Vicky Mochama: The voice of Metro News.
Vicky Mochama: Heroines not dressed to kill — they're barely dressed
Karen Gillan's character wears a crop top to the jungle in the new Jumanji sequel, one of many female superheroes showing up for battle short on armour.
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I used to love watching CSI: Miami because one of the detectives, Calleigh Duquesne, regularly wore white pants and heels to collect evidence at crime scenes. Whether a mysterious murder on a boat or post-shootout at a gangland night club, Duquesne always looked — please, wait while I put my sunglasses on — fresh to death.
Nothing says "style opportunity" like scraping blood spatters off a limousine wall. Only one problem: no human woman has ever dressed like that for a scenario like that.
But if film and television are to be believed, us lady-types sure do love getting glamorous for an adventure.
Trailers and posters for the film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle show the one female character, played by Karen Gillan, dressed in a crop top and cargo booty shorts while the male characters are all appropriately dressed for a movie that is ostensibly set in a jungle. Admittedly, they're playing stock characters in a video game, but if we can make up a fictional video game that terrorizes teens then maybe we can put some pants on girls?
(Aside from which: we need a global moratorium of about fifty years on any remakes or sequels to movies originally made by Robin Williams. Anytime in my lifetime is Too Soon.)
Jumanji: Welcome to Poison Ivy isn't the only film to bravely clad a woman in clothes that provide her no protection. The Justice League movie was dragged for changes that its male directors had made to the Amazons. In Wonder Woman, the Amazons wear solid Greco-Roman inspired armour. In Justice League, the finest female warriors ever wear, like, leather straps?
As one blog put it, "My problem is a millennia-old military culture wearing bikinis into battle because they are women. My problem is a wise civilization that was created by the gods to protect the world thinking that soft leather is armor. I have a problem with a really great design being thrown out in favor of something that would excite the cis male gaze."
And it's not just battle-hardened female soldiers. In Jurassic World, the female main character played by Bryce Dallas Howard wears her sensible kitten heels the whole time. I have never been to a wedding where a plurality of women did not abandon their shoes at some point but Hollywood would like me to believe that, in this case, she just felt more comfortable in heels when running from ancient dinosaurs. Okay.
Unlike my beloved CSI: Miami, most of these films are remakes or sequels, but they can't seem to find any outfits in the late 2010s that might stop a woman from breaking an ankle or getting hypothermia. I guess that's the magic of film.