Comment: Why Wonder Woman was wrong call for UN figurehead

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If there’s an award for ‘‘PR Gaffe of the Year’’ then expect the United Nations to be on the shortlist.

It drew widespread critisism, and no end of mockery, when it announced its new UN ambassador ’’for the empowering of women and girls.’’

Step forward ...er, Wonder Woman.

Surely not the star of the 1970s show? The very one.

The response from UN staff was one of indignation, with hundreds staging a silent protest while the acctress herself, Lynda Carter, addressed the chamber.

Their criticism was summarised in one withering statement that noted the new role model for empowering women was ‘‘a large breasted woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmering, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee high boots.’’

They are spot on.

Other than there being a new Wonder Woman movie due out and its the 75th anniversary of the character’s creation (who knew? who cared?), it’s hard to think of a more bizarre and irrelevant choice.

Of all the super heroes on the telly in the 70s – the Hulk, Lee Majors, Skippy (hey, he saved more folk who’d fallen down mineshafts than Superman ever managed, so don’t diss his powers of communication) Wonder Woman was, well, naff.

Even with her trusty ‘‘lasso of truth’’ there was something pretty rubbish about the entire series.

If the UN really wanted to go back to the 70s for a figurehead they could have opted for the Bionic Woman.

She was a pro sportswoman, and a senior figure within the Office of Science Information.

And she didn’t parade around in her scanties.

Thelma and Daphne from Scooby Doo are more suitable role models – consider them my generation’s answer to Dora The Explorer, who is smart, switched-on, positive, problem solving, team-leading, multi-lingual and ‘way, ‘way smarter than any bloke too.

And Dora has her own all-empowering slogan of ‘‘we did it!’’ which would make a fab hashtag that could back any meaningful campaign aimed at her target audience.

Being honest, Dora would probably kick Wonder Woman’s butt all over the place.

She’s certainly far more recognisable too – does Wonder Woman really chime with women today? Not entirely sure she did that in the 70s, and she’s been pretty much forgotten about since her brief stint on the telly.

My last Wonder Woman connection came in 1980 when the newspaper I was working on decided to stage a fancy dress parade on Ayr beach to mark ‘Local Newspaper Week.’

It was blowing a gale, no-one turned up, and my poor female colleague returned from holiday to take part. Handed her Wonder Woman costume, she asked: ‘‘So, where’s the rest of it?’’

It took several large brandies afterwards before she thawed out, never mind began speaking to us again. Three decades on and Wonder Woman ought to be consigned to the cheap fancy dress store rather than the corridors of the United Nations.

Time for a re-think...