So, they’ve cast the new Wonder Woman for the upcoming TV show. I don’t really know this actress very well, though I’ve heard really great things about the show she’s best known for (Friday Night Lights.)
And of course, after hearing the news, the first place I went was the big fan boards, hoping to hear some assessment of her acting ability. (Though my only real requirement for the actress is that she looks athletic enough to believably carry out the role, my number #1 choice was Gina Torres, simply because I love, love her demeanor and the incredible strength that she brings to every role, so I thought she’d have knocked it out of the park as Wonder Woman.) But, you know, maybe someone feels the same way about Palicki — or maybe her performance on Friday Night Lights was sub-par, and there might be genuine reason for concern. Can she carry off a role like Wonder Woman?
But instead of comments about her acting ability, I saw a lot of:
She’s too skinny.
She’s not pretty enough.
Her boobs look fake.
Sigh. Considering Wonder Woman and her message, to see this coming from her fanboys and fangirls was so painfully ironic, it almost killed me.
But fangirls and Wonder Woman aside, I’m wondering: is this just normal, default behavior? I think that it’s fair to say that even though we don’t mean to and try to stop ourselves, a lot of us probably make snap judgments based on appearances. Sure, we may recognize that we’re doing it and throw that initial reaction away (especially as we get to know someone better), but I’m also wondering: is it any better that it’s a public figure? Does that make it okay?
One of my favorite sites is Tom and Lorenzo’s blog, which often features an IN or OUT post regarding a celebrity’s appearance on the red carpet. One thing that I’ve always appreciated about this blog is that the criticism always is pointed at the clothes, the makeup, the hairstyle — in other words, it’s aimed at the image someone is trying to project — rather than their physicality (though “too thin” does seem to be fair game in the comments). I liken the criticism of clothes to talking about a book rather than an author/person behind it: celebrities are essentially putting out a product and an image, and the clothes are part of it … but their actual physicality is going a little too far.
But I wonder, where do we draw the line? Is it in that space between the clothes and the skin? Is it any different to say that Angelina’s dress was so tight that it gave us a clear view of her hipbones than to say that she’s too thin?