Posted by: codecalla | December 19, 2015

Geeking Out–Leia Unchained

There is a certain amount of pride associated with various fandoms, and I am no different.  I have many books, films, and television shows that I heartily adore.   Even if someone cannot understand the particular compelling aspect of a particular work, it matters not.  The story has touched someone in a way that is memorable.

Star Wars awaits.

Princess Leia was one of the first very strong female characters I remembered watching in a film.  She wasn’t just pretty.  She was smart, capable, and empathetic to the plight of her people.  She stood up to Darth Vader when she was horrifically outnumbered and likely set to die.  She did not waver in her convictions.

The infamous gold bikini, which is incredibly aesthetic and appealing, showed how all of her marvelous qualities as a leader and amazing person were overlooked.  Jabba dared to chain her until she fought back.

I feel as if Leia truly embodied the strength of a person determined to keep fighting for what she believed was right and who she loved.  The gold bikini, as beautiful as it was, epitomized the control of corrupt and short-sighted villains.  Leia was truly more than that.

Unfortunately, the gold bikini catapulted her into a sexual fantasy, which is fine, as long as she remains unchained.  Leia is strong, beautiful, and wise.  She deserves respect as well as appreciation.  They do not have to be mutually exclusive.

Leia challenges us to write better parts for all women, who want to fight and have strong convictions.  She is a role model.

I wonder how many compelling characters are written today for women, especially when it is easy to fall into the trap of writing to stereotype.

Is she a maiden, a fallen woman, a mother?  A spinster?

Stereotypes do a disservice to the idea of humanity.  Women and men are more than their genders or ideas about their genders.  I hope that we can find stories that challenge us and help us grow in our understanding of what it means to be human.

As for me, I’d like to be a bit more like Leia, gold bikini or traditional Senate robes.


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