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Things We Saw Today: The Wasp Is a Sweaty Marvel Heroine and We Love Her for It

Evangeline Lilly as The Wasp in Ant-Man and The Wasp

There’s a great piece today on how Evangeline Lilly’s Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp is one of the few times we’ve seen a Marvel heroine featured on advertisements and on film looking anything less than picture-perfect.

Over at CBR, Megan Purdy points out that in ads and posters for the upcoming Ant-Man and The Wasp, we get to glimpse a badass woman whose hair is in a rare state of not appearing like she just stepped out of a salon, and whose pink cheeks suggest strenuous bouts of fighting.

Van Dyne often appears sleekly coiffed as well, but the simple, practical ponytails she sports—and the hair that is allowed to look like hair that had just been under a helmet—is different than what we’ve so often seen when it comes to lady heroines onscreen.

In praising Van Dyne’s look, Purdy also covers the MCU’s history of depicting its women (even in the heat of battle) as having nary a stray lock:

Lilly is looking far from salon fresh. Her hair is pulled back into an actually messy, definitely sweaty, post-gym ponytail that’s coming out into flyaways. It’s helmet hair. It’s “I just took out a supervillain” hair. It’s unglamorous – and it’s absolutely perfect.

The Marvel cinematic Universe is infamous for heroines who rarely look less than perfect. Black Widow has gone from bad wig to bad wig to some pretty cute bobs, but we’ve never seen her with so much as a hair out of place or an eye unlined. Avengers: Age Of Ultron introduces Wanda Maximoff as a Hot Topic scrapper with yesterday’s hair, but reintroduces her at the end as an Avenger with a new outfit, subtler makeup, and an enviable blowout. Gamora, the deadliest woman in the galaxy, has soft waves that frame her face through the messiest of firefights. And Mantis, the… feelingest woman in the galaxy, has a sleek, mid-length ‘do that not even Thanos could defeat.

With the exception of Black Panther, of course, which managed to do this thing right, as it did so many things right.

Only Black Panther features female characters with hair that’s tailored to their individual characters, jobs, and situations in the film. […] Every character in Black Panther has a distinctive and gorgeous look that stylist Camille Friend worked out just for them, because was it important to her and director Ryan Coogler that the film’s hairstyles be natural, afrocentric, and as character-defining as their costumes.

Head to CBR to read the rest of this excellent article. Let’s hope that Black Panther and The Wasp are marking a new age of Marvel showing women styled in as practical and disheveled a fashion as its menfolk are allowed to rock.

(via, image: Marvel)

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So what’d you see today?

Evangeline Lilly as The Wasp

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Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.