotic because women make up the majority of the fanbase. But it isn’t just the idea that girls can’t love superhero movies, it is that we wouldn’t want to go and see them. I’m sorry but have you seen those hunks playing our heroes? Of course we want to go.
So now, for the first time in recent superhero years, the gaze of the film is flipped. And it’s not just because a woman is leading it. But Wonder Woman seems to be changing how we view our heroes and their love interests.
Steve Trevor, the Boy with No Powers
For those who don’t know, Steve Trevor crashes on Diana’s planet and brings her to the world of man. She comes from a planet of women and the Amazonian warrior comes to the world we know with Steve.
He has no powers, he’s just a normal man, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get to appreciate him. Yes, many can argue that Diana Prince herself is objectified because of her armor but really, watch this moment from the trailer and you’ll quickly realize that even in a sleeveless battle armor, she is one of the most imposing creatures to ever grace our screens.
Image courtesy of Warner Brothers via Tumblr
Okay now here is the thing, Diana isn’t where my eyes are drawn. Maybe that’s because I love Chris Pine even when he’s full clothed in a sweater but this, Steve shirtless and us getting a beautiful look at those back muscles is what we’ve always wanted.
So many times we want our hunks without their shirts off but we don’t even get that. So many times we have wanted to see these ‘powerful’ men fall to a woman’s will but it is rarely the case. And now, we’re getting Wonder Woman.
Steve sees Diana as an “angel” and he calls her such. To her, he is her beloved. But she knows that she has a greater purpose, but Steve is there at her side and letting her do whatever is necessary. It is a power switch that doesn’t demean the male character. He is not simply diminished to “Wonder Woman’s boyfriend”. He is a war hero and someone who can clearly hold his own.
For once, it is a somewhat even playing field without the other having superpowers. While some of the women counter parts can be cool in their own ways, they are still only seen as the significant other of the superhero. With Steve and Diana, they are important separately as well as together and it is really an amazing power dynamic that we haven’t seen before.
Wonder Woman hits theaters this June. Keep checking in here on Culturess as we get ready for this amazing movie!