Wonder Woman: Feminist icon, or one man’s fantasy of what a woman should be like?

Oldham News | Reviews News | Wonder Woman (2017) - Film Review - Oldham  Chronicle
Wonder Woman (2017) film poster, DC films, featuring Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot)

Like many comic book superheroes, since Wonder Woman’s creation in 1941 by US psychologist Dr William Moulton Marston, the image and storyline surrounding this female superhero has had many different manifestations over the years. Looking back in time, the history of Wonder Woman seems to be as complex and nuanced as the feminist discussions surrounding the character at the time.

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Why did I choose watercolour painting as the artistic medium of choice for the Bi in the 2000s™ illustrative series?

Pictured: Artist Anna Frances, wearing Bi in the 2000s™ merch, with the original ‘Where do I fit in my cultural landscape?’ watercolour artwork in the background

For me it was an easy decision to paint with watercolour in the Bi in the 2000s™ illustrative series, for a lot of different reasons. I think for me, I was drawn to watercolour paint in particular because of its fluid and subtle nature, giving the artist infinite ways to explore colour, from its most faint, to its most distinct. I also find the fluid water component of watercolour a very calming and very natural element to work with, and I find the results often very moving, for that very reason. I think every artistic medium has its own qualities, and this is just one of the paints that I love working with.

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It’s time to change: Why as a small business owner, I’m trying to source sustainable and ethical products for my online store (and why I’m hoping other retailers do the same).

‘Bi love’ Mens/Unisex organic cotton t-shirt from the Bi in the 2000s™ merchandise range

Like everyone, I’m trying my best. My business is relatively new, every step of the way is a huge learning curve, and I’m really trying to put a sustainable and ethical foot forward from the very beginning of the launch of the merchandise products that I’ve created, which I’m approaching in the following ways:

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Pride flag: How useful is it see the rainbow LGBTQ+ Pride flag used on commercial logos and packaging?

LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Pride flag – Red Dragon  Flagmakers
LGBTQ+ Pride flag

So you want to support LGBTQ+? You’ve bought your bacon, lettuce and tomato rainbow flag sandwich from M&S, you’ve bought your apple with a rainbow flag sticker for lunch from Pink Lady, you’ve bought your coffee in a rainbow coloured coffee holder from Starbucks, you’ve bought your rainbow trainers from Nike, you’ve been there, you’ve spent your money, you’ve got the proverbial t-shirt (from adidas). And how do you feel now? Do you feel proud to be you? Proud to support the LGBTQ+ community? Do you feel proud to embrace the side of you, that doesn’t necessarily fit into the hetero-normative narrative that we all have to love the same way? Or do you feel like a few trans-national corporations have just burnt a large hole in your wallet, you’ve continued to contribute to the global capitalist economy, and you’re still afraid to kiss someone that’s the same gender as you in public, for fear of public shame and discrimination?

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What’s it like to lose a parent, and be self-employed?

About a year and a half after I lost my dad to cancer, and I find myself in a really good place in a lot of ways. I’m working in a field I love, I’m doing what I believe in, I’m campaigning for social change, and I’m really happy in a lot of ways.

But the fact is, grief sucks.

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‘Bi love’ from the Bi in the 2000s™ merchandise range

‘Bi love’ design from the Bi in the 2000s™ merchandise range

This painting represents about how I feel about bisexuality now, and LGBTQ+ love is definitely included in this. The painting was initially titled ‘Happy Bisexuality Visibility Day’ and was released on social media on this day, 23rd September, 2020.

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‘Who do I sit with?’ from the Bi in the 2000s™ illustrative series – set in a night club in the 2000s

‘Who do I sit with?’ from the Bi in the 2000s™ illustrative series

I chose to include a painting set in a club in the UK in the 2000s as I felt that as a teenager and young adult, club scenes felt like there was a particular kind of intensity around 1.) what you looked like, and 2.) who you had feelings for. From memory (I stopped going to these kinds of places a while ago, although I respect people that still go), the clubs that I attended (these tended to be varied, but never specifically ‘gay’ or ‘lgbtq’ clubs) were never spaces where people were openly anything other than heterosexual.

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Bristol Art Tour: ‘Empty Plinth’ – the former site of the Edward Colston memorial, Colston Avenue, Bristol

Pictured: ‘Empty Plinth.’ Image: Anna Frances, 2021

As part of my Bristol Art Tour, I visited the former site of Edward Colston memorial on Colston Avenue, Bristol, which is now an empty plinth (you can watch my video here). The statue was removed by protestors, following race related protests worldwide which were sparked by worldwide outrage at the murder of George Floyd in the US in May 2020. The protests were peaceful, and the statue was disposed of in the Bristol Harbourside, in the River Avon.

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5 reasons why I LOVE the Bi in the 2000s™ merchandise range (and why you will too)

Pictured: Design from the ‘Journey’ organic cotton t-shirt and tote bag

Artist Anna Frances shares why she LOVES the Bi in the 2000s™ merchandise range, (and why you will too).

1.) Each design is from the Bi in the 2000s™ illustrative series that I’ve created, which helps to promote Bisexuality bisibility and LGBTQ+ visibility more broadly.

Why I love it: I think representation around LGBTQ+ communities and Bisexuality communities is urgently needed, and I think that art is a really important way to address that.

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