And, in today’s episode of ‘why women are terrifying’ we bring you a special report on armpit hair. Not just any armpit hair, either: this is superpower armpit hair belonging to none other than Wonder Woman herself. Magical superhero armpit hair.
…Or rather, lack thereof.
Some viewers of the soon-to-be-released Wonder Woman movie have keenly spotted a fairly large oversight in the film – Wonder Woman’s armpit are oddly bald. Didn’t catch it?
Fans have been quick to point out the obvious digital blurring of Gadot’s armpits, particularly in contrast to the rest of her body; whilst others are just generally put out that a bad-ass female superhero still needs to look like a Barbie doll.
— Sideshow Bob (@SideshowBob_st) 20 March 2017
Q: wouldn’t an amazon like Wonder Woman have unshaven armpits anyway?
— Drug Monkey (@drugmonkeyblog) 16 March 2017
okay the Wonder Woman movie looks rad but why does Diana have clean shaven armpits
— lil saguaro ???? (@lesssthanzero) 12 March 2017
Casually wondering when Wonder Woman shaves her armpits and how this cultural idiosyncrasy reached her homeland.
— Maski (@maskitheclown) 12 March 2017
The Twittersphere has literally been cleaved in two by Gadot’s (missing) armpit hair, with some fans feeling that’s a storm in a teacup.
“Wonder Woman is symbol of feminism and feminism means women being equal to men & doing whatever they want to do even shaving armpits,” wrote one Twitter user.
“For those who are complaining about #WonderWoman’s armpits. She is either made from clay or a demi-God… She may not EVER grow hair there,” pointed out another.
Most, however, were just face-palming over the absurdity of the situation:
Feminists: Stop judging women by their appearance!
Also Feminists: Wonder Woman is bad because she shaves her armpits. https://t.co/poVlxtRrb4
— Edesruc XX ???????? (@EdesruC) 20 March 2017
So, does it really matter if Wonder Woman has hairy armpits?
Here’s a few thoughts: realistically speaking, living on the isolated island of Themyscira, Wonder Woman was unlikely to have been privy to our modern Western obsession with hair removal. I daresay, as the Princess of the Amazons, she would have perhaps had more on her plate than locating a Schick before breakfast.
And even if she did, would she have cared? I mean, like, if you’re floating a few tasks (saving the world, being a God, falling in love) there may potentially be more on your mind than a hairy pit. Don’t you know that it’s scientifically proven that stress levels can be measured by the length of women’s leg hairs? (That’s a lie, but find me one woman with kids under the age of five who shaves above her knee.)
Geeky musings aside – we’re falling a little deep into the wormhole, people – I still believe it’s high time our big-screen female heroes maybe started to look like the rest of us. And whilst Gadot is a real-life goddess, a bit of hair couldn’t have hurt. Does she grow armpit hair? I bet she does. And I bet it’s lovely. And yet the producers have deemed it so offensive that it needed to be wiped out with a nuclear-strength CGI blurring tool.
Armpit hair represents so much more than simply fighting the male gaze: it’s about being strong, masculine, irreverent. It’s about refusing to inconvenience yourself for the convenience of appearing traditionally ‘sexy’. This might come as a rude shock, but there are actually some women in the world who like the look of underarm hair. Quelle horreur!
At the end of the day, Wonder Woman is Warner-Bros-branded escapism, not an exercise in tackling the aesthetic of modern feminine beauty. Sit back, crack the popcorn, and enjoy it. Hairy armpits or not.
Should film and television characters look more natural? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.