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The Female Perspective: The Gold Bikini and Why It’s Not That Bad

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.

As I am now fully recovered from the madness that was Rhode Island Comic Con, I feel I can sit down and happily write a blog post this week that both embodies my love of feminism and my love of Star Wars.

The gold bikini.

While I look beautiful, I am actually made of steel.
While I look beautiful, I am actually made of steel.

Recently, there has been a lot of hubbub about Princess Leia and the gold bikini because now that Star Wars is owned by Disney, they want to retire the bikini and move on to other things. This has caused more uproar than it actually deserves (shocking since we as a culture seem to love getting angry about the things that don’t actually matter, I call the Starbucks coffee cup controversy to the stand as evidence!). I read an excellent perspective on the whole thing that clearly see’s both sides of the “argument”.

Here’s the thing, those that love the gold bikini are full of concern that because Disney no longer supports the ensemble it means that they are going to go through and omit it’s very existence from the films and merchandise. Relax. That is not going to happen. The fact is, the gold bikini is entrenched in the Star Wars culture, you cannot get rid of it, even if you try. Besides that, there really is no point in doing so. It would be a huge expense for something that really, isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of thing. And seriously, if George Lucas “re-edits” Star Wars again, people might straight up beat him with wet noodles until he (or Disney) changes the movies back.

The article I read on Geek Tyrant makes an excellent point about the whole thing;

Leia is a princess, and now, like it or not, a Disney Princess. This means her character, likeness, and image will be marketed and sold to the core young girls of the world as such. When Disney says they are no longer supporting the merchandising of Slave Leia, they are saying “it’s weird that we are trying to sell sexy Leia to children.” – GeekTyrant

There it is, in plain, simple language, the fact is, it’s weird to market a sexy outfit to young girls when Leia wears a whole bunch of other, much more sensible outfits. In fact, as the Geek Tyrant article mentions, Leia is out of that gold number as soon as it is safely feasible to do so. The movie in no way sensationalizes it or make her wear it the entire movie. Actually, in the movie itself she is pretty much fully covered up the entire time after that.

She's just waiting for the right moment to strike.
She’s just waiting for the right moment to strike.

The fact is, Carrie Fisher is beautiful woman and clothed or half-naked, she is still gorgeous. The other fact is, she was a prisoner to Jabba The Hut and of course he’s going to put her in some crazy-ass attire, like all the other slaves in his clutches! Give me a break, that whole scene is creepy and gross, as it’s meant to be and there is nothing better than when Leia strangles Jabba with the chain meant to keep her captive. If that isn’t some serious lady power, I don’t know what is.


The second point I want to mention is best illuminated from the Geek Tyrant article;

Altering her costume or editing scenes does a greater disservice than the oppressive nature of her outfit. Would it be better to see a full clothed Leia choke a space gangster to death after he threatens to kiss her? The outfit fills in the blanks to an older audience while keeping children widely in the dark. Essentially it’s perfect on all levels in that regard. –GT

YES! Exactly. This is why it doesn’t matter if Disney puts some space between them and the costume. It’s been over 30 years since it came out and all the toys, marketing, etc has been done to death. At the same time, the costume is a part of the history of Star Wars and therefore needs to remain in the films as-is. It actually serves a purpose in the story.

I remember seeing Return Of The Jedi when I was a kid and thinking, man Leia sure looks pretty in that bikini. Not once did I wish I was wearing it (I was always fonder of her more utilitarian outfits) nor did I think she was somehow lesser in comparison to her male counterparts because of that outfit. I was always so glad that Leia was integral to the story, on equal footing with the men AND full of princess power. It was a win-win in my young feminist book and it continues to be so to this day.

Most of the time Leia wore pants.
Most of the time Leia wore pants.

I am definitely on the side of pro-bikini but not because Leia looked pretty or sexy but because it showed that even in a ridiculous gold bikini you can fight off a would-be rapist, get rescued while also fighting off the bad guys side-by-side with the boys and getting the hell outta dodge with the man you love. It’s a beautiful portrayal of a strong woman looking soft and feminine but within her is a core of steel.

What do YOU think? Are you for or against the gold bikini? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments!

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The Female Perspective: This Halloween, Be Sexy, Be Powerful, Don’t Be Slutty

Welcome! This is the weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.

