Criticizing the casting selection of Wonder Woman is not body shaming, it’s being able to recognize how sexism and beauty standards interplay in media. While I have nothing against Gal Gadot as an individual (I, obviously, do not know her personally and I do appreciate the effort she’s already putting into fitting the Amazonian role with her current workout regimen, however), the casting of another thin woman into the Wonder Woman role (let’s not forget the legendary Lynda Carter) is not a coincidence. Can you imagine if Thor was not played by a (6. ft 3, 201 lbs) muscular, heftily built Chris Hemsworth but by a man far lighter and far shorter? He wouldn’t have the same impact on screen as a convincing Thor, even with the same acting skills.
Same thing goes for criticizing the most recent live action interpretation of Amanda Waller in Arrow. Fans who are aware of how sexist beauty standards insist that women be as thin as possible and take up as little space as possible, recognize what’s happening to Amanda Waller just as much as fans of Wonder Woman recognize why casting directors would more likely hire a thin actress over a larger, more mesomorphic one, besides their acting skills.
Critics aren’t saying Gal can’t act, can’t be convincingly tough or does not “deserve” to act as Wonder Woman. What we are saying is that, when casting directors, character designers and concept artists repeatedly shrink down female characters in a way that counters their usual or most widely preferred interpretation, they are likely giving into fears that a female character that looks like she can take you and break you will not be marketable.