Superhero movies are one of the most major movie franchises out there, and thankfully as time goes by more badass female superheroes are being portrayed on the big screen. But, it's how they're being portrayed in advertising that's concerning.
Take Black Widow for example, although she is one of the main stars of the Avengers franchise, there is almost no Black Widow merchandise. Same goes for female X-Men, Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy and basically every single female superhero. Why wouldn't there be merchandise for the female members of superhero teams? The lack of representation is startling.
Additionally, think of female superheroes in posters. The male superheroes are often shown in stances of power and strength, but when it comes to female superheroes, all too often they're sexualized in advertising rather than being shown as the strong, competent, kick-butt characters that they are.
This is why Wonder Woman is such a refreshing change of pace for female movie goers like myself who just want to see a woman kick ass without being sexualized out the wazoo. Wonder Woman's posters didn't have her stick out her butt, push out her boobs or attempt to make her look overly feminine. No, Wonder Woman posters portrayed her as strong, powerful and independent.
Wonder Woman's movie is clearly not the first to display a female superhero, so what's interesting is the overwhelming response women have had to this movie. Girls everywhere are dressing up and idolizing Wonder Woman. In my life, I've seen a little girl dressed up as Black Widow once, and I've seen twenty little Wonder Women in the last month alone. Wonder Woman was shown to be strong and completely on her own, she accepts help, but no one has any doubt that she could save the whole world by herself. She is just as strong, smart and competent as any male superhero. For the first time, little girls have a superhero to look up to.
Representation matters. To see a woman being strong is important. Without that representation, how could anyone believe that a woman can also be just as great a superhero, if not better?
A little kid can't look up to a superhero who doesn't exist outside a movie, they also can't look up to a superhero whose outfit would better belong on a stripper pole than in combat. The fact that toys, posters, and t-shirts exist of Wonder Woman is an amazing thing! Girls now see this great symbol of female empowerment everywhere!
The branding of Wonder Woman was a spectacular move. One can only hope that such strides in advertising continue to happen as more female superheroes reach the theaters such as Captain Marvel, Mera and The Wasp.