Did you know that the United Nations appointed Wonder Woman as an honourary ambassador? I didn’t until very recently. Did you know that she’d been sacked in the penultimate week of December? No, I didn’t either. What happened?
In October 2016, the UN thought they would use the superhero in the battle for equality for women and girls.
It helps that this year the new Wonder Woman film, featuring the fiesty Gal Gadot, is being released. From a public relations perspective, the UN probably planned to piggyback on the film opening to champion their latest female empowerment campaign.
This could have been a great idea if the current Wonder Woman wasn’t full of clashing messages. On the one hand, she’s a strong warrior, independent and spreading a strong feminist message. On the other, she’s well known for her hour-glass figure and her massive breasts. Don’t get me started on her Amazonian and Greek God origins which would cause issues with most religious beliefs and systems.
I’m really surprised the PR pro’s at the UN though this would work. Now don’t misconstrue me, I am a huge Wonder Woman fan and all for the empowerment of women around the world. But, the two together in that role raises a few obvious issues.
45,000 people opposed the decision and signed a petition asking Ban Ki Moon, the secretary general, to review Wonder Woman’s role.
After reviewing the situation the UN acknowledged that their intentions were good but that the reality of “the character’s current iteration” doesn’t fully align with their aims and beliefs.
This is the perfect example of how ambassadors, representatives and spokespeople, real or fake, must fully align with the messages of the company or organisation they are working with for a PR relationship to work productively and positively.
Regardless of her losing her UN role, I am hugely excited for the Wonder Woman film and wish she didn’t have such conflicting issues with her image. Thankfully the world is full of lots of strong female role models that provide an endless source of inspiration and empowerment.
It will be exciting to see if the UN pick another person or character to help support this year’s female empowerment campaign. They might have decided to choose a different strategy completely to avoid any similar issues occurring.
Who are your female role models? Who would you pick for this role and why? Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comment section – I can’t wait to see your suggestions.