Thursday, November 5, 2015

RIP Metal Bikini (1983-2015)

Big rumor going around the internets yesterday is that Disney is putting the ixnay on all "Slave Leia" merchandise. I can't say this is too surprising but it's kinda surprising. On the surprise scale it's like a three and a half.

There was a bit of a kerfluffle when the Black Series Slave Leia figure shipped out a few months ago. A parent raised the internet's proverbial eyebrow with a sort of "look at the smut I found in the toy section" post to facebook. The controversy didn't have much legs because most fans understand that the Black Series of figures is marketed to adult collectors, it's not a kids toy. Yeah they keep them in the toy section but that's more of an indictment on how limiting the merchandise categories of a retail giant like Target can be. HOWEVER...

The golden metal bikini is problematic, it's a sexualized take on a strong female character in a movie that appeals to children. I don't find it offensive but that doesn't mean that there aren't people that do. In fact until that episode of Friends I didn't even know that outfit was supposed to be sexualized. I just thought the whole point of it was that Jabba was a creep. I was one square kid. Anyway, add Disney into the mix and you don't exactly have to check mapquest to see where this is headed.

In case you're unfamiliar J Scott Campbell is a comic book artist, best known for his "good girl" style of art who has worked on and off for Marvel (owned by Disney) for the last 10 years. He does a lot of special covers for Marvel and if there's some sort of ban on the Slave Leia outfit he would know because he's exactly the kind of artist that would be drawing said outfit.

So here we are. Official/Unofficial confirmation that Disney is discontinuing the Slave Leia costume. It's probably for the best but there's something in the back of my brain that is screaming at me that this is a problem. That somehow this is tied into slut shaming. That there's nothing wrong with showing a woman can be strong and sexy as long as it's not exploitative and gratuitous. I don't know anymore... Rest in Piece Slave Leia, I guess we'll always have Comic-Con.




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