Friday, June 17, 2011

Girl w/t Dragon Tattoo Poster (NSFW)

Okay. Okay. From my understanding, having neither read the books nor seen the Swedish films, Mara's character Lisbeth Salander is like this totally badass, punk-goth, technowizard, tough as nails broad, and also gets raped at one point. And that the books deal with issues of violence against women and specifically, rape. So, part of me is really NOT okay with this poster. Because it shows her all vulnerable, but in a "sexy" way, with the oh-so yummy Daniel Craig behind her (protecting? Comforting?), in short Hollywooding a character who is supposed to be sexy because of her essential "je ne sais quoi"/not-giving a fuck attitude, not because she's HOT. Plus, sexualizing a rape victim. So there's that. But then, it's also not good to define someone by their victimhood. With the I Spit On Your Grave poster debacle, this was an issue, probably more so because the protagonist's rape is the impetus for the entire film. So actively highlighting her fuckability on the poster is pretty, well, fucked up.


But then. But then.
This poster is so hot. I mean. Daniel Craig, for one. And then, Rooney Mara. 




Rawr. But then I feel like a bad feminist for thinking it's hot.  And then I'm like, "No, it's fine, they're sexy! I can't help it!" (which, yeah, I can't change what I respond to visually). Which is the absolute, horrifying brilliance of it all.  
This poster is problematic not just because it shows the female protagonist half-naked while the man remains clothed, not just because she's in a position vulnerable to his; it's problematic because of all of those things and the fact that it IS sexy. Something about this image is effective.  If it wasn't such an attractive poster, I might not give a hoot. But that's the brilliance of advertising; it uses images people respond to sell a product, regardless of the message that image might be sending and/or reinforcing.  So for me to say I'm not going to think critically about it because I like it is not smart and it's not going to solve anything.


We can't just ignore the unsavory aspects of pop culture when it has to do with a product we like.  If we turn a blind eye to our favorite artists, then we're hypocrites and we're not accomplishing anything.  Now, I'll probably see the movie.  I guess my point is, go ahead and like what you like, as long as you acknowledge the problems inherent in liking said thing and don't give something a pass because it happens to suit your personal tastes.  


-C

2 comments:

  1. Of course. I said -I- personally found it sexy.

    But it's a movie poster. And people like naked ladies, so naked ladies are often used to sell a product; the movie, in this case. It just seems like nudity purely for the sake of titillation (heh) without any other purpose, which is I guess what bothers me.

    That said, I do think it's tasteful nudity, it's certainly not vulgar. It's partially the posing that makes it seem like she's an object for staring at, rather then a fully realized character. 'Cause I'm all for nudity, but nudity because our bodies are beautiful and part of our humanity and should be celebrated, not for someone else's enjoyment.
    We can't ignore the fact that more often than not, women are judged for their physical merits first and their individual personalities second.

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