Entertainment Celebrity Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot hits back at body shamers

Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot hits back at body shamers

Gal Gadot Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot did not let the body shaming haters get to her. Photo: Getty
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Actress Gal Gadot has hit back at body-shamers for claiming she wasn’t “curvy enough” for her role as the iconic heroine in Wonder Woman.

Despite the superhero film becoming a box-office success, so far raking in $800 million globally and becoming the highest-earning female-directed film, it wasn’t enough to prevent its leading lady being roundly criticised over her appearance.

In a world where one day a celebrity can be shamed for putting on weight and the next day told they’re too skinny, Gadot’s tall and thin physique was singled out for “not being curvy enough”.

“Listen, if you want to be for real, then the Amazons, they had only one boob. Exactly one boob,” Gadot told Rolling Stone magazine, alluding to the warrior women of Greek mythology who removed a breast to better draw back the strings on their bows.

“So what are you talking about here? Me having small boobs and a small a***?

“That will make all the difference.”

The 32-year-old former Miss Israel was cast for the role partly because of her military service, having served the mandatory two years in the Israeli army – experience which gave her a unique advantage over other actresses vying for the part.

In addition, Gadot committed to a six-month intense training regime in the lead-up to and during filming. The Israeli-born actress described in various media interviews that her rigorous daily schedule involved gym work, martial arts – especially kickboxing – and horseback riding.

She and fellow Wonder Woman cast members consumed 2000 to 3000 calories a day to rapidly build up muscle. Gadot reportedly gained eight kilograms.

She even received fencing lessons in preparation for the role, equipping her with the finesse to approach battle scenes with convincing competence.

Gal Gadot Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman has been a major box office success. Photo: AP

“I feel so much better now. When you feel strong, it changes everything – your posture, the way you walk,” Gadot told Glamour.

“I look at photos from five years ago and think, ‘Whoa, I was too skinny. It’s not cool’.”

While filming the latest installation in the DC superhero comics franchise, Justice League, she was also pregnant with her second child.

In fear of appearing weak, she waited some time before informing her co-stars of the pregnancy.

Yet, her almost superhuman qualities, of both strength of body and mind, failed to live up to everybody’s expectations.

Especially since she looks vastly different to the comic book depiction and the 1970s TV show interpretation of Wonder Woman.

wonder woman not curvy enough
Lynda Carter in the ’70s TV Wonder Woman series. Photo: Getty

Changing the conversation

Centre for Ethical Leadership researcher Michelle Stratemeyer, with an interest in psychology of gender and objectification, said women were too often criticised for their looks over their abilities.

“No one specific body type is a strong body type,” she told The New Daily.

“There are a broader range of acceptable standards for men, whereas the standards for women are much more narrow.

“But I do understand the argument that people want to see more diversity in body shapes in Hollywood.”

University of Melbourne’s Elise Holland, whose research interests include social psychology, said objectification of women had been amplified by image-based social media which is focused on looks.

“The body image effects (of social media) can be even more damaging potentially, given that research shows we are more likely to compare ourselves to our peers and social media stars than we are to celebrities,” she said.

“The ideal body for women today is not only a thin physique, but also one that is lean and toned. The narrower the ideal gets, the easier it is to shame women’s bodies.”

Ms Holland said it is sending a terrible message to young women: that no matter what you do, you will constantly be judged by how you look.

“As a society, we need to learn to value women for what they do and what they have to say, rather than what they look like.”

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