For years, we’ve seen Darna in the same red and gold two-piece costume. It stands out compared to the pieces worn by Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel, but in hindsight, it’s quite impossible to fight in an outfit like that.
Iza Calzado feels the same. In an interview on Headstart yesterday, she told host Karen Davila that it’s hard to look for a new Darna actress because the heroine is wearing a bikini. “Palitan na kasi yung costume,” (The costume should change) she said.
However, Iza’s suggestion has an underlying reason. She also said not a lot of actresses will take the role because “not everyone will be comfortable” wearing the bikini-like costume, and they’d have to “hit that perfect Darna body that they want.” She believes that once it’s changed, it will broaden the choices.
Okay, hold up. I agree that Darna’s costume should change to make it more practical. She may have body of steel, but even Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman was given an armor-like costume to protect herself while fighting. In the past, the Wonder Woman costume in live-action films and shows looked like a swimsuit—mostly focusing on her looks for men’s consumption instead of her strength.
But the mindset that it should change so other women (I’m assuming those who don’t have the “ideal” Darna body type that Angel Locsin and Marian Rivera has) can have a chance to play Darna is a step in the wrong direction. Her battle gear shouldn’t be altered depending on what a woman’s body type looks like.
Let’s say the actress is naturally curvy or plus-sized. Should her Darna costume be more covered to appease viewers? Absolutely not. Superhero costume talk aside, they should be allowed to flaunt some skin IRL if they want to.
Lastly, the actress also joked, “In my opinion… it’s hard to fight justice in a bikini, because there’s a lot of injustice that could happen.” Is it just me or does this sound like it’s bordering on victim-blaming? Is this implying that Darna shouldn’t be in a bikini because she’ll be a victim of “injustices” like misogyny and sexism? Captain Marvel was wearing a bodysuit and she was still catcalled by a biker in the movie.
Here’s a suggestion to whoever’s designing the new Darna costume: Change the look and don’t think of what would look appealing to a certain woman’s body type. She should be a strong heroine, not a sex symbol. As long as the actresses are capable of training and fighting bad guys, then that should be good enough.