The trend to turn lead female characters into ass-kicking independent machines has been on the rise for some time. No longer can women be seen as weepy wimps waiting for a strong handsome knight to rescue them, they now have to blow enemies up with massive weapons (RED), beat up men thrice their size with de rigueur Kung Fu (SHREK, THE AVENGERS), fight back in horror films (SCREAM), and save the day as well as their lumbering larger-than-them-but-useless boyfriends (HUNGER GAMES). But the trend doesn’t end with just new tales of ladies who punch, the classics are also being twisted around. Snow White is no longer a soft-spoken soprano singer in the new film SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMEN, she now takes villains down like some kind of non-religious Joan of Arc. As fun as it is to mess with a classic and get tomboyish actresses with transcendental acting chops like Kristen Stewart to play the leading lady in a suit of armor, can’t we just let some of these stories slide? I know as a woman who doesn’t follow the pink and fluffy stereotypes of being female I should applaud Hollywood for expanding society’s views on our sex; but as an escapist who loves films to get away from reality, I can’t help but wish filmmakers would stop making these true to life depictions of women. After all I already have to kick ass everyday against villainous meter maids, warring department heads in the office, ego striking low wages, bitchy fellow choir members who are jealous that I can wear sleeveless dresses, and against tireless attacks by telemarketers.
This is why deep down most women want to be princesses. We sometimes feel helpless with the millions of chores and demands made by our families so we appreciate the idea of someone taking pity on us just because we’re pretty or pathetic with high voices. In the classics, women don’t have to constantly communicate their need for help from a man, they get singing birds and cutesie deers to do the work! We get tired of taking all those self-defense classes so we can fight back against real-life freakazoids who predictably target women. Why not wish for some guy to miraculously show up and save us instead? And not just any guy, the hottest guy in the kingdom! Richest too! And yes I’ll take that all paid for castle with help included! No wonder these lovely stories of women being saved were made. I understand that we no longer want our little girls and boys to think that women can’t take care of themselves, but the classics we grew up with about princesses weren’t made up by men to brainwash us into thinking women are weak and need men to keep them safe; I believe these stories were originally told by grown women wishing that for once someone else would do the work.
So please Hollywood, let’s make a deal. Even though truth is more profitable than fiction, let us keep the classic fairy tales as they are with the women portrayed as beautiful and delicate and the men as strong and chivalrous. In turn, you can keep your KICK ASS‘s and GIRL WITH A DRAGON TATTOO’s. After all, a woman kicking ass is always really cool to watch as long as it’s another woman other than ourselves doing it.
- Why Do Critics Hate Kristen Stewart’s Snow White? (ideas.time.com)
- A ‘Snow White’ As Bleak As It Is Grimm (npr.org)
- Katniss and Snow White: The New Revolutionaries (wetalkaboutmovies.wordpress.com)