Thursday, December 29, 2005

Wonder Woman Should Be Tall


At work, there's a entryway on the airplane that I can't climb into without a hand up. I'm a decent height as women go, but I am just a couple inches too short to boost myself into it. Most of the men I work with get in there fine, so they can give me a hand up afterwards. This afternoon I was standing helplessly outside this entryway (as the staircase to the main cabin had not yet been set up) and contemplating Mallet's comment on the Wonder Woman/Green Lantern picture in my previous post when something occurred to me: Wonder Woman should never be in this situation.
(Yes, There's More)

And I don't mean because she can fly, or jump really high.

No, I mean because Wonder Woman should be tall. I don't care what the Secret Files profile pages say. She should be tall. Not "tall for a woman." I mean, outright tall. Divinely tall. Tall for anybody.

As I stated earlier, Wonder Woman radiates largeness.

This effect should be enhanced by her physical makeup, not despite it.

She should tower over other women, and most men.

Think about it.

What does she represent? Truth and Femininity. Perhaps even, the Truth of Femininity.

What did her creator intend originally? By nearly all accounts I've read, William Moulton Marston was a Female Supremicist who intended to show the best most outspoken parts of femininity through her, without shame or shyness.

Do you think this man intended for his creation to stand in the picture, looking normal? No, he wanted her to dazzle and delight everyone. He wanted her to attract and overpower everyone. He wanted Wonder Woman to be outstanding!

And Wonder Woman should be outstanding!

No, Wonder Woman must be outstanding!

She must stand out, to better encourage all women to stand out!

She must be also somewhat large.

And I don't mean muscular and masculine large.

I don't mean obese either (but I can't see why she shouldn't have charming fat deposits on her tummy and hips like a real woman anyway.)

I mean feminine large.

I mean tall and curvy, big hips and breasts.

She must be vital, powerful and beautiful. The Brave Little Tailor image of the small hero facing the huge beast may work for Green Lanterns but not for Wonder Woman. Diana who teaches that women can overcome any and all barriers should never look small. She should never look like a "normal woman" because Diana represents what is extraordinary about womanhood! All that's wonderful and enjoyable and admirable about femininity.

How could you want to cut that short?

Diana should never be short, because she is the Height of Womanhood. She is Femininity at its Largest. She was created during a time when women were still were encouraged to think small, act small, and repress their Largeness (their ambition, their demonstrativeness, their lust, their Loisity) because men don't like that. Diana, in her need to explore and experience, attempted this as Diana Prince. She kept her height, but she pinned down her ample bosom underneath a dark suit, slicked her bushy Greek hair back, and hid her eye makeup behind glasses.

But even she chafed under all that polyester.

Even she constantly rolled her eyes at stupidity it was taboo to point out.

Even she said "Enough is Enough! My Largeness can no longer be contained! I need to fight, drink, dance!"

So, Diana becomes Wonder Woman, and she tosses that attitude aside.

Large as life and twice as bright, as the saying goes. But she does stop there. For Diana, it is not enough to just be Large.

Diana embraces her Largeness.

She flaunts her Largeness.

Hell, she's worn her Largeness over her activewear for 63 years running now -- "Miss Femininity 1942-2005."

Remember Steve Trevor? (The early years). The very man who ignored her traditional small alter ego fell head over heels for her Large, Lusty True Self!

Why is that?

Is that because she's a normal woman who can lift cars? No, many women in the DCU can do that.

It's because she's Wonder Woman, Dammit.

She's unstoppable and overwhelming to all. She bursts off the page with all the combined energy of a single working mother rushing to get her kids to school before her meeting, a teacher who sees a child running with scissors, a shopper at a Boxing Day sale, a woman who watches pornography to heckle, a new airfield worker trying to get her lazy-ass coworkers to train her, and a female slash-fic writer who sees a male character saying his favorite pick-up line to another male character.

Diana lives to explore and conquer new territory (with loving submission, of course). She is the first woman to leave her homeland in three thousand years! Now that is a Large thought. That is the Largeness inside of every woman screaming to get out and see the world.

