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THE ISSUE OF WONDER WOMAN’S SIZE
May 23, 2015 By Brett Jett
THE ISSUE OF WONDER WOMAN’S SIZE
by Brett Jett
“Truth is…I thought you’d be taller, or bigger muscles and all that. %@#&! You’re pretty spry though.” —Angel, in season 1 of Buffy TVS.
Ever since Israeli actor Gal Gadot was casted to play the first on-screen part of Wonder Woman, a certain segment of fans have protested it as a mistake. According to these particular fans, Gadot is too skinny, not “Amazonian” tall enough, and doesn’t have large bouncy breasts. Well…that’s quite an expectation!
Some people feel WW should look lovely, like a supermodel. Others think she should be statuesque, tall, claiming that the very nature of being an Amazon is to be tall. Although that notion of Amazons is false, its nice that everyone has their own ideas about how Wonder WW should look, her body type, size, etc.
But the most disturbing part of all of this is that many of those fans have asserted that their demands are based on the original WW concept. As a scholar of the original Marstonian WW design, I can testify that their assertion is false.
Joss Whedon understood Dr. Marston’s concept in Wonder Woman’s size that he applied to his Buffy, as did many of the other creators of the various WW archetypal successors….Rob Thomas, Luc Besson, JJ Abrams, etc. That concept was originally expressed in one of Wonder Woman’s comics stories where she says:
WW: I’m often asked the secret of Amazon strength. Its this–the human brain contains enough energy to blow up mountains. Amazon girls are trained to direct their brain power into their muscles! My muscles are no larger than a normal girl’s should be.
Priscilla (after measuring WW): She has perfect “modern Venus” measurements!
WW: Miss Rich is an athlete–her muscles are like mine. Yet she cannot break this little chain.
My amazon training sends brain power to my hands and–Hola!
Since Joss and the other creators understood it, so should all of you fans.
Additionally, Dr. Marston had portrayed Wonder Woman’s body size in comparison to other Amazons, throughout his comics run. He would show large, and exceptionally tall Amazons. Then he’d show small, short and fat Amazons. While standing next to these extreme-sized Amazons, it was clearly evident that Wonder Woman was in the middle…a mesomorph…not too skinny or short, and not too tall or thick. That was the original idea/design.
Why did he make her average sized? I could not find any rationale that he wrote. Perhaps it was to serve as a template to help all women of various sizes to see themselves not too far from being like Wonder Woman. Who knows?
And in regards to fans’ comments about WW’s boobs needing to be voluptuous, there was nothing about Dr. Marston’s original design that said WW had to have plump breasts. Fans’ expectation of plump breasts as a WW staple is simply a Lynda Carter incidental. It was not the original “has-to-be-there” design. If you take a look at the Golden Age original comicbooks, you can clearly see that WW never had large breasts or even much of any cleavage.
Sure, some artists have drawn her to have very voluptuous, sexy breasts. But those were simply their interpretations of WW’s body. They could never claim to represent the default, original requirement of the character.
Don’t worry about Gal Gadot’s size suitability to play Wonder Woman….she’s toning up (not too much though)….she’s just right, fine for the part. And true to the original Marston concept. She’s our gal.
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