Why The "Wonder Woman" Film Is So Important

Why The "Wonder Woman" Film Is So Important

"Wonder Woman" really needs to succeed.
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"Wonder Woman" comes out on June 2nd and there’s a reason you haven’t heard that much about it. Warner Brothers isn’t spending money on advertising for the film. That means no billboards, commercials, nothing.

This movie is an important one. It’s directed by Patty Jenkins starring Gal Gadot, making it the first superhero film with a female protagonist and a female director; and one of the first few films to have a woman direct a superhero movie at all. It’s been a tough battle for women to get behind the camera in Hollywood, and there’s no signs of it getting any easier. Fox recently announced their schedule of films for the next two years without a single woman listed as a director.

"Wonder Woman"’s budget for this film was $100m which seems like a big deal – until you compare it to other superhero films with male leads. "Captain America: Civil War" and "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" had a budget of $250m, and "X-Men: Apocalypse" had a budget of $178m. "Suicide Squad"’s budget was over $250m, before it even went under reshoots. Even in 2013, "Man of Steel" had a budget of $225m. In all reality, "Wonder Woman" is working with one of the lowest budgets of Warner Brothers films, and of any current superhero film. I’m not sure if the budget for "Wonder Woman" represents Warner Brothers lack of confidence in the franchise, or if it’s representative of the film industry’s attitude towards women as a whole. As Ashley Lynch from Film School Rejects stated, "It’s like a superhero wage gap." And with the low budget and lack of advertising for the film it certainly feels like a glass cliff effect – when men put women in the position of power but set them up to fail. So Warner Brothers can say “I told you so”, and continue to argue that superhero movies about women just don’t sell well. Which makes it all the more important that it does do well, to prove them wrong.

There are so many important aspects in the "Wonder Woman" film. For example, Gal Gadot is an Israeli actress who carried out two years of service as an enlisted soldier in the Israel Defense Forces. In the army, she excelled in a grueling three-month boot camp that prepared her to serve as a combat trainer - experience that has helped her in her casted roles. And then after serving in the army she studied law. She herself is a wonderful role model for girls – proof that girls can be strong and brainy and still attractive. She’s a wonder woman herself.

Female superheroes are always criticized for their attire, because they are created more for sexual appeal than actual function. But Lindy Hemmings, Oscar-winning costume designer, worked on adapting the costumes for function, while Jenkins aimed to cast multiple races and sizes for the beautiful Amazon warriors. Hemming explained that their armor is molded leather instead of metal, and Wonder Woman’s suit is made of rubbery material, worn close to the body but still leaving room for function. Gadot also asked that her training armor be adapted for comfort, so Hemming said they lined it with fur to keep it soft and warm.

Not only are the costumes created for function as well as fashion, but "Wonder Woman" will be the first comic book movie that will focus on a woman who is equal to super powered men. Feminism is not intrinsically “vs. men.” It is “vs. a system” that refuses to acknowledge and respect women as equal players, and that can have a lot of different implications. "Wonder Woman" is one of the first steps in challenging that system. Wonder Woman is the woman who can stand toe to toe with Superman, and it’s finally time we give her the time to shine. The scenes featuring Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor demonstrate an equal relationship, neither one being forced to play the “damsel in distress” role. The producers wanted both the character and actor to serve as a role model to youth. In some ways, she can act as a role model to young girls, fictional characters’ act as role models all the time. To young boys, "Wonder Woman" will counter the gender roles that they have been taught within this patriarchal society, and to young girls, they will have a superhero they can relate and look up to.

Last October, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the DC heroine who has stood for peace, justice, and equality, the United Nations declared October 21st officially Wonder Woman Day and appointed the Amazonian Princess as the Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls.

It was a huge step for female empowerment and gender equality. But two months later, Wonder Woman was stripped of her honorary ambassadorship because over forty-thousand people signed a petition protesting her appointment because they felt: "the character's current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit."

This is quite a controversial subject, and "Wonder Woman" has brought up quite a lot of controversy throughout the making of the film (photoshopping her arm pits, partnering with ThinkThin). But arguing that "Wonder Woman" is too large breasted to be a role model is up surd. Women have breasts, in all shapes and sizes. Women can also still be sexy (and have breasts) while also being smart and strong. And to attack Wonder Woman’s “sexy attire” is outrageous when no one has ever criticized how apparent male superhero’s bulges are in their tight costumes. Why are women the only ones subjected to this ridicule?

