Wonder Woman Outed On Instagram For Having Cellulite… Changes Classic Outfit

Body ImageComicsWomanhood 1 Comment

In a page ripped right from social media reality, issue #20 of the Sensation Comics anthology series featuring Wonder Woman has the Amazonian warrior falling under the hateful scrutiny of internet trolls when an image of her dimpled derrière goes viral. Though she sarcastically brushes it off, does her decision to try “some new looks” show a crack in her own body image armor?

According to Tech Times, specific panels from the comic (see below) “have grown so popular that they’ve had over 100,000 likes and reblogs on Tumblr.” This is largely due to the caption the initial Tumblr-er included: “if you ever feel bad about your body remember that Wonder Woman has cellulite too.” With that, the internet erupted in cheers!

We’re all for celebrating this seemingly empowered moment where Wonder Woman, the epitome of perfection, not only discusses her cellulite, but delivers very relevant social commentary about how sad it is that the appearance of her butt got way more attention than how hard she was working that same butt off to help with the Mexican earthquake relief efforts.

“I love it too, but I’ve been trying some new looks recently. Someone Instagrammed my butt last month…”

However, it’s actually hard to cheer if you pay attention to the line that the story’s writer Alex de Campi has Wonder Woman say right before this in regard to the classic costume she was wearing in the image that went viral… “I love it too, but I’ve been trying some new looks recently.”

Perhaps this is just one interpretation, but we read this to mean that her internet shaming has caused her to rethink her classic outfit… i.e. Wonder Woman caved under the pressure and smoothed out her situation with a pair of superheroic spanx (notice in these panels she’s in full spandex leg-wear… yeah, we know, she’s in space in this story, but still). What a completely UNempowered moment.

Nonetheless, and in another mirror reflection of reality, de Campi does close out these few panels by having Wonder Woman blatantly mock how the level of scrutiny she receives is so very different than that of her male superhero counterparts, making the point that no one would ever ask Superman about his hair.

Have a look for yourself. What do you think?


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  • Peter Robertson

    I remember when “damned if you do; damned if you don’t,” was an expression of exasperation, not a kind of proud mission statement for social activist bloggers.
    Admittedly that was a combative start, I’ll try to explain.
    Wonder Woman must be ridiculously impossible to write for, given that her status as a feminist icon is put under immense and frankly, varied scrutiny depending on which type of feminist ideology or agenda a particular critic brings to the table.
    No place is that more true than in the case of her costume. The modern “classic” costume (about 30 years old) consists of not much more than a corset stitched to a bikini bottom, plus some jewelry. As those costumes have historically been drawn and designed by men, the critique it receives is sound and deserved. But then many WW artists, such as Cliff Chiang still find a way to transcend its skimpiness and project strength and dignity (like an Olympic athlete) in that tiny costume, so the debate becomes murky. Murkier still, female cosplayers, artists and female fans (feminists, most) understand its appeal; and celebrate the costume. Murkiest of all: her costume is seen by some as objectification alone, and critiqued harshly by the people who might identify the same critique of an actual woman dressed similarly as being slut shaming. I understand that the two are NOT the same, but there is nonetheless a similar paradox presented in this article.
    There’s holes in my comparison, I am certain, but my point is this:
    If a friend told me she was being trolled on Instagram and having her cellulite mocked as a result of being 24/7 in a bathing suit bottom, I would feel awful and outraged on her behalf, as a friend, colleague or simply a fellow human being. She has a right to dress as she pleases. BUT, if she told me that she had decided to change some of her public wardrobe for that reason – and lets be honest, in this case there is a lot of room to expand that wardrobe – I would express that I’m sad that she felt -or was unfairly made to feel – that way. Sad that she felt she had to make that change, but a.) Sadly, I understand it. I hate half the photos I am tagged in, even without anyone’s critique. I’d scarcely be able to handle nasty comments. My body image issues run deep and cause a great deal of anxiety, despite my gender and privilege. b.) That hopefully she will find outfits she equally loves and feels equally proud of and happy wearing. And c.) (brace yourself) It is HER decision to make. Whether it comes from a place of insecurity, or desire not to be harassed or judged. I wouldn’t see her as taking some easy route, simply by avoiding the awfulness that can be found in the comments section. And I certainly wouldn’t criticize her as having lost empowerment. Frankly, your version of empowerment is just as shaming. Just as judgmental. For failing to do what exactly? – not face millions of internet trolls with defiance or indifference? It’s a great ideal, but we are not all made that way.
    And of course, Wonder Woman is a superhero, not a real person. So it is a great idealized way to use fiction to tackle it. But not the only way.
    If she is to be written as a real character, (for those who actually read the books, and who don’t just rage post over internet trends) then maybe she should be allowed to also be portrayed as a real character. Nuanced and imperfect. Prone to our same insecurities and who makes the kinds of compromises a real person must make.
    Yes, in many ways, we hang our hopes for idealized, feminist wish fulfillment on her because it’s all we (YOU) know about her as a character. That symbolism.
    So today, we criticize her for caving and changing out of her WW suit; tomorrow, we’re back to calling it objectifying. And both days, I am certain, you won’t ever again pick up another WW comic. Which is a shame. Sensation Comics has made, with each guest writer, a genuine attempt to tackle different feminist issues in society as well as address many of the failures and shortcomings of WW’s depiction in comics of the past – with mixed results. Imperfection.
    In this era of Tumblr feminism and activism, nothing seems more en vogue lately, than attacking the imperfect ally with the same tone as you would the bigot. We sneeringly self celebrate the molehills we made into mountains today at the expense of people working in their ways to make things better – maybe just not according to your precise recipe. Your need to either approve of all of it, or dismiss it outright is telling. Because if somewhere a perfect feminist message exists, as much as it is likely not with a comic book writer, it is just as certainly not with you.