Girl in the Machine
Friday, June 8, 2007
Lara Croft's Ten-Year Mam Jam



Like most people over the years, I've played my share of Tomb Raider games. While the controls weren't really the best, I enjoyed solving puzzles and kicking some ass along the way. The crapfest that was TR: Angel of Darkness put me off from the series, and I moved on to more interesting games. I hadn't given Lara Croft much thought until I saw a rather irritating commercial advertising Gametap's Tomb Raider Ten-Year Anniversary bonanza thing. So, I decided to check out the weekly documentary discussing the franchise's history; what I saw didn't make me very happy.

I admit, I was naive. I went into the documentary with the tiny hope that perhaps we've made some progress in the past ten years--that maybe, just maybe, we could see Lara Croft as the smart, strong heroine that she is. Yes, as the doc stated over and over, Lara is a video game icon. Is it for the groundbreaking gameplay in Tomb Raider I? No. I believe a quote from the Gametap commercial pretty much sums it up:

"What would [gamers] rather look at: a hedgehog, a plumber, or Lara Croft's fair bum?"

For chrissake, people. It doesn't help that Lara's original design called for insanely unrealistic proportions that rival a Barbie doll. According to the doc, her measurements started out as 35" hips, 24" waist, and a 36" bust--and, in my opinion, a really freaky bobblehead. It's anyone's guess how she managed to raid any tombs without snapping in half from that tiny waist. From all the ads, the commentary, and the Lara Croft model search, the sad truth is that Lara's claim to fame rests only on her body.



At the very least, Lara has gone through a bit of a makeover; instead of the lollipop-headed hourglass freak show she once was, she's now more or less been appropriately equipped with a human-sized head and a torso that allows for a ribcage and the proper muscles to hold up her enormous endowments. Yes, she still has that bust, but I don't have a problem with that. Thousands of women all over the world have large breasts, and there's no reason to discriminate; I'm sure they'd like an icon to look up to as well.

But. When a woman has large breasts in our society, they become her identity. She automatically becomes free game for exploitation, and she as a person fades into the background. It's frustrating, and we as a society don't seem to be growing up any. It's as if these people have never seen breasts before, for crying out loud.

It was a nice try, but no cigar for me. Lara Croft is still known for her mams and has received the dubious honor of being a video game icon because of them. Perhaps one day the gaming industry will learn to grow up and see that large-busted women were not put on this earth to be boobs with people attached to them.

Special thanks to Gametap and Wikipedia for images

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 Posted by PlasmaRit
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