“Superheroine is the new black, and it’s been a stellar summer for strong, sexy and totally kick-ass female role models on the silver screen. But while Jennifer Lawrence’s weight dissection was so last season, it’s now all about the Black Widow.
Scarlett Johansson – actress, activist, model and all-round superbabe – provided a little relief from the testosterone-fuelled dick-swinging explosion-fest (surprisingly not directed by Michael Bay) that was The Avengers. Initially I typed ‘a little light relief’, but that pun was too fitting, as Scarlett has found herself, as every female film star who donns lycra does, mobbed at press conferences by journalists obsessed with how she got in shape for the part. This exchange should set the tone for the massive divide between what men’s and women’s journalists want their readers to read about and the massive amount of sass Johansson, a jobbing actress cashing in on her fabulous body, is giving, along with a great post she wrote for The Huffington Post in which she expresses frustration at the press’s obsession with how she and any actress looks, the responsibility of both parties to report with health of audience and actress in mind.
The haterz on the internet have predictably come back at Scarlett with the old ‘bite the hand that feeds you’ argument, essentially implying that Scarlett has no right to criticise an image-obsessed industry if she profits from it. I suppose they’d rather have Scarlett behave like popular ‘celebrity’ Holly Willoughby, who when asked by Stylist what she’d do if she was Queen for a day, said she’s make it a law for someone to invent a chocolate that you can eat without gaining weight, wear the Crown Jewels all day and get Phillip Schofield to do all the work, since he’s pretty good being her puppeteer anyway. She’s one click away from ‘Cheryl Fraser from Rhode Island’ material.
But that’s just it. Beautiful girls are not supposed to be smart. And that’s the problem facing Scarlett, and a problem set to face the female star of the hottest blockbuster of the summer, The Dark Knight Rises. Anne Hathaway is all set to step into her own black catsuit (funny how all these girls are dressed in such a slimming colour) and prove her own match for the test(osterone)-fest that’s the Batman-Bane face-off.
While details of Catwoman’s involvement in the plot are thus far under wraps (asset? Ally? Piece of ass?) from the trailer we know she looks good in a catsuit, a ballgown and the Batmobile. And from the lamentably tacky new posterwe can tell the ‘piece of ass’ role has most definitely been filled.
While Scarlett’s role in The Avengers was most definitely to bring some diplomacy to proceedings (recruiting the unpredictable Jekyll-like Dr Bruce Banner where no man is trusted to do it? Check. Getting usable intel out of Loki by luring him into a false sense of superiority so he can’t resist a very masculine boast, resulting in her and her whole team learning his plan? Check.) the memes, the interviews and the posters intend her to just be eye-candy. And, willingly, the more naive reviewers and viewers are falling for it. Let’s hope that when Catwoman’s plot unfolds, it is similarly slick, but disimilarly successful.”