Monday, August 10, 2015

THE ULTIMATE CLICHE: BIKINI SHOTS

As you can note from reading my blog, I love all types of films, primarily science fiction/fantasy films, but my second favorite genre is action films. My favorite film this year wasn't a science fiction film, but an action movie, namely 'Mad Max: Fury Road.' So the premiere of the most recent 'Mission Impossible' film got me thinking--why are there so many bikini shots in action movies and why are they excessively highlighted in the trailers? Most action films appear to feature a mandatory "bikini shot" of a scantily clad woman, who is either in a bikini or perhaps nothing at all. These flashes of boob and butt don't have anything to do with the storyline and seem to be placed in a montage of fast cutting scenes with no dialogue, which is typically toward the middle or the end of the trailer. Who needs dialogue when you can have "TNA?"
The 'Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation' trailer is probably the worst offender as of late. I guess my point is why? It was hard not to notice the bikini shots in the trailer, but Simon Pegg went one step further. Pegg noted the sexism in the overall marketing scheme of the film. Simon Pegg called out the the marketing team for the infamous "butt pose" in the film posters.
"When the posters came out, it was me in a jacket, Tom [Cruise] in a jacket, Jeremy [Renner] in a jacket, Ving [Rhames] in a jacket and Rebecca [Ferguson] in leather with her [butt] sticking out. It was like, ‘No, don’t do that.’ We’re doing something good here. Trying to, at least."
I want to make a point that I am not opposed to tasteful nudity,love scenes, nor the beautiful appearance of the female form. What I am referring to is nudity for the sake of nudity or "fan service" as one male fan said who trolled me. To be fair, the 'Magic Mike' franchise goes the opposite direction. So it's certainly not exclusive to women. However, 'Magic Mike' is about male strippers, so the sexualization of men makes sense in that context.
What does not make sense is why women are wandering around in bikinis while the men of the film are engaged in car chases and gun fights? 
So why is there always a woman in a bikini in an action movie trailer (and thus the film itself)? Seriously, do people swim this much? What is the context? Since I only have so much time to put together a post, I cannot go through previous film years, nor the 'Fast and Furious' films, as that would be a full time job in of itself, so this post is "butt" a glimpse of the bikini shots in action film trailers of recent memory.

The New Republic wrote a wonderful article about gender and film. Their article had some interesting movie statistics.
"While females represent half of the world’s population, only a third of the characters from the movies were women. The researchers also narrowed in on films by genre: Action/adventure movies are typically among the highest-grossing—and rarely include many female roles—resulting in few women making meaningful appearances in the most popular movies."
The idea that a woman's body and sexuality are a form of entertainment is an ancient concept that the movie industry is more than happy to encourage. Should it be any wonder why 'Game of Thrones' filmed half of its seasons in brothels with nude women walking about? You know what I find ironic is that this "bikini pose" seems to be absent from the more recent 'James Bond' trailer, 'Spectre.' Everyone was fully clothed in that trailer and that's a James Bond film. 

If you read one of my most recent posts, then you know that I think the comic book film genre is one in which women can truly shine, such as the most recent trailer of 'Suicide Squad.' I wish I could exclude comic book films from the "bikini shot" criticism, but for some reason the poster artists love "butt poses." Rope of Silicon did a lovely compilation of butt pose posters. Yes, butt posters. *Sigh.
Have you noticed a pointless bikini montage? Next time you watch an action movie trailer see if you see a bikini shot. I bet you will. Like this post? Do you want to see more things you dig? Subscribe to my feed through emailbloglovin or RSS.

33 comments:

  1. But...girls are supposed to want to be half naked all the time, right?

    The preposterous unrealistic way that men and women are portrayed in movies these days is ridiculous. In all honesty, men walk around half naked more so than women, so if they want to be accurate in their portrayals they should have the men in their underwear (or naked) and the women in sweats and a tee shirt. At least, that's what it looks like at my house (and the house of quite a few of my friends).

