Angelina Jolie's Lara Croft on a motorcycle.
Trigger warnings: rape, violence against women.
Tomb Raider holds a fond place in my heart as a cultural icon, if only for the sexual awakening I shared with many other teen girls when I found myself infatuated with Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft. However, I never could get into the videogames due to my own prejudice against games that screamed “boys only!” As a teen girl, I couldn’t get past her giant tits long enough to take the game seriously. Later, 2006, game designers acknowledged Lara was unrealistic, and responded with a redesign of supposed realism, I still snubbed Lara Croft:
As a gaming woman, I don’t find Lara Croft’s new proportions especially empowering or representative of me. It’s another message of how I ought to look so I can be sexy, confident, and poised. The consensus was that Croft was ridiculous, even from those who found her aesthetically pleasing. Now, she’s “realistic.” I could, theoretically, look like the new Lara Croft; she’s become within the realm of possibility existing. I’ve already “won” genetic lottery—I’m white, brunette, not fat—and now I just need to get breast implants, work out more, and stop eating.
If you don’t remember the 2006, here’s an image of how “realistic” the then-new Lara was:
The 2006 Lara Croft reboot. She is a busty, small-waisted white woman swinging from a rope as she aims a pistol.
So game designers acknowledged that a pin-up girl was problematic, but responded with “realism” that was not so real. Now, in 2012, Tomb Raider has another reboot that attempts to make Lara realistic through… vulnerability? Continue reading