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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Is the LGBTQ+ Pride flag used commercially as a means to gentrify cities, or to celebrate diversity?

H&M shop front in London, 2017, during Pride month (mynoho.co.uk)

Is the LGBTQ+ Pride flag used commercially as a means to gentrify cities, or does it celebrate diversity? Regardless of whether you see the cultural appropriation of the LGBTQ+ Pride movement for commercial use as something positive or something negative, some urban theorists have actively encouraged creating a space that will attract LGBTQ+, with the intent of gentrifying the area.

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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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‘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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Why is representation and seeing others ‘like you’ in the culture around you important, especially when growing up?

Image: ‘World’ by Anna Frances from the Bi in the 2000s™ illustrative series.

Anna Frances explores further why she thinks seeing someone ‘like you’ in the culture around you, effects how you see yourself, and also can effect how you see others.

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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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Why did I choose to include organic cotton products in the Anna Frances Healing™ merchandise range?

Pictured: Organic cotton Womens/Unisex ‘Where do I fit in my cultural landscape?’ t-shirt from the Bi in the 2000s™ merch collection.

When thinking about doing any kind of product launch or sales of any merchandise collection, I always try and make decisions that reflect my attitudes towards environmental issues. I wanted to create a range that had the environment in mind, as well as being made of fabric that’s kind to your skin, with as little harmful chemicals or pollutants both in the material, and in the earth, as possible. For me, using a fabric made with 100% natural fibre was the obvious solution, and with the multiple benefits of organic cotton farming, I couldn’t see any better reason than to always choose organic cotton where possible.

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WTAF? Is it a Banksy? Or rather, was it a Banksy?

Photo taken by Anna Frances, 1 Oct 2019 on Chandos Road, Bristol

Following the trip to see the Banksy mural ‘Naked man, hanging from window’ on College Green on my Bristol Art Tour yesterday, it reminded me of some street art that I’d found a few years ago, that looked like a Banksy.. but was it? I can’t find anything about it online.

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Bristol Art Tour: Banksy Mural – Naked man, hanging from window

Well Hung Lover.jpg
‘Naked man, hanging from window’ Banksy mural. Image: Wikipedia

Following the visit to Bristol’s oldest art gallery, the RWA, I then took my Bristol Arts Tour to College Green in Bristol, to see the ‘Naked man, hanging from window’ Banksy art mural, painted on the side of a sexual health clinic.

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Bristol Art Tour: RWA – Bristol’s oldest art gallery, Ellen Sharples and Rolinda Sharples

Self portrait of Rolinda Sharples and her mother Ellen in the background (source: Wikipedia)

Following the introduction at Clifton Suspension Bridge yesterday, day two of my tour around Bristol brings me to the RWA and Bristol School of Art, which was Bristol’s first art gallery.

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