Hear ye, hear ye. There’s a new Lara Croft movie, and the men have spoken: thine tits are way too small. Not that small tits are bad, per se, okay? It’s just that Lara Croft’s tits should feel familiar and comforting, and that means they should always remain gigantic, as they were in the original video game. The result: writing women into a boob corner since the dawn of time where we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t on the boob front.
Twitter Amazing Atheist tweeted this little gem, bearing the heavy crown of being the guy who is, at last, brave enough to speak a courageous truth:
Other men joined in to concur:
I’m sure they just care about continuity of breast size as a function of authenticity in art…
That’s a reference to the original Lara Croft from the video game Tomb Raider (1996), who had some big, pointy, cheese-slicing knockers:
In the original gameplay itself, her boobs were pixelatedly titillating:
Though the character was a breakthrough for being an action lady in gaming, the question of whether or not her boobs were up to snuff has pervaded the conversation around Croft from day one, particularly as those boobs have evolved over the years (You can see a good evolution here). Women hailed the 2013 boobs of Lara Croft, because they were finally reasonable, for god’s sake — in part because, by then, about half of all gamers were women.
“It’s a size C, I’d say, about the size Angelina Jolie insisted on when she played the action figure in the 2001 movie version,” Verashni Pillay wrote in 2013 of the smaller boobs. “She, like many others, thought the ridiculously inflated balloons Croft sported as breasts were a bad role model for young girls. Renowned feminist Germaine Greer called her an embodiment of male fantasies.” (Others argued she’d never gotten a breast reduction, but rather, a waist enhancement.)
Cut to now, and the new version of the film featuring actress Alicia Vikander, who is super fit in the ass-kicking sense, but not packing the boob heat in the dick-hardening sense, faced immediate criticism for not having the right proportions. “So they made Laura ugly and shrunk her boobs,” reads one gaming forum on the issue. Vikander, clearly aware of the character’s booby-trapped history, admitted her breasts were “not as pointy” as the original, but that she would, by god, try to play her well anyway. (She also had to wear a padded bra to get up to speed.)
A little history. Yes, Croft always had big boobs, but it’s worth noting that one popular backstory claims the original boobs got were never supposed to be that big in the first place:
Lead graphic artist Toby Gard went through many designs before reaching Lara’s final appearance. While adjusting the model, he accidentally increased the breasts’ dimensions, going for 50 and ending up at 150 percent. The rest of the team approved the change and that’s how we got a very realistic Lara (for its time) with extra large boobs.
That happy accident was a breast size clocking in at 36DD, and when Angelina Jolie played her in the motion picture in 2001, she had to wear a padded bra to bring her 36C boobs up to a 36D — hardly as well-endowed as hoped, but passable.
What’s weird about having a Boobgate in 2018 is that the entire conversation around boob size is totally skewed from the start. In large part, the problem is that men have been drawing boobs on women so enormous that just to restore order to the universe we’ve had to reduce them to get the conversation back to anywhere nearing humanity at all. As a consequence, we’ve all added to the general stereotype that big boobs are bad and slutty and unserious and small boobs are active, fit and competent.
The average bust size 15 to 20 years ago was a 34B. It’s increased somewhere from a 36C to a 34DD now, which has to do with a few factors, but one of them is rising obesity. In other words, gigantic boobs have never been realistic in the first place, and even if they are now, the remaining proportions would not look like the world’s tiniest hourglass with two basketballs on top.
What’s more, such drawings, and the arguments they incite, reflect and perpetuate the notion that having big boobs means you’re a dumb slut, while having small ones means you’re really capable. That sucks for all of us, because the fact of large breasts is already a physical and mental hassle, causing all sorts of problems ranging from back pain to low self-esteem to eating disorders. The fact of small breasts carries its own eternal headache about not being sexy enough.
Studies don’t help. Men (and women!) typically think bigger boobs means a woman is less intelligent, even though one study found that larger breasted women scored roughly 10 points higher on IQ tests. Having big boobs draws a shittier gene pool, too: Men who prefer big boobs tend to be more sexist and shallow. Men who are poorer and hungrier prefer larger boobs, whereas financially secure men who have just eaten a meal like a smaller titty.
This isn’t helped in the slightest by high fashion, where nearly all models have tiny or nonexistent boobs. One notable exception to the human hanger rule of an exceptionally aesthetic body in this world was when Tyra Banks broke the boob ceiling and made a career in modeling despite being black and having knockers. Big tit models sell Miller Lite, guys, not Marc Jacobs.
But here’s the thing: maybe we could stop scrutinizing boobs so much? There is no correct “feminist” “girl power” pair of boobs. And maybe if we stopped trying to achieve them, we wouldn’t be caught in a boob catch 22 where big boobs are wrong, and small boobs are wrong, because no boobs can ever be all things to all people. That, of course, is not a reason to have big boobs on female characters. It’s just that for now, we could go a thousand years of small-titted female leads and still probably not correct the error.
What should happen, rather, is a ban on creating totally cartoonish unrealistic boobs on female characters so that our only choice is to swing the pendulum as far as possible in the opposite direction.
In other words, if men can’t stop drawing watermelons, we’ll have to keep pushing back.
Which as of this time in history, is still a much better option than pushing up.