Yes "Wonder Woman" has its downfalls and isn’t the perfect example of a feminist film, but it does have a lot of power to push the film industry in the right direction, a direction that is long overdue. "Wonder Woman" is predicted to be such a pivotal project in expanding diversity and empowerment, but is only one major example of the many forms of resistance surfacing against these stereotypical gender portrayals within the media. There is a lot of wonderful aspects in the "Wonder Woman" film, and while it does mean positive strides for the grossly underrepresented women who work in this industry, there is still a long way to go.

There’s a lot riding on this first standalone film of a female super-heroine. This is a genre that is in danger of looking sexist, and an industry that is plagued by inequality. The franchise needs a huge box-office hit, and a character to root for.

Yes, "Wonder Woman" really needs to succeed.



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Sources:

https://filmschoolrejects.com/we-need-to-talk-about-that-wonder-woman-budget-ef4b1b70f6d8/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonder_Woman_(2017_film)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gal_Gadot

http://www.imdb.com/imdbpicks/17-things-wonder-woman/ls063273925?pf_rd_m=A2FGELUUNOQJNL&pf_rd_p=2951165182&pf_rd_r=0PQE67Y4QA2J01CBNYC5&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_t=15021&pf_rd_i=tt0451279&ref_=tt_ecw_wwoman_cap_pri_1

http://www.cinemablend.com/news/1602040/the-controversial-wonder-woman-news-that-has-shocked-gal-gadot

http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2017/05/11/wonder-woman-film-faces-backlash-over-controversial-marketing-technique/

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The Top 10 Gay-Themed Commercials That Should Be Celebrated

Gay-themed advertisements are an important part of our representation in pop culture. Here are the ten best gay-themed commercials that deserve celebration.

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Advertisements have a long history of reflecting and influencing popular culture. As someone from one of the boroughs of New York City, I've always been surrounded by advertisements. So it is extremely obvious to me why representation in these advertisements matter. Commercials online and on television are no exception. As a gay man, I'd like to present you with ten commercials that make me feel a sense of pride.

1. Israeli Gays Get Distracted On The Beach

Israel is a safe haven for LGBTQ people living in the Middle East. While places like Saudi Arabia and Iran treat gay men horrifically by enforcing Sharia Law, Israel welcomes them with open arms. That open minded attitude was even more obvious with this commercial from 2006.

2. Pepsi Brings Out The Confidence In One Guy (With A Gay Twist)

This Pepsi ad from the UK has a comedic twist that will delight the viewer with the main character's confidence. I find the women's reaction to him passing by each of them even more humorous than his friend's reactions.

3. Doritos Gay Sauna Contest Entry That Could've Gayed Up The Super Bowl

This commercial was created as a contest entry where aspiring filmmakers could create commercials for Doritos. The winning entry would be aired during the Super Bowl and the filmmaker would win a cash prize. This viral smash didn't make it, however. It seemed unfair, as several straight-themed commercials feature tons of innuendo. Unfortunately, it seems as though gay male sexuality is still threatening to some.

4. Campbell's Soup Portrays The Adorable Gay Household We All Wish We Had

This Campbell's Soup commercial is a short and sweet depiction of two gay dads sharing a sweet moment with their son. If it proves anything, it's that gay households are just like any other.

5. Marriage Equality Gets An Endorsement From Tide

While marriage equality has been a source of debate over the years, the only thing wrong with this union was the attire chosen for it. A brilliant twist ending courtesy of Tide.

6. This Heinz Commercial Is A Gay New Yorker's Dream Come True

As a gay man and a New Yorker, this commercial makes me very happy. Affection between same sex couples hasn't always been something we could see on television. However, this Heinz commercial squashes all that.

7. A Sweet And Unexpected Coming Out At McDonald's

This McDonald's commercial from Taiwan features a twist ending that is heartfelt, not comedic. For anyone who has struggled coming out, this should hit you right in the feels!

8. Sister And Brother Fight Over The Hot Pool Boy... With Coca-Cola

A nice bottle of Coke is quite refreshing. Who knew it was the perfect ice-breaker to approach your crush? This ad features a brother and sister competing for the pool boy's attention. However, it seems like someone else beat them at their own game.

9. This IKEA Commercial Was A Historic Turning Point

This classic IKEA ad from 1994 was groundbreaking for gay representation in advertising. It would be remiss of me not to include this important commercial on the list.

10. What Happens When Your Dad Sets You Up On A Tinder Date?

It's always nice to have your parents acceptance. However, even for gay guys, parents can get a little too close for comfort. This Vote Savvy ad portrays just that. But hey, they mean well, right?

Whether comedic, heartfelt, or provocative, these ten commercials have done wonders for gay male representation in advertising. It also reflects the representation of gay men around the world. From Israel to Taiwan to the UK, these commercials reflect the growing acceptance around the gay community. As far as I'm concerned, that's something to be celebrated.

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