Posted on: June 29, 2017
For our bonus blog, Daniel Laluna Psy.D, discuss a little lighter topic of Wonder Woman: Saving more than just the day. Wonder Woman has surpassed the $600 million mark and counting. There is a reason she is such a role model. Grab a second cup of coffee and enjoy this!
Featured Expert: Daniel Laluna, Psy.D
Wonder Woman: Saving More Than Just the Day
When we think of superheroes, the first ones that come to mind are more often than not some variation of the following: Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and The Hulk. Prior to the critically and commercially acclaimed Wonder Woman film, starring Gal Gadot, I would be very surprised to find Wonder Woman or any other female superhero on the top of your superhero list when asked to name one. Wonder Woman has already smashed numerous box office records, which includes the highest opening ever ($103 million dollars) for a female director. More importantly, Wonder Woman provides the pop culture world and young girls in particular the newest prominent and empowered female character in mainstream media.
The importance of equal gender representation on the big and small screens is significant due to the impact and role that mainstream media exposure, observational modeling, and identity formation can have on young individuals. When it comes to the titular character in Wonder Woman, she provides young girls the message that she can not only save the world, but be viewed as a real and complex person as well. At times, female characters in film/TV appear to simply serve the purpose of being the love interest of male characters and lack any substantial motivation or character journey of their own. Furthermore, when female characters do have significant screen time, they seem to only have dialogue related to male characters. The Bechdel Test is a film/TV term that assesses whether or not a film/TV show includes a scene where two female characters have dialogue or an actual conversation about anything not related to men. Shockingly, a lot of films/TV shows fail this test. Thank goodness for Wonder Woman! Not only does Wonder Woman pass the Bechdel test with flying colors, but it also flips the script on the male lead character essentially portraying the love interest/guy in distress that more often than not female characters find themselves portraying.
Wonder Woman has the opportunity to build upon historically strong fictional, empowered female characters, which include Buffy Summers, Katniss Everdeen, Xena Warrior Princess, and Hermione Granger. Wonder Woman proves that she saves more than just the day. Her character is not meant to serve as a plot device for the male characters in the film, exists as a complex character that has strengths, weaknesses, and an overarching thematic purpose. She gets to fall in love, beat the bad guys, save the world, and try/enjoy ice cream for the first time in her life. Whether or not parents or kids are superhero fans, there is little doubt that Wonder Woman hits all the right notes for a great film necessary and highly relevant in today’s world. More importantly, Wonder Woman provides audiences an empowered female character type that hopefully one day will become the norm, as opposed to a once in a while occurrence.