Diana is supposed to look on the outside how all women look on the inside.

Not a delicate frail fair maiden, but a vibrant goddess of life and beauty. And yes, a giantess! A beautiful, talented, amazing, strong giantess who can pick up any man she wants and carry them to the Temple of Aphrodite (Route 6, Exit 51) for a sweet night of physical pleasure, political philosophy, and bondage games.

And who doesn't need Joshua to give her a boost into the airplane.

32 comments:

  1. Awesome post! I agree completely!

    Except you know:

    female slash-fic writer who sees a heterosexual male character saying his favorite pick-up line to another heterosexual male character

    should be followed by "and having it be accepted."

    Just sayin'.

    :-P

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  2. I have no problem with Wonder Woman being big. None at all. But she can't be taller than Superman. I'm sorry, but no one who is supposed to represent normal human proportions should be taller than Superman. She can be the same height; that's fine. But not taller.

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    1. Wonder woman doesn't represent normal human proportions she's an Amazon, built by the Greek gods and goddesses, and even becomes a goddess herself, she symbolizes Amazon superiority and is at peak Amazon physique meaning tall, built, yet curvy and toned she's easily 6'4/6'5

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  3. You know she's standing on a box in that picture from New Frontier, dont'cha?

    KIDDING!

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  4. "She was created during a time when women were still were encouraged to think small, act small, and repress their Largeness ... because men don't like that."

    You mean DIDN'T like that? (Past tense) Or you mean SOME men don't like that? (present tense) I love women small and tall ... with a healthy sprinkling of Loisity ... so do many men ... but especially tall brunettes who remind me of Wonder Woman :)

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  5. I agree completely. Of course, I now have cognitive dissonance trying to match this theory up with my love for the art of Mike Sekowsky, who drew everyone kinda short. But his WW did capture the largeness that you want.

    I also wonder if this doesn't help explain why Lynda Carter was such a good choice for the TV version.

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  6. Nice post. (And before anyone says it, yeah, I know my bias regarding Diana has been previously made embarrasingly clear.) It's obvious to me that since Wonder Woman is the epitome of Amazon-ness, that this has got to mean that she is more than just tall, she's got to be statuesque. One of the things that makes classical statues impressive is that they are so much larger than we are while they preserve human proportions at the same time. And to me, this means that Wonder Woman is simply bigger than Superman and the rest. (Sorry, diamondrock.)

    You're right to say that Marston intended WW to dominate the men she met, not just be their equal. (I've been reading about M. in Daniel's WW: The Complete History.) Marston wrote in a letter: "Frankly, Wonder Woman is psychological propoganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world." (Just take a moment and really read that sentence! It's no surprise that the first-draft title of the comic was "Suprema, the Wonder Woman.") Marston believed if women attained full strength, confidence in their superiority, and acknowledged their femininity and sexuality, that the process through which these wonder women submitted to loving relationships with the planet's men would usher in an edenic utopia on earth. (Mmmmm, utopia on earth.)

    Diana is supposed to look on the outside, how all women look on the inside.

    Exactly right!

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  7. Linda Carter was perfect for the role. She was on a Law & Order episode recently, and still looks great.

    I like this panel. Where is it from? Their poses are perfect. Superman's stiff-upper-lipness and WW's "Listen, bud" stance. It looks like a frame from an old movie.

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  8. Yes, Wonder Woman should be large.

    I thought that was understood, her being an Amazon and all. I mean, isn't that part of the Amazon archetype?

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  10. Also I don't want a woman to carry me off to a temple to make love.

    I'd much rather have her buy me a rascle scooter.

    Cause those things kick ass.

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  11. One last thing the average height in the us puts women at 5'4" and men at 5'8" on an average. She's 7" taller then a normal woman and 3" taller then most men.

    She's taller then every single member of my family *Except* me, my father grand father, cousins and uncles included. She's taller then everybody at my work besides me and one other guy.

    She's always been drawn curvy and at least that tall. I only have a problem when she's made into some one whose easily 6'6" or bigger.

