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With 'She-Hulk's Casting Set, Will Marvel Ever Have Body Diversity?

By Mae Abdulbaki | TV | September 18, 2020 |

By Mae Abdulbaki | TV | September 18, 2020 |


GettyImages-1069361592.jpg

Orphan Black and Perry Mason’s Tatiana Maslany has been cast as She-Hulk in Marvel’s Disney+ series. And that’s great! Maslany is immensely talented and I’m sure she’ll do a fantastic job in the role. However, while many people celebrated her casting on Twitter, others also wondered whether Marvel will ever cast a non-skinny woman in a leading role. Considering that the She-Hulk in the comics is muscular and rather buff, this role may have been the opportune time to finally have some body diversity in the MCU.

In the comics, She-Hulk is Jennifer Walters, a lawyer and cousin to Bruce Banner/Hulk. However, what’s so amazing about this character is that she chooses to remain in her tall, buff green form because it makes her feel more empowered that way. And who doesn’t want to walk around feeling empowered with the way they look? As a woman, Jennifer retaining her She-Hulk image despite how others may perceive her because SHE was more comfortable that way is pretty amazing. An icon, really.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with Maslany’s look (nor is this article meant to hate on her). That said, we talk about diversity and inclusion in TV and movies a lot and that should also include diversity in body size. Hollywood very rarely casts actresses with different body types and most female superheroes are also drawn with very slender physiques.

She-Hulk breaks the mold as being a thick, muscular-bodied woman, who is proud of the way she looks. Many were hoping Disney and Marvel would take that cue and cast someone whose body type was more appropriate to the role (especially considering that She-Hulk is always in her Hulk form). With Maslany’s casting, some even worried that it meant that She-Hulk would rarely transform into her Hulk form, and that would be disingenuous to her character. At the end of it all, the only “body diversity” the MCU has had was with Fat Thor, and he was mocked relentlessly for his weight in Avengers: Endgame. Marvel should make amends and do better in the future, that’s for sure.

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Mae covers movies and TV. You can follow her on Twitter.



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