Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
While most of the world hails the blockbuster movie, Wonder Woman, as a new box-office record for a film directed by a woman, the devoted mother who starred in the movie and who was five months pregnant while filming parts of it is a stark reminder to all of us that embracing authentic femininity can put the heroine in all of us.
According to NPR, Wonder Woman raked in more than $100 million domestically on its opening weekend which shatters the record of $85.1 million set by female director Sam Taylor-Johnson of Fifty Shades of Grey.
But that benchmark pales in comparison to the real story of Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot, a former Miss Israel and Israeli Defense Forces veteran who actually filmed parts of the movie while five months pregnant with her second child.
As she told Entertainment Weekly, her baby bump was quite conspicuous when she was called back to Leavesden Studios near London to do a reshoot of a fight scene. Costumers cut a large triangle from the front of her famous Wonder Woman suit and replaced it with bright green cloth that would allow the special effects department to alter her figure in post-production.
She climbed into her new suit, then got to work performing fight choreography. “On close-up I looked very much like Wonder Woman,” Gadot said. “On wide shots I looked very funny, like Wonder Woman pregnant with Kermit the Frog.”
Director Patty Jenkins was impressed, not only with her talent, but with her astonishing stamina.
“She’s pregnant during part of the movie, in a suit out in a field in the freezing cold in others,” Jenkins says. “There are so many things we asked her to do: Now do it on one foot. Now shout while you’re doing it. Now it’s raining in the freezing cold and you’ve lost your voice, go. Every day it was a hilarious gauntlet and she would do it.”
But now, Jenkins says, “we will be able to tell her [new] daughter Maya that she’s in her mom’s stomach right then, in the middle of that battle scene.”
Gadot and her husband, Yaron Versano, welcomed their new daughter, Maya, on March 20, 2017. Maya joins her older sister, Alma, 5.
“And now we are four,” Gadot posted on her Instagram account. “She is here, Maya. I feel so completely blessed and thankful for all the Wonders in my life.”As Live Action News reports, Gadot defies the statistics that find 38 percent of women reporting that “having a baby would interfere with their job or career” as the reason why they chose abortion. But women like Gadot “demonstrate that pregnancy doesn’t have to be treated like an impasse.”
Indeed, Gadot and her husband were delighted when they learned she was pregnant with their second child and posted a touching photo on Instagram of themselves with their hands joined into an image of a heart over her tummy. “So excited to share this wonder with you… #mommyforthesecondtime” she wrote.
She even shared a meme on Instagram depicting a very pregnant Wonder woman with the words, “I grow humans. What’s your superpower?”
In a recent interview with Glamor, Gadot was asked how life changed for her when she became a mother.
“Priorities,” she said. “I started to choose my battles better. The Jewish guilt I feel about being a working mom is the hardest thing…When Alma was around two, I was really anxious about how to travel with a child, moving her from one country to the other, all the different languages. It was my husband who told me: “’Gal, think about what kind of a role model you want to be. If you want to show Alma that she can follow her dreams, that’s what you should do, and we will figure out the logistics’.”
In the same interview, Gadot gave a glimpse into the heart of the strong and independent superhero she was trying to portray on screen.
“She has so many strengths and powers, but at the end of the day she’s a woman with a lot of emotional intelligence. She’s loving,” Gadot said.
In other words, the strength of Wonder Woman is her femininity.
” . . .[I]t’s all her heart—that’s her strength. I think women are amazing for being able to show what they feel. I admire women who do. I think it’s a mistake when women cover their emotions to look tough. I say let’s own who we are and use it as a strength.”
Now that’s the kind of Wonder Woman who is worthy of the name. Rather than rebelling against her femininity and championing behaviors that stifle it, she fully embraces everything about it, from its many vibrant strengths to the various shades of its nurturing softness.
This is our call, and we must not be afraid to fully embrace it.
“We must stand out as lights in the darkness, become signs of God’s love in a nation seduced by humanism and enchanted with lies. We must be purveyors of life in a culture infatuated with death,” writes Johnnette Benkovic in Full of Grace: Women and the Abundant Life, which is the basis for the Women of Grace®Foundational Study.
“Bearing the life of God within us, we must offer love in the image of our Father to those who have not yet heard. This is our mission as woman. This is our call as spiritual mother. This is authentic femininity.”
And this is the superhero in all of us. Let us embrace it and become the kind of Wonder Women this world so desperately needs!
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