    You can't say it's because the Amazons are either because they've always been drawn at a normal height. Also I've never read anything other then what amounts to Amazons just being larger then normal women. Wondy still fits that bill.

    I can't vouch for what every woman is on the inside, but it might just be that not every single one is a giantess. Not every single man is a "superman" on the inside. So therefore they should be drawn to look more normal, every hero should. that way somebody who maybe is timid can see what amounts to a normal woman or man fighting for something better. Thats far more inspiring to me then a god like being coming down from the heavens and making everything right.

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  12. Oh I've been thinking and I came to an important realisation. It's why I delted a post and it can all be found here.

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  13. Not every woman might be an amazon on the inside, but Wonder Woman represents the ideal more than Superman does for every man.

    However both Wonder Woman and Superman should be idealized because they represent that pure potential all of us has inside.

    And Wonder Woman should be even more so, because even as mallet points out, women are on average shorter than men. This is why Diana should be *taller*. Women are *still* growing up encouraged to keep themselves contained, to avoid unseemly emotional displays, to act lady-like. Many girls are *still* encouraged to hide their achievements and intellect because "boys don't like girls who are smarter than them".

    As long as there *is* this outwardly imposed inequality, Wonder Woman *needs* to be not only formidable mentally and emotionally, she needs to be large. It's a visual symbol.

    Besides, in greek myth, people were very much taller than average. The gods, the titans...why in the world would the greek goddesses create their new child to be small?

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  14. Well we'll never agree as I've pointed out.

    You guys want her to visually represent perfection of womanhood or something simaller.

    I just care that she acts like a hero should. And a Hero dosn't have to be physically big to actually be big.

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  15. Excellent post, Ragnell.

    At 6ft (according to the DC Encyclopedia) she's 3 inches taller than me. That should be her absolute minimum height. She's Wonder Woman. I want to be able to look up to her, both literally and figuratively.

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  16. Diamondrock -- I would've thought so too until I saw that picture. I think it's really cool how he's standing as tall and straight as he can, and his eyes only reach her chin while she's slouching.

    Walaka -- Yeah man, I'm looking at the JLA Showcase collection right now and he does a good Wonder Woman. But, he draws everybody the same height so it's forgivable, I guess. Tends to do a lot of butt shots on Green Lantern, though.

    Melchior -- I knew you'd like this one. I do wish more writers would take up Marston's model instead of just trying to write a woman. The modern stories would be a lot more popular, I think.

    Rich -- Panel's by Darwyn Cooke, from The New Frontier and there's more like it in there. Pick up the trade, man. It's an excellent portrayal of her all around.

    Mallet -- On averages, you do realize that that usually is taking into account the extremely short, also, right? That brings the average down.

    Most women I know are between 5'6 and 5'9, and most men I know breach 6 feet.

    And most people in comics are above that also.

    "You guys want her to visually represent perfection of womanhood or something simaller."

    Actually, we want her to represent the potential of womanhood, which, as Melchior stated above, she was intended to represent -- but you're close.

    So yes, she should be tall physically, to demonstrate that women have the potential to figuratively tower over the heads of men.

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  17. I still disagree but then again she's not my hero anyway.

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  18. I seem to recall Wonder Woman as drawn LARGE in one of the Superman books, by McGuinness, I think, in an issue where Lois was indulging in jealousy of her sometime in... oh, I think '98 or '99... She definitely looked larger than 6'1"... I remember Kristen from high school, she was that height, but when I think of Diana, I always think of the Eastern European women I saw touring with Up With People in '96... They were large, athletic, well built, they towered over me in presence...

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  19. I picked up two issues of NEW FRONTIER. I can't find the trade yet. Wonder Woman IS taller than Superman. I'm kinda middle-of-the-road on the subject of her height ... but she does look GREAT when she's taller than Superman :)

    Thanks for the tip, Ragnall.

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  20. What? WW is listed at 5'11 or 6'0? Not a chance! 6'4" minimum. And absolutely taller than Superman. Clark's a fine specimen, but Diana was made from clay by a greek god! Her proportions are going to be... Intelligently Designed?