    But...not that I complain when a beautiful women is scantily clad...it may be ridiculous, but it's usually nice to look at.

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    1. Ha, yes I know my husband is just like you!! I guess I just don't see the point but I suppose there isn't one! You're right.

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  2. I'm sorry, what was the question? I got distracted.
    While I enjoy it, you're right that it shouldn't be pointless. (How did she have time to strip to her skivvies in Rogue Nation, anyway?)
    I guess you can blame the fact that the movies are made by men with a target audience of men. But since so many women also see these films, that can backfire.

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    1. Ha yeah I didn't understand that scene. Yes I think I read an article that most movie viewers are female now.... And they aren't just watching Nicolas Sparks book adaptation.

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  3. Because boners. That's the only reason. I'm glad you used Star Trek Into Darkness in your banner, because that had to be one of the most pointless underwear scenes of all time.

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    1. Oh that one was the worst. When I was thinking of this post that was the first one to come to mind. You're so right. "Boners" are the main culprit.

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  4. Hubby and I watched Cowboys and Aliens yesterday, and sure enough they found a way to get the girl naked! Pissed me off, glad to know I'm not the only one wishing this trend would end. I was wondering yesterday too about the number of men on book panels vs the number of women? Or speakers, etc. Just curious, or looking for another reason to be angry. :) okay, I'll go away...

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    1. Ha you know I will forward you an article that may interest you. It was about how female authors who change their name to make names are typically more successful. It was quite interesting.

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    2. Please do forward! I thought of that and changed my mind. Now I wish I had. :) Thanks!
      yolandarenee@hotmail.com

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    3. Just thought of something interesting too, I did that online thingy Called Hacker Factor: Gender Guesser . And all my writing comes up as being male!!!!
      Too weird, but too cool.
      http://www.hackerfactor.com/GenderGuesser.php#Analyze

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    4. I'll be glad to forward. It's a very intriguing article. I was quite surprised given that there are so many female authors.

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  5. Screen writers always have to find an excuse to do that don't they. And the scene always ends up in the trailers. That Mission Impossible scene was ridiculous too. They go to see her and, coincidentally, she's just getting out of the pool. At least they used a different shot for the movie. The Michael Bay movies are even worse. Every female character is introduced from the butt first. Usually from a low angle. LOL Men can be stupid sometimes.

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    1. Yes! Thank you. I just didn't see the point of the scene besides sex appeal. I thought the actress was way sexier when she was in her long dress. I totally forgot Michael Bay. He's the worst.

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  6. Thanks for highlighting Star Trek: Into Darkness. That scene was so stupid. I completely agree with you and Brittany - it's for hormones. How many men are paying attention to the context of a scene when a women is next to nude or naked? Not a lot. That's why those scenes are so easy to squeeze in.

    I didn't mind the bikini scene in Mission Impossible Rogue Nation (except if she was training for the underwater mission, why not wear similar equipment she'd probably need?), but the undressing scene later was just so out of place. They weren't even looking in her direction nor caring that she was half naked. It's just something to give the male audiences.

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    1. I think Star Trek Into the Darkness was the worst offender as of late. Yes that MI5 scene when she rescued Ethan made no sense. Ethan was unconscious. What was the point?

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  7. I do wonder, if the fate of the world hangs in the balance, if this is a mad rush to save the prime minister, or a bus full of kids from getting bombed, or a national secret from being stolen - why do we still have time for these scenes?

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    1. Ha you have such a good point and one I wish I would have mentioned!!

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    2. I know when my life's in danger, I'm usually like, I wonder if I have a slutty bikini for one last swim?

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  8. Most of the commenters have stolen my thunder on this issue. The bottom line, particularly in action flicks is that these are films made for boys. Showing women in their underwear or a bikini or less is merely part of the formula. Making sure those moments hit the trailer is an appeal to the lowest common denominator in an effort to sell a few more tickets. Sad, but true.

