For years, young boys and girls alike left thrilling action movies and began mimicking their heroes.
A Superman fan might wrap a bright red sheet around his neck to use as a cape. An Ironman fan might grow a goatee. But with a lack of female superheroes, girls and young women often had to mimic male characters.
Much ink has been spilled in the wake of “Wonder Woman’s” success, some pointing out the movie’s deep undercurrents (or perhaps simply currents) of feminism, others wondering what this means for female directors.
But what is often missed is the simple experience many young women now have that they never did before: seeing the movie, then immediately imitating the character.
In this regard, one scene seemed to stand out. Diana Prince (i.e., Wonder Woman) goes undercover at a German party, wearing an evening gown, but she needs to stealthily carry her trusted sword. So she slides it down the back of her dress, along her spine, until just the sword’s hilt peeks out, obscured by her neck and shoulders.
Please let the Wonder Woman sword/dress style stick. Imagine: girls in dresses asking each other which blacksmith forged their accessories. pic.twitter.com/ViCNGeObkg
— Mikki Kells (@MikkiKells) June 16, 2017
Many fans, naturally, left the theater wondering if such a thing was possible. So they grabbed their dresses and their swords and began trying.
Turns out, it is possible — and many fans posted photos to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #wwgotyourback to prove it. It’s now morphed into a spreading Internet challenge.
It’s unclear if the swords being used are real or merely plastic toys. The types of dresses and apparent make of the swords varied widely.
One fan, for example, slid what appears to be a sheath down the back of what appears to be a wedding dress. “#WonderWoman showing us how to be a pretty princess and a force to be reckoned with,” she captioned the post.
Another tested it out in a black dress with what appeared to be a katana, a traditional Japanese sword. Verdict: “It works.”
One woman decided to test the full range of motion, pulling the sword out in a video to see if it could be done.
Some swords seemed to be a bit long.
Had to try the #wwgotyourback challenge! I could fit the Katana down the back of my dress but it was too long for me to draw back out! It's a fairly dull sword so I wasn't going to hurt myself with it, but was worried that it might damage my dress, probably the last thing you'd worry about in combat! #wonderwoman #daughterofthemyscira #katana #katanasword #fightlikeagirl #winlikeawoman #dianaprince #galgadot #godkillersword #godkiller #dccomics
And some sword handlers also seemed a little short.
The trend has been met with generally positive reactions, most seeing it as an extension of the film’s feminist messages of inclusion and strength.
“The hashtag #WWGotYourBack continues to feed Wonder Woman‘s message of unity and strength with its double meaning of the literal image of women’s backs and the notion that these women are there to support others,” wrote Entertainment Weekly’s Maureen Lee Lenker.
“This look is elegant and dangerous, which is pretty much the ultimate display of girl power,” wrote BuzzFeed’s Delaney Strunk, referring to the hashtag as “probably the best new Instagram trend.”
Beth Elderkin of i09, meanwhile, had a different take, which she shared in a piece titled, “Ladies, I Know We’re All Wonder Woman, But Don’t Put Swords Down Your Dresses.”
“It’s stupid and dangerous,” Elderkin wrote.
She pointed out that in the scene everyone’s emulating, “Wonder Woman was wearing her battle gear underneath her dress. You see her rip off the dress when she heads to the village, fully dressed underneath. She had a thick leather buffer zone between her skin and the ice-cold blade of death. ”
“At the very least, you’re probably going to wreck your outfit,” Elderkin concluded. “In the worst circumstance, you will have fled this mortal coil for no other reason than thinking it’s cool to ram a sword down your skirt.”
Her warning, however, doesn’t seemed to have stopped many people yet.
— Mary Ann Moss (@Kirachan3) June 13, 2017
Curiosity got the better of me, so I had to try #wwgotyourback with the only formal dress that currently fits my post pregnancy body and the only sword I currently own (Sweet Pea's from Sucker Punch.) I'd say Wonder Woman's way of wearing it works pretty well! Would be better with a shorter sword since this one hits the back of my knees and a low profile sheath would be nice because I'd totally cut my dress if I tried to pull this out quickly as is…but still, I'd say it's workable! . . . #wonderwoman #dccomics #ww #wonderwomanfilm #strongissexy #galgadot #amazon #girlpower #girlswithmuscles #cosplay #dcmovies #strong #postpartumbody #postpregnancybody
Thanks to Eva Wei for starting this test. It can be done, and isn't uncomfortable. The sword I was wearing is real, and wasn't difficult to draw. It would have stayed in place easier if it had a hilt in the style of the god killer. Now where do I find a sword of Athena? @gal_gadot #wonderwoman #WWgotyourback #dress #sword #woman #warrior #bonuscat #catsofinstagram #movies #dianaprince #amazon #wonderwomanwhenigrowup