On average, consumers are exposed to 3,000 ads and promotional messages every day, but one movie ad in particular has the Internet in an uproar.
A newly released trailer for Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot features the superhero raising her arms. In a shot that’s less than one second long, viewers can see that Gadot has hairless armpits.
It may seem like an innocent act, but many Twitter users are calling out the unrealistic expectations. Wonder Woman lives in the man-free land of Themyscira, and users claim that her priorities are misaligned and she should be more focused on saving the world.
In fact, one of the armpits in question, according to Teen Vogue, looks lighter than the surrounding skin and has been undergone hypopigmentation, which is a common side effect of laser hair removal.
Recent studies indicate that more than 99% of American women voluntarily remove hair, and more than 85% do so regularly, even daily. However, it’s not entirely clear if this hair removal decision was made by Gadot, or Hollywood executives. Either way, it’s the clear body standard for most American films. It’s very unusual to see Hollywood directors making their movies more realistic through the addition of hairy armpits or legs or unkempt eyebrows, despite the fact that social media is rapidly progressing toward a more inclusive and accepting approach, embracing the representation of women who may not conform to traditional and oftentimes brutal body standards.
About 61% of women admit they changed their hair style because they “just wanted a change.” And although hairless armpits aren’t really considered a hairstyle, perhaps Gadot really did just want a change. Regardless, Gadot has since spoken up about the controversy and other criticisms she’s received since taking on such an intense role.
“It’s just empty talk. I understand that part of what I’m doing means being exposed. And part of being exposed is being under fire,” she told Israeli website Ynet, translated by SuperHeroHype forum. “When I was younger I would take criticism really hard. But now it mostly amuses me…we always try to make everyone happy but we can’t.”
It’s not just Twitter users who are up in arms. Countless editorial publications have stated their opinions on the issue as well. Susannah Breslin, contributor for Forbes, claims that the incident “represents the entire struggle with which a modern woman must grapple daily: I am woman, hear me roar, but so I don’t freak you the you-know-what out, let me take away everything I am so I can be everything you want me to be.”