Meet Go Go Tomago, one of the 6 heros in Pixar’s new film Big Hero 6. She’s attending university, she’s building a kick-ass bike, she uses awesome catch-phrases like “woman up”, and has crazy talent with mechanics.
She’s also moody, dark, and kinda stand-offish. Sigh. Why can’t there be a strong, talented female that we don’t have to attach such shitty characteristics to? Her first interaction with the film’s protagonist Hero paints her as a kind of rude, unwelcoming character:
I’m not saying that women have to be friendly and smiley all the time. But context is important. She’s meeting her close friend’s little brother. Would a “Nice to meet ya” be too much to ask? As a female, does Pixar feel that she have to be moody to counter-balance her skill in electro-mag-suspension (whatever the heck that is)?
Now meet Honey Lemon. She’s bubbly, friendly, touchy-feely, eccentric, tall, thin, and her specialty is chemical-metal-embredlement (again, is this stuff real?). Which of course, is exploding pink bubbles. Oh, and she wears 6 inch pumps in the lab.
Do brilliant women have to fall into two categories? Moody and edgy or bubbly Barbie? What about Hero? He gets to be brilliant (he’s admitted to the university despite being way underage), he’s edgy (he battles bots illegally), he’s friendly (he has no problem gaining the respect and friendship of the other students), and he doesn’t look like a million other Disney heros (he’s short, Asian, and has shaggy/spiky hair). He is free to break the male mould and be his own unique character, without the added drama like Go Go Tomago.
So to view Go Go Tomago as a feminist, which I totally do, I have to criticize Pixar’s characterization of her. Does she have to be stand-offish? Does she have to refuse help from her friends? Does she have to frown and pop her gum in peoples’ faces? And does she still have to fit into a spandex hero costume that emphasizes her bust and butt? Oh look, another picture of a woman in which the viewer can see her boobs and butt at the same time (impossible, by the way). Jeez, Pixar. Show some originality.
Until then, woman up!