Articles‎ > ‎

Dear Filmmakers: Just Own Up To Gratuitous Nudity

posted May 24, 2013, 5:56 PM by samantha@filmmusicmedia.com
There. I fixed it.


Ah, the touchy subject of misogyny in film. It's one where people on both sides of the argument can get a little carried away. Since the latest bit of controversy involves Star Trek I decided to throw in my two cents.

Let me start off by saying that I did really like the new Star Trek movie. I preferred the first one but this movie did its job when it came to providing summer entertainment. There was more Bones which was my one request from the last movie. There always needs to be more Bones. Despite this, however, the movie did have its problems. The one that niggled me the most was concerning the extreme lack of female characters in the movie. You have a movie filled with interesting, complex and funny male characters and then...just two female characters. One of which resembled an attractive piece of cardboard whose sole job seemed to be to say she was a scientist but then spend the movie having men push her around.

I'm not the only person that noticed the imbalance between male and female characters in the movie. The main issue that has sprung up in the movie is a scene that features Alice Eve's character (who I will refrain from naming due to nerd spoilers) changing into a jumpsuit in front of Kirk. For some unknown reason she had to strip down and change clothes right that second. It was a changing emergency, apparently. She tells him to turn away but, of course, he sneaks a peek which means we sneak a peek and get a nice glimpse of her half-naked body with the camera centered right in the chest region. Why is it underwear hasn't been improved in the future? That's not the point of this article, but seriously, there's flying cars but underwear technology hasn't changed?

The scene was completely unnecessary and didn't do Eve's character any favors when it comes to being anything other than eye candy. Bones was in the very next scene wearing the very same jumpsuit, why didn't anybody show him changing? Karl Urban is a very attractive man I sure as hell wouldn't have minded it. I wouldn't necessarily call the people responsible for this misogynists (that is a pretty heavy term to use), but I would say they could probably stand to put more thought into their writing and directing.


Of course thanks to Twitter (how I love and hate thee) the complaints about the scene got back to writer Damon Lindelof and director J.J. Abrams. Lindelof commented something along the lines that Kirk was half-naked in the last movie and J.J. released a deleted scene of Benedict Cumberbatch's character having an angsty shower. The point, it seemed, went completely over their heads. The fact that they were also half-naked isn't the point; it's the context for why they were half-naked. Kirk's scene actually did something for his character; it proved how smooth he was and how women loved him. Cumberbatch's scene was filled with emotion and dramatic music and the shot ended focused on his face rather than his pasty manboobs. Alice Eve's scene only proved that the woman likes to match her bra with her science officer uniform and that Kirk's a pervert which, again, tells you something about Kirk's character, not hers.

Also J.J., I love you, but if you were trying to pass off Benedict Cumberbatch as someone I would like to see naked you are sorely mistaken. The guy looks like the mid-way point on an Animorphs cover.

To make things worse, I was watching Alice Eve on a late night show saying that Star Trek wasn't for girls and the interviewer seemingly agreeing with her. Everybody's excuse seems to be that they didn't really think women would be seeing the movie so they could go all out and pander to men. It wasn't a coincidence that the shot of Eve half-naked ended up in a lot of the trailers.

I try not to call people morons in a public forum unless I really mean it but: People who say Star Trek isn't for women are morons. This is the show that got a third season thanks to a campaign started by a young woman named Betty Jo Trimble. Kirk/Spock was one of the first if not THE first slash fanfiction pairing, a hobby that is almost entirely comprised of women. On a personal note, my mother is a huge Star Trek fan and has been since the show had its original run. According to the latest MPAA stats, slightly over half of moviegoers are women. Most movies are made with men in mind. Put two and two together and...oh my god women are paying for something other than romantic comedies. WHO KNEW?

I'm not the optimistic type so, no, I don't expect films to get rid of gratuitous boobs. I still watch movies and TV shows despite it (I love Game of Thrones), but I would like people to just own up to why they're putting it in there. Don't treat me like I'm stupid, and for the love of god don't insinuate that I wouldn't be interested in a whole genre of film just because I happen to be a lady. Hey, maybe even think about equaling up the gratuitous nudity. Why do people in the industry think women don't want to see naked dudes? I love naked dudes! I don't watch Teen Wolf for the romantic escapades of Scott and Allison, I watch it for the naked dudes! Women can be shallow too, okay? If you're not going to stop with the boob shots then at least appease me with more naked men.