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  21. I totally agree. I mean, what does it mean when you call a woman an Amazon? Either than she's a lesbian or she's freaking huge. Statuesque.

    On the other hand, I really want Black Canary to be short. I think her secret files and origins says she's 5'4 but she's always drawn as pretty tall. This is mostly because I want there to be a superhero who is close to my height and can still kick people in the head.

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  22. This is a fantastic article, and I agree totally, especially since I am 6 feet tall and somewhat self concious of it =( It made me feel better, thanks ^^

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  23. men are taller than women because of the way we are designed sorry get over it

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    1. I am a woman who is taller than most men so I guess the design was flawed.

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  24. I agree with your comments about Wonder Woman, but "truth and feminity"? What's "feminity"???

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  25. I agree! She should be tall! And it makes me so mad that when they cast her for a new movie odds are she's going to be about 5'6"! They should look for a tall unknown to play her! Us tall girls don't even get a chance to play a role we were designed for! sighhhhh.....
    Oh and to the anonymous person who said that Men are taller than women, Not all of us are short... I'm 6'4 1/2" and I tower over almost EVERYBODY...even the guys I know.

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  26. I am pro-bigness for Wonder Woman. Yeah, even compared to men.

    I find it continually bizarre that people who read comic books try to argue realism, hehe. "She's taller than most men!" Er, so?

    What amuses me about the conversation generally is that the anti-tall WW are offering up a "realistic" depiction of height, while the pro-tall WW are arguing symbolism.

    So I'll just say the people who are anti-tall WW are being sexist. They're using a faulty argument (that it's REALISTIC that she shouldn't be taller - ugh, you know what else would be realistic? No superpowers at all. Terribly realistic. So let's throw THAT one out the window, hehe) to justify why their male heroes should be bigger than our female heroes. Ouch.

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  27. I like to look up to my Heroes.

    As such, I see Superman looking like Clint Walker hin his Prime, 6'6" (Walkers height) and maybe even a just little more built, like 255 pounds of muscle. He represents all positive strong masculine traits. Clark can be big too, its an easy excuse for his size that he was a farm kid from kansas, him being big fits the stereotype of fram kid perfectly.

    WonderWoman, likewise, represents everything that is good and strong in femininity. I think she should be taller than the average mortal man. She should be around 6'3" or 6'4" and perhaps a muscular 205 pounds. She should look as strong as a woman will get Without anabolic steroids (which are male hormones). Look up the Fitness model Mikalya Miles, who is 6'3.5" and about 205 pounds. Very strong looking physique, but not like a steroid user. I think Wonder Woman would have a different looking face, but a similar build. Lets not forget that she is an Olympic Demigodess. She should be tall.

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  28. I liked this post, but one thing stands out to me, and turned me off quite a bit. Should Wonder Woman be big like you describe? Absolutely. But why must she be BIGGER than men? I don't get it. I thought the point of Feminism was to gain equality. When Feminists begin to want not equality, but superiority, then it's the same sexist crap all over again, but with a gender swap. Do I mind that WW is taller than Superman? Not at all, and here's why: Superman still has to maintain the persona of mild-mannered Clark Kent. Make him too big in physical size, and it's even harder to buy it that people don't catch onto his identity. There's that duality there that has to be maintained. WW, meanwhile, doesn't have that, even when she does have a secret identity. She's still one person no matter which identity she's using. Superman, meanwhile, is practically three people. But must she tower over EVERYONE? I don't think so. Her actions speak louder than anything else. And really, if Wonder Woman were stereotypically short, wouldn't it send a positive message that her shortcomings in stature don't affect the good she does, or the things she represents? I'm just saying. Still, I really hope you're not one of those Feminists who fights for Superiority. It's no better than those Anti-Feminist Men who boast of their own Superiority. The message that should be sent isn't that either sex is better than the other, but that both sexes are just as capable. THAT is the kind of thing I'd expect to hear from a Superhero.

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  29. I just saw a recent Superman animated feature inwhich WW stands toe to toe with Supes, if a motion picture is made WW shld be digitally enhanced to appear larger and more awsome. She wld need to be at least 6'4" tall.

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