TV & Movies

Why Photoshopping Wonder Woman's Armpits Is Not Okay

What's up with Wonder Woman's armpits?! Apparently even an Amazonian warrior princess needs help meeting hideously strict beauty standards

Why Wonder Woman's armpits have so many people up in arms

There’s a new Wonder Woman trailer—and people are freaking the hell out. Why? Because star Gal Gadot’s armpits look unnaturally hairless and overly bleached.

DC Entertainment recently released a trailer of the upcoming Wonder Woman film, and people are freaking out. The scene in question is at the 1:47 mark in the trailer. But it isn’t because Gal Gadot looks fierce as hell playing Diana of Themyscira; it’s because Wonder Woman’s armpits look unnaturally hairless and oddly bleached. When Wonder Woman ferociously hoists a car into the air and hurls it at an enemy, revealing a set of pits that appear to have been Photoshopped clean.

This apparent digital pit alteration is infuriating because Israeli-born Gadot’s pits are fine as-is. “Cleaning her up” is totally unnecessary and enforces the idea that body hair is shameful and to be removed at all costs (especially dark hair). Women can shave their pits or not—it’s our choice—but using what appears to be a blur tool in post-production sends a message that even an Amazonian warrior princess needs help meeting Western beauty standards.

Why Wonder Woman's armpits have so many people up in arms

(Photo: Clay Enos/Warner Bros)

Any time a woman is in the spotlight, her appearance overshadows what she is trying to achieve. We saw this during Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and we saw this when Amal Clooney’s baby bump made headlines over her efforts to prosecute the Islamic State. By making Wonder Woman’s underarms brighter than Karl Lagerfeld’s hair, DC Entertainment is saying that she may be busy saving mankind, but she still needs to keep up with defuzzing.

Gadot’s armpits were likely touched up because she is packaged and sold as a sexualized character. Armpit hair, god forbid, is not seen as attractive; it’s an ugly reminder that women are normal people who grow bushes and bleed and poop just like everybody else. It’s disappointing that, even in 2017, women’s bodies are only seen as valuable when they fit the mold of what Hollywood wants them to be. You can be stronger than an entire species and still be scrutinized for pit fuzz.

This isn’t the first time women’s armpits have been digitally altered to look more “attractive.” Last year, Priyanka Chopra’s underarms were apparently Photoshopped on the cover of Maxim India, making them look unnaturally smooth and light. Kate Upton looked like she lost half a pit when she was shot for Harper’s Bazaar in 2014, as the shadow of her underarm faded into a palm tree.

Finally, let’s not forget that DC Entertainment’s last outing—Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice—was widely panned by critics, and Wonder Woman is rumoured to be a mess. Maybe if the studio paid as much attention to character-building and storyline as it did blurring women’s armpits, it’d actually be able to make a good movie.

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