Joining the Marvel Universe takes a lot of commitment -- and we’re not just talking about those 9-movie contract deals, either. We’re talking about the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to assume a superhero physique, which is a requirement whether you’re laced with adamantium or hidden in an Iron Man suit. The endless crunches and strict diets is what separates the men from the boys -- and the men from the women, as "Iron Man 2" actress Scarlett Johansson discovered.
“While training for an upcoming film, I've come to this conclusion: chin ups are near impossible and lunges suck," Johansson wrote in a recent Huffington Post column. "There is no magic wand to wave over oneself to look good in a latex catsuit.”
While extreme workouts are a necessity for any new superhero or heroine, Marvel’s newest member found that her workouts are regarded in a much more critical light than those performed by Hugh Jackman and Robert Downey Jr.
“Since dedicating myself to getting into 'superhero shape,' several articles regarding my weight have been brought to my attention," wrote Johansson. "Claims have been made that I've been on a strict workout routine regulated by co-stars, whipped into shape by trainers I've never met, eating sprouted grains I can't pronounce and ultimately losing 14 pounds off my 5'3" frame ... If I were to lose 14 pounds, I'd have to part with both arms. And a foot. I'm frustrated with the irresponsibility of tabloid media who sell the public ideas about what we should look like and how we should get there.”
And though the actress stresses the need to be fit, eat right, and stay healthy, she worries that many young women might read such irresponsible articles, and go on desperate and dangerous diets.
Johansson brings up an important and unhappy fact. No one suggested that Christian Bale wasn’t buff enough to play Batman or argued that Samuel L. Jackson needed a few crunches for Nick Fury, or called out the 300 ex-Spartans for not keeping up the regime. So, why does the Black Widow immediately come under the fitness microscope? Why should a superheroine be held as a standard for all women to emulate?
While we should all try to follow a heroic fitness regime, it’s important to remember that comic book characters are larger than life, and sketched into perfection. Expecting all mortals to look as good in latex is as impossible as surviving a radioactive spider bite.
What do you think of Johansson's take on superhero fitness standards? Sound off in the comment section!