Always Be Wonder Woman

By | Saturday, October 20, 2012 3 comments
You've seen this image floating around the net, haven't you...?
It works almost exclusively with Batman over any other character. Batman, since Denny O'Neil, Neal Adams and Jim Aparo got a hold of him in the 1970s, is pretty much the definitive badass. Period. Not just because he could kick pretty much anyone's butt, but that he did that all by himself. Superman has powers because he's an alien, Spider-Man got bitten by radioactive spider, etc. Even Captain America is super-powered thanks to the Super Soldier Serum. Batman just goes out and does his thing with just his own resources as a normal human. There's other "normal" powered heroes out there like James Bond, but he's got the backing of the British government. Batman wins because he's the epitome of human success; he built his wealth, he built his arsenal, he built himself. That's one of the reasons he's one of the most well-known fictional characters on the planet. Theoretically, if someone really, really, really worked at it for their entire life, anyone could be Batman.

Not that anyone has been realistically been able to do that yet. The combination of athleticism, intelligence and financial acumen needed to get to that point almost precludes doing anything else, including sleep. But it's still theoretically within the realm of human achievement.

But the idea of "always be Batman" is appealing in an idealistic way. Always be heroic and powerful and smart and just. In that sense, you could substitute in just about any hero of your choosing.

And that's precisely what Amy Cuddy did in her TEDTalk about body language. Cuddy is a social psychologist who's research has suggested that your broader body language, like posture, impacts both how others perceive you and how your body acts at a chemical level. That by assuming "power poses" it affects your levels of testosterone and cortisol. In her TEDTalk, she shares both her research and some personal anecdotes about how it works. And, more relevant here, she sums up by suggesting people take some time out to pose like a superhero with your legs spread and your arms akimbo. The final slide of her presentation is Wonder Woman.

This is science, people. The most important thing in life is to be yourself. Unless you can be Wonder Woman. Always be Wonder Woman.
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Matt K said...

Didn't Batman inherit a pretty nice fortune, even if he later enlarged it considerably...?

Ethan said...

I think Lebron James could be Batman if he really wanted to be. He's a near-billionaire, he's unquestionably one of the most gifted athletes of all time (if not the most gifted) and he's altruistic. I think Lebron James should be Batman.

Jen Kim said...

Hi, the fierce Wonder Woman little girl is me!