Why does this desi Wonder Woman piece tug at our heartstrings? For starters, seeing a bad-ass lady kicking butt with mehndi on her hands is way too cool. Also, there is certainly more room for brown female superhero figures in the mainstream media. And that is exactly what Shehzil Malik decided to do for desi women all over the globe. *more power*
Shehzil Malik is a designer with a staunch interest in social impact.
This piece based on her personal interpretation of a Desi Wonder Woman particularly caught our eye.
“I often feel there aren’t enough representations of bad-ass Muslim women- which is why I draw them myself”, she shared on a Facebook page.
“Once I’d drawn desi Wonder Woman though, the ridiculous Burqini ban stories from France came out and I saw that I had drawn a brown version of a strong white woman (technically WW as an Amazon warrior wasn’t white but the comic book character certainly was). I realized a couple of things- One: I need more desi women warriors to look up to (shout out to Pakistani comic book artists!) and Two: we are all part of this new world where a mishmash of tradition, religion, pop culture and the internet forms our identity. Is there really an “us” versus “them” when we share so many human experiences? I grew up in Pakistan loving American comics-Wonder Woman is as much a childhood role model for me as it is for a girl growing up anywhere else.
I love this idea of having a shared humanity, the realization that we don’t have one fixed identity rooted in geography. Can we just embrace all that makes us strong and ourselves- as women and as people?”