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    1. You know I wish Hollywood would understand that women like action films too. You're absolutely right they want to appeal to the lowest common denominator!

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  9. Skin is important, women in films are objects, in toys like action figures they get ignored and why... because movie companies think men are the only ones who attend films. Now I cannot complain too much, cause not that it adds anything to the story... but I don't mind the occasional bikini girl. If it helps I am in my underwear writing my response, while I sip my coffee and listening to the score to Mi5:RN... :)

    Jeremy

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    1. Ha, that does help!! I know what you mean. I just think more women see action films than they care to acknowledge. I don't get the prevalence of the bikini girl.

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  10. Such an awesome post. I love it.

    Look, on the one hand, this doesn't bother me, as seeing a beautiful woman showing off her amazing body shouldn't bother anyone (assuming she's down with it, of course). But, more realistically, it's so f--king ridiculous I don't know how it's still something that happens. Like, do the people who make these decisions actually have little horns on their heads? They have to have daughters and wives and moms, right? And even if they somehow don't, it's still like...what the f--k, man?

    Check out the Terminator Genisys poster with the Golden Gate Bridge in the back. Arnold? Gun. Facing us. But Clarke? Well, she gets a gun, too. But her ass is totally professionally lit. It's hysterical. Oh, and pathetic.

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    1. Yes! Exactly. I totally don't mind the beauty of the female form. But the bikini shots are so ridiculous. Perhaps if I was watching 'Star Trek' circa 1967 I would expect as much, but this is 2015 and there are still so many bikini shots in action movie trailers. I think Brittani said it best...it's boner material. That's the only plausible explanation. I like the little horns analogy. I think that's probably extremely accurate!

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  11. I must be watching the wrong movies. :( I honestly haven't noticed this phenomenon at all.

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    1. Ha, you watch a lot of horror. I'm surprised. Bikini or boob shot are pretty prevalent in that genre!

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  12. YES! I notice this all the time too, but also with men (more notably women though). I remember when I was watching Argo, there was literally a 5 second scene of Ben Affleck putting his shirt on flexing his abs. It was absolutely the most unnecessary scene...it's just 'lets show off how smart AND hunky Affleck's character is.'

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    1. You know I think I remember that scene and thinking the same thing! You're so right!

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  13. Have you seen Furious 7? That would definitely make this list!

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    1. Oh I know! I haven't seen FF7 yet, but I plan to. I didn't see the point of putting the FF movies on here since that would have been a full time job! You are absolutely right they would make this list!

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  14. I'm confused as to how anyone would seem so bewildered that sex sells.
    Every music video, every movie, every TV series and many advertisements use sex to sell. This is not a new phenomenon.
    And guess what, they make more money every year because of it. And let's be honest it's not just females that are sexualised. Every male protagonist is ripped and does a little shirt removing scene for the audience too. This is what the liberal left has fought for. Ever seen a gay pride parade? Making everything about sex has been an agenda for a long time now.
    Want to stop it? Stop going to movies, watching TV, or promoting anything else that promotes promiscuity.

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    1. Hi, I'm not bewildered that "sex sells." However, I do believe this is an oversimplification of the matter, which is what the post is about. You have a point about the male protagonists as well. The new Superman is a prime example. That said, at least Superman being muscular makes some sense. I do agree however that even Superman is over sexualized. But women running around in bikinis in some of these scenarios makes no sense. I think most people can admit that the sexualization of women is far greater than the sexualization of men. It also seems to start earlier and earlier for young girls. Now there are Halloween costumes for 7 year olds labeled "sexy police officer."

      It's a particular problem in action films. I happen to love action films, so it's something that bothers me. I'm no prude, but nudity for the sake of nudity (or spectacle) is so tasteless and I'm frankly a little tired of it. Hence the point of the article. And yes, I am very careful which films I give my money to. Thanks for your comment.

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