Fashionable Females: Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson of Spiderman

I was recently watching a video on Stan Lee’s youtube channel (yes, the man created a youtube channel at the age of 90) and the comic book creator had fans debating whether Gwen Stacy or Mary Jane Watson was the real love of Peter Parker’s life. While I am not going to proclaim how big of a nerd I am by discussing the issue as it is presented (but Gwen is better!), I have decided to compare the issue based on their styles and overall chemistry with Peter/Spiderman. The first four photos are of Mary Jane (played by Kirsten Dunst) from Sam Raimi’s Spiderman Trilogy (2002 – 2007) and the second set of photos are of Gwen Stacy (played by Emma Stone) in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spiderman (2012).

Mary Jane has a style that is a mixture of Bohemian and promiscuity– a lot of tight shirts and pants, exposed naval, and large knit sweaters. In the films, Mary Jane has beautiful evening wear (black ball gowns, Asian-inspired dresses, and opulent designs), but her average day clothes are relatively boring. I understand that Mary Jane is supposed to be an average teenage girl, but her look seems both forced and odd on Dunst and her angelic face. In regards to Mary Jane’s relationship with Peter/Spiderman, she seems completely and utterly bored when she is with Peter. In both the comics and the films, Mary Jane seems to have fallen for Spiderman, rather than Peter Parker– unless Peter does something to remind her that he is Spiderman (like make a net or hammock out of webs, for example), she looks bored out of her mind and like she hardly cares. Furthermore, Mary Jane is annoying to me in regards to the fact that she constantly requires saving (seriously, after the tenth time in the first movie, you would think she would learn not to walk into dark alleys and would use the sidewalk atleast) and seems to be lacking some intelligence. In my opinion, both Peter and Mary Jane use each other– Mary Jane uses Peter so she can date a superhero; and Peter uses Mary Jane for her beauty and popularity. Personally, I am not a fan of that kind of relationship.

Gwen Stacy actually comes into the comics before Mary Jane and is the initial love interest– though, unlike in the recent movie adaptation, Gwen is never told that Peter is Spiderman and it results in her death. Gwen has a style that is a mixture of preppy and modernism. While she wears turtle necks, argyle sweaters, and classic trench coats, she also wears miniskirts and thigh high boots (I really hated those boots, to be honest). Gwen understands a key rule to fashion– when you show a lot of leg, you show little cleavage (and vice versa). Personally, I loved Gwen’s outfits at the end of the film– I liked the black trench and houndstooth scarf, the striped sweater and beret, and I absolutely adored the black and navy polka-dot dress she wore at the very end. While I did like a majority of Gwen’s outfits, I was not a fan of the tight sweater-vest and t-shirt look at the beginning of the film, and I felt some of her plaid skirts in the middle of the film were too long (the hemline and boots made Stone seem much shorter). In regards to the relationship between Gwen and Peter, in the film, Gwen seems to love Peter, not just his superhero alter ego– she worries about his safety and even helps him when he needs it. What made me love the Amazing Spiderman more was actually Gwen– she doesn’t wait for Spiderman to come save her, rather she hits the Lizard with a trophy, sets the Lizard on fire, and creates an antidote to help Peter. Furthermore, Gwen doesn’t seem like a forced character and fits well into the universe of the movie. She is as smart as Peter and catches onto his tactics quickly, rather than just being swallowed by her emotions or letting everything go on around her– plus, there is not a single time in the film when Gwen is saved by Spiderman, rather she is already in the process of saving herself and he helps her towards the end. Even though their relationship is not perfect, Gwen is both smart and independent enough to keep up with the insanity that is his life.

What do you think? Do you prefer Mary Jane or Gwen Stacy? Or do just prefer one Spiderman movie over the others?

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