Double Standard: Women on screen are always required to look their sultry, sexy best. Not so for their male counterparts.
Over the weekend I caught the movie X-men on TV and I have to say that women are really starting to get on my nerves. For those who are unfamiliar with the story (is that possible?), X-men is an action adventure about love, revenge, super human capabilities, violence and acceptance. And lots and lots of sex.
The characters don’t actually have sex in the film. In fact, there’s only one scene where you think it might happen, but no, it’s just a steamy kiss that’s been a long time coming.
So why am I all bent out of shape about that? I’m not. What gets me is that in the movie the male characters are fully clothed and dressed how you’d expect any evil-fighting hero to be – loose-fitting Calvin Klein-type attire that just oozes money, respect and the suggestion of an incredibly sexy body underneath.
Not so much for the female characters, though. Let’s take Emma Frost for example, a mentalist who can change into the most boobalicious diamond form you ever did see. When she’s not a firm-bodied diamond, she’s dressed in skin-tight white leather pants and matching top that is zipped down so far you spend most of the time hoping for a wardrobe malfunction.
When you happen to remember that she has a face — say, during the occasional line — you look back up into a face that screams “Come to bed. Now.” It’s obvious that the potential destruction of humankind leaves her in a constant state of arousal.
Listen, I’m not a prude and I know Ms. Frost the actress is staying true to Ms. Frost the Marvel Comic design, but I’m getting really tired of watching movies where the male character gets all bloodied and bruised and the female character – who’s been right beside him the whole time — looks like she just walked out of a MAC store. It’s unrealistic and insulting. I spend most of the movie yelling at the TV for the girl to “Do something! Shoot the bastard!” Anything but that useless pouty screaming.
So why are an overwhelming majority of female characters portrayed as prostitutes in training? Gaping of mouth? Check. Biting of lower lip? Check. Arching of back? Check. Purring of lines? Double check. You know, because when I’m stressed out and in fear for my life, I put on stiletto heels and my voice gets totally husky. It’s like they know me.
This type of over-the-top sex appeal is universal throughout the genres — just a couple examples are Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, or Megan Fox and Hotter-Than-Fox in the Transformer series. Oh, and anything with Angelina Jolie in it.
So why do women, time and time again, take these types of roles? Is that really all that’s being offered? Speaking of Angelina Jolie, I once read an article where she said she did all her sexy action movies so that she could make enough money to do the movies that meant something to her — like the Changeling.
But what frustrates me the most is that I see the effect this uber-sexiness is having on every day women. Now, instead of going to Target in jeans and a t-shirt, women are wearing minidresses and six-inch pumps like they were headed to the club but got lost. It’s 1 p.m. on a Saturday, ladies — there’s no talent scout hiding in the linen aisle. It’s OK to look natural.