The wife and I went to Iron Man 3. I found that I liked Iron Man 3 (better than 2), and while I liked that Gwyneth Paltrow’s character had a bigger role then I expected, I was disappointed by two things. That a lot of guys use that as proof that women get equal treatment, and that it is once again a Hollywood vehicle to promote an unrealistic expectation of looks on both men and women.
The first part is silly. Pepper did have a larger than expected role. I was pleasantly surprised that she was as involved as she was. I also have to say her role really probably couldn’t get much bigger because after all the movie is about Iron Man. However, this doesn’t show any parity for women in Hollywood, so please neck-beards, don’t try to use that as a highlight point.
I don’t see any women superheroes with their own movies. Now, I do admit I am not really a superhero comic fan and I have no idea who Natasha Romanoff is in the Avengers. However, it did seem like you can’t really point to her as a major character, she just seemed to be a tiny girl they shoved in a skin tight suit, not really a superhero and definitely not on the level of Thor, Iron Man or the Hulk. It is a bit like saying Michelle Rodriguez is proof women are treated as equals in action movies. While I have to say that she is represented as a bad ass, she is pretty much the only one.
The other issue I had was representation of what a normal person looks like. I realize it is a Hollywood movie, and sadly Hollywood is all about unobtainable looks. I guess I just wish they could show a more average looking people in a starring role. We keep putting unrealistic expectation on looks and it has a large impact on everyone. Both Pepper and Tony Stark are unrealistic. The actors have the base genetics, the ability to work out four hours a day for their job and the money to live a lifestyle of healthy food (a lot more expensive then most people claim). This is one contributing factor to over half the women in the USA at any one time are on a diet and over one million men are suffering from eating disorders (and is the fastest rising demographic in eating disorders).
Then again, I guess if I can’t expect women to be treated on an equal level, I definitely can’t expect that realistic looking people will be represented in media. It is a shame really.