I was thinking about my blog for this week and wondering what kind of goodness I wanted to write about and eventually I thought about how Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. There’s something about the air that’s different, it’s cooler (well, usually. Right now it’s a tad warm in Rhode Island) and it’s just … weirder. So I started thinking, what are some great costumes for the feminist lady? Can it be sexy? Can it be daring? Will it still be feminist if you show off your good bits?

I think the answer can be yes though I admit it makes me feel a little bit weird saying that. I’m not someone who loves the “slutty” costume series and a lot of them really just look ridiculous (does anyone buy these???) but I also think that people should dress up as whatever they want. If it makes them feel good, who am I to judge? Then I think to myself, the real problem isn’t the risqué costumes, it’s the term “slutty” – that seems to be a quick and not-s0-subtle way for us women to degrade ourselves while doing something as simple as getting a Halloween costume.

Let me suggest some alternatives to being a Sexy Disney Character (ick) or other so-called “slutty” costume.

To each their own but something about a sexy Snow White gives me the creepy crawlies.
To each their own but something about a sexy Snow White gives me the creepy crawlies.

#1) Rosie The Riveter

Smart & Sassy.
Smart & Sassy.

How can you go wrong with this badass lady? Not only is the costume SUPER easy to make, it’s also really recognizable either as the “Yes We Can!” lady or Rosie. No matter what, you’ll look smart, sexy, powerful and be super comfortable.

Am I one of the only people who want their costumes to be comfortable along with looking awesome? I’m okay with it if I am, just thought I’d ask.

#2) A Suffragette

And it's perfect for the upcoming release of the movie "Suffragette"!
And it’s perfect for the upcoming release of the movie “Suffragette”!

You might be going, huh? What? Is that some weird toy or cosplay? Nope! In case you didn’t know, women didn’t always have the right to vote and it’s because of these brave women (aka suffragette’s) that we can vote and enjoy the rights we have today. Not only is it an unusual costume, it’s also pretty cool, you can wear a vintage dress and wear a SASH without having to be a beauty queen or … um, sash model. Seriously, who else other than beauty queens wear sashes?

#3) Any Awesomely Famous Women From History/Pop Culture

Honestly, these are as easy as pie (mmm…pie). You can go as Frida Kahlo and sport a fabulous uni-brow that will certainly catch all the glances. Not to mention, as Frida you can wear beautiful, colorful, flowing clothing and really show off your artistic side.

If you are more into movie/TV icons you can go as a S.H.I.E.L.D Agent and go around kicking people’s butts or grabbing that hot guy dressed as Thor and tell him you want him to join the S.H.I.E.L.D initiative – it’s a perfect pick up line for the single gal!

You can also go with more traditional fare like a fully dressed Disney princess, the Queen or even my personal fave, Buffy The Vampire Slayer or get really tough with your best Furiosa costume!

Buffy Costumes - totally DIY awesome!
Buffy Costumes – totally DIY awesome!

There are so many awesome options for Halloween costumes that DON’T involve showing off every bit of skin you can get away with but still be powerful and in full command of your sexuality. Don’t sell yourself short by picking something “slutty” – I can promise you that you are better than that.

Halloween is a time to express the side you never get to express. It’s a time to dress up in a way you’ve always wanted to, but thought might be disapproved of. Go Goth, Emo, Punk, Prairie Lady, whatever makes YOU feel good.  If that means showing some skin, then go with it, but do me a favor, don’t call yourself a “Slutty” anything. If someone tells you that you are dressed as a Slutty Nurse just because your skirt is short or you’re showing some cleavage, make sure to correct them and say you are a Nurse, plain and simple. Calling ourselves “slutty” is what I object to. I think it’s degrading and it cheapens any effort we put into dressing up for a party. We are more than our body parts ladies. We are more than our cleavage and our booty. We are powerful, we are sexy, we are smart and we are worth respecting ourselves.

This is so cool! I wish it was my costume!
This is so cool! I wish it was my costume!

This Halloween, dress as you want, have fun with it, be daring, but most of all, be the powerful Universal force you truly are. Don’t sell yourself short by being slutty. Show the world that you can be both powerful AND sexy and that being sexy does not mean you’re not feminist. Being sexy is about harnessing your inner Goddess and rolling with it. Not about being cheap. You’re all brilliant, now show off that brilliance this Halloween!

What are YOU going as for Halloween? Tell me in the comments!