Yes, my phone’s home screen features a picture of a scantily-clad woman. With a whip. She’s curvy, sexy, and her hair is supernaturally awesome. Why did I pick this picture of an unrealistically busty, half naked woman out of the thousands I could have chosen? Surely, it’s demeaning to women? And inappropriate?
Well, if you knew anything about Wonder Woman, you would know that she’s not sporting a whip, but a lasso of truth. And that she was created as a “distinctly feminist role model whose mission was to bring the Amazon ideals of love, peace, and sexual equality to a world torn by the hatred of men.” Wow. That’s serious stuff. She has many powers, including superhuman strength, flight, super-speed, super-stamina, and super-agility. She can talk to animals and wears indestructible bracelets and a projectile tiara.
So surely I must have selected her because she is a superwoman and I find that inspiring, right?
Actually, not really.
I chose a super heroine as my phone’s home screen because of her vulnerability. All superheroes and heroines have specific powers. They can do amazing things, but they can’t do everything. They are each uniquely powerful in their own way. Often they work in groups (such as the Jusitce League or Avengers for example). They rely on each other in tough situations. Although they can be incredibly powerful, they also have weaknesses that are all too often exposed by the super villains of the world.
Wonder Woman helps me to remember that I don’t have to do it all.
So often women today are expected to be “super women”; we must balance careers, children, cooking dinner, dirty laundry, gymnastics classes, and time with our spouses all while staying thin, waxed and cheerful.
Wonder Woman reminds me that I don’t have to be good at everything.
I’m not the parent who remembers to send holiday treats to daycare, buy winter coats in August, or send birthday cards. But I’m not too bad at cooking, story time, colouring, or random dance parties in the living room.
Seeing Wonder Woman cues me to use my own “super powers”.
On the days I’m feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, or inadequate I try to focus on the things I can control and what I’m good at. Even superheroes aren’t perfect. Even Wonder Woman can get caught up in her own Lasso.