Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 7:17 AM

No Heels for “Wonder Woman,” Thank You Very Much!

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

DC Comics’ Wonder Woman just broke two of the remaining glass ceilings in Hollywood:

  1. Gal Gadot is the first woman to star in a superhero blockbuster.
  2. Patty Jenkins is the first woman to direct one.

These women have proven that they are every bit as capable and bankable as Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan – the star and director, respectively, of the best (and second-most profitable) superhero movie ever, The Dark Knight.

Wonder Woman is continuing to defy expectations at the box office and easily becoming the DC Extended Universe’s most successful movie. …

The very positive word of mouth that has helped Wonder Woman outperform Man of Steel, Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad in its second week at the box office. …

As of right now, the movie has made a grand total of $435.2 million, with $205 million of that coming domestically.

(Movieweb.com, June 11, 2017)

Indeed, word of mouth has grown women flocking to see this movie the way it had little children flocking to buy Harry Potter novels.

Even the opening of superstar Tom Cruise’s latest franchise, The Mummy, proved no match for Gadot’s Wonder Woman.  Granted, this might also be a reflection of how low Cruise’s star has fallen in recent years …

That said, I haven’t seen a superhero movie since the original Spider Man in 2002. And even this enticing distinction, which acclaimed director John Landis offers, is not enough to get me to see another:

All the superhero movies tend to be interchangeable, you always have these mass destruction of cities and huge computer-generated extravaganzas to the point where you could take a reel from any of the Marvel superhero movies and put it any of the others and nobody would notice. …

One of the reasons Wonder Woman has been received so well by the critics is that it doesn’t destroy cities! Even the superhero stuff is on a very human scale, it’s the gods!

(Entertainment.ie, June 12, 2017)

Therefore, as proud as I am of Wonder Woman’s gender-defying feats, I won’t be among the evolved men braving wannabe Amazons to see it.

Which brings me to the “no heels” in my title. It refers to the quixotic crusade to liberate women from the crippling perch of stilettos.

You’d be hard-pressed to find even a few men evolved (or daring) enough to join it. But I’ve been on this crusade with women of substance, like actress Emma Thompson, for years.

Here, for example, is an excerpt from “Burning Bras, Still Wearing Heels. Feminism’s Unfinished Work,” January 15, 2014.

__________________

Only a willing suspension of common sense explains why women do the things they do to look beautiful. And only this suspension explains why they will find nothing insulting or contradictory in the Huffington Post, on the one hand, hailing high heels as the ‘hallmark of womanhood,” while on the other hand, quoting sophisticated, stylish, and graceful women complaining about how stupid, degrading, and painful wearing them is. …

I can personally attest that (heterosexual) men would have no difficulty determining if a woman is sexy even if she were strutting her stuff in flip flops (i.e., instead of teetering along in high heels).

But you don’t have to take my word, because here’s the finding of a seminal study by experts at Northumbria University, which the September 21, 2010, edition of the Daily Mail reported under the instructive headline, “Don’t Bother with the High Heels Ladies, Men Don’t Even Notice”:

Women who hope a pair of killer heels will help them attract a man are wasting their time, it is claimed. … Obsession with high-heels could be pointless as research shows it makes no difference to attractiveness.

What’s more, I hope it’s not betraying some unwritten man code of secrecy to inform women that, far from enhancing their beauty, sophistication, style, and grace, high heels only make them look more like parading sex objects for the few men who actually notice them. Yet it’s a reflection of the addictive high women get on heels that, when they’re barefoot (or wearing tennis shoes), they invariably perch themselves on the balls of their feet to simulate those missing high heels. Have you noticed this?

__________________

Well, here is why Gadot is my wonder woman:

‘I want to create this trend of doing red carpets in flats … I love wearing high heels, it’s beautiful, it’s sexy … [but] it’s not good for our backs. Why do we do it?’

The shoes can cause calluses, bunions and muscle spasms, and that’s if you don’t also lose your balance and fall. There’s even been a push in different countries around the world to make it illegal to require high heels in workplaces.

(Yahoo! Entertainment, June 7, 2017)

That said, my Jewish friends, particularly Israelis, would never forgive me if I fail to mention that Gadot is Jewish, especially considering this:

Many superheroes were created by Jews, according to Haaretz, including Superman, Captain America, Batman, Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Ironman, the X-Men, Thor and the Avengers. Since daily newspapers in the 1930s would not accept illustrations by Jews, Haaretz reports, many Jews found a home in comic book publishing.

(Washington Post, June 7, 2017)

Did you know that? I didn’t.

In any event, not just Hollywood but the global cult of celebrity has been waiting for Gadot. And nobody is happier that, unlike her literary homophone, she has arrived.

Shalom!

Related commentaries:
Burning bras, wearing heels

* This commentary was originally published yesterday, Wednesday, at 7:52 a.m.

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