Important: Wonder Woman

If you have not seen Wonder Woman yet, I’m taking away your woman card.

Go see it. NOW. And then go see it again. Because it’s fucking important. These are images you, and everyone need to see.

You’re sure as shit I saw it opening weekend. And I almost cried five times, mostly during battle scenes, because I was floored by how I had never seen (or had rarely seen) these things on film before, not treated like a crazy novelty:

-Female directors

-Female directors of action movies

-Female directors of superhero movies

-Female directors of giant summer blockbuster movies

-Women leading on set

-Women leading on-screen

-Women leading in battle

-Women training for battle

-Women with wrinkles and scars, as the most valued people in a society

-Women with wrinkles and scars leading

-Women with wrinkles and scars leading IN BATTLE

-Women with wrinkles IN BATTLE

-Women in a ten minute fight scene doing every single thing you want to see in a ten minute fight scene

-Women whose clothing was completely functional. For moving.  And kicking. And reaching for arrows. And swording. And jumping on and off of horses. While kicking and moving and shooting arrows and swording.

-Women unashamed of their bodies, women who would never even think that they’d be objectified, women using their legs as things that propel them and stabilize them and support them, for everything BUT slow motion sun-flare, looking back over your butt, sexy action girl shots

-Men as secondary characters

-Men as the love interest and quirky sidekick at best. (And one lame generic “Imma destroy humanity!” bad guy.)

-An evil woman villain (because you must be respected to be considered a threat)

-A super smart chemist woman who’s essentially the bad guy army’s secret weapon

-Sincerity, warmth, and lightheartedness that was just nice and human, not record-scratch schmaltzy or dumb

but mostly:

THIS!!!!ww and patti jenkinsgal-gadot-e-patty-jenkins-maxw-654104495214-wonder-woman.530x298wonder-woman-gal-gadot-and-chris-pine-on-world-war-i-setwonder-woman-amazzoni593ff1b91d00002900cc2ac9.jpgmqdefault412ABDF700000578-4596296-image-m-17_1497279646861Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 3.39.06 PM.pngwonder-woman-4gallery-1489058413-wonder-woman-amazons-on-horseback-robin-wrightlandscape-1496864038-wonderwoman-clay-enos-warner-bros-entertainment-inc-ratpac-dune-entertainment-llc-10.jpgmaxresdefault-1.jpgWonder-Woman-Gal-Gadot.pngwwp1jpg-f9b324_1280w.jpgwonder-woman-poster.jpg

WW3

Wonder-Woman-Diana-in-the-trenches.jpgwwmovie_40.jpg

It’s not that I want more violence, it’s that showing someone in a violent situation sends a message that says: THEY CAN DO THAT. They are capable. And the way it’s handled in Wonder Woman is: OF COURSE THEY CAN DO THAT. (And this, and that and everything.) It pointed out how crazy it is that we’re totally brainwashed into thinking that woman maybe can’t this or that. This film simply shows women as equal to men. Literally. Just equal. Just doing the same things guys do in every single movie ever. AND IT IS SHOCKING because we simply DON’T SEE THAT.

And that is FUCKED up.

Need more now forever lots please, thank you Patty Jenkins.

(And the writers: Allan Heinberg, Zack Snyder, and Jason Fuchs.)

About writing the Impossible is Nothing manifesto.

IIN Vert mantra MEDIUM SIZE GOOD FOR SQU SP

Nope. Sorry internet. Muhammad Ali didn’t write this. I did.

 

Muhammad Ali was a singular, iconic, inspiring, and brave athlete, activist, and poet. It is sad that he has passed away, but it’s wonderful that the world is revisiting all of his accomplishments and what he stood for. He was right. He was the greatest. And he said a lot of smart, funny, inspiring, and just plain badass things. However, this is not a Muhammad Ali quote. The Impossible is Nothing manifesto was a long copy ad for Adidas, written to introduce the Impossible is Nothing campaign. I know because I wrote it.  

In real life, I am a copywriter. Like Peggy and Don on Madmen. I was working at TBWA\Chiat\Day (a partner agency to 180 Amsterdam) on the global adidas account, and it was my job to write a manifesto to help sell the “Impossible is Nothing” tagline and campaign, (which written by Boyd Coyner) to adidas. If it sounds like Ali could have said it, it should. I knew he was the hero athlete for the campaign, so I was writing something that had to fit with that iconic photograph of him towering over Sonny Liston. And lead into Boyd’s amazing tagline.

I’ll be honest with you. I was brushing my teeth, thinking about the tagline, and the “big word small man” phrase came to me and it wrote itself from there. I went in to work that morning, my boss said “we need a manifesto,” I sat down to write, and I handed it over to him before lunch. Sometimes that’s how writing happens. But it never happens like that without a great idea first. Boyd’s “Impossible is Nothing” was the idea. My bosses knew that was the idea we had to sell. Everybody knew that was the idea to sell. We just needed the rest of the words to sell it. So I wrote them.

I’ve been hesitating writing anything about this because, well, it’s tacky. But on the other hand, I haven’t stood up for myself enough over my career. (Maybe because I’m a woman, and we’re taught to see THAT as tacky. Or bitchy. Or both.) This ad wasn’t entered into any advertising award shows. The TV got recognition, (remember Laila Ali boxing Muhammad Ali?) but not the print or outdoor, which is what this was. Nobody in the industry even knows that I wrote this, unless they know me. And now that it’s getting more and more “internet famous,” I’m in a really weird spot. Muhammad Ali is getting credit for my work slash people believe my words came out of his mouth. That. Does not. Suck. That is incredibly flattering. On the other hand, my work is famous, but my name is invisible. In an industry that is all about publicity. So what’s an AdWoman to do? I’ve been doing nothing. But both doing nothing and doing something have their drawbacks. So what I’m doing is now something in between: I’m writing this, here, where all of five people will see it.

I mean, call me crazy, but it would be nice if my name came up in a search associated with the Impossible is Nothing manifesto. (It doesn’t.)  It would also be nice if ESPN, Sports Illustrated,  People Magazine, USA Today, , Business Insider, Goodreads, The Daily Mirror, and even David Beckham (who also had those words on a picture of HIM in the SAME CAMPAIGN!) (btw, it also ran on images of Laila Ali) did more than a google image search when researching things they’re calling quotes.

impossibleisnothingScreen Shot 2016-07-15 at 8.40.42 AMB96F4QMIEAEm_a9adidas-image-campaign-laila-ali-small-95947

Anyway.

Muhammad Ali had his own way with words. He lived impossibilities. He gave no fucks in the bravest fashion. He was bigger than a person. He was an idea.

What’s my favorite Ali quote? I don’t know. 1. because there are so many and 2. I really don’t want to misquote or miscredit. But, this is on the official MuhammadAli.com and they should know:

“I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.” -Muhammad Ali

That seems to have been his personal manifesto. Not everyone can say the first part. I can’t. But the second part, that belongs to everyone. Everyone can say that. Everyone should.

R.I.P. G.O.A.T.

Thanks for reading.

-Aimee Lehto Schewe