I grew up with Lara, I’ll be honest. Not playing Tomb Raider but actually spending many hours watching Lara’s curvy backside and improbably large and at the time pyramid breasts running around the screen. She was the first ever game I can remember with a female as the protagonist and though I gave her feminist credentials little thought at the time, but now I wonder how positive a role model Lara really was for me.
It was as I got older and started playing the games myself and watching the movies etc I started looking at her as a character in her own right. Most females in computer games I can remember were usually weak or feeble and generally needed rescuing (Princess Toadstool anyone?)
Lara is introduced to us a super-rich heiress with endless funds with which to fund her adventures and expeditions. I’m not sure how much that devalues her ‘independent woman’ status, but I’m willing to overlook it. For me the important thing is she isn’t bothered by the money, you don’t see her being mean to the butler or moaning about the quality of the wine served to her. She can be a lady of leisure, a perfect modern-day IT girl or WAG, but she’s not she’s interesting and she’s got a passion for doing things, and if money’s no object well who can blame her! You don’t find her moaning about climbing a rock face because she just had her mani pedi done.
Other reasons I’m pro Lara:
- Try getting her to do something she doesn’t want to, like open a door with the wrong key… that girl REALLY knows how to say no.
- Okay she’s hot I get it, but get her to dive into a pool you don’t see her putting on a bikini first, she wears practical clothes! (hot pants are fine for the jungle!) and her tied back hair and flat heeled boots well are verging on sensible, no Jimmy Choo’s where she’s going!
- She has style – must have been that Swiss Finishing School (she’s a lady after all!) and she knows how to dress the part. She’s got huge boobs and she dresses to suit that no loose fitting tops which makes her look like she’s pregnant or pencil dresses which let’s face it would be hard to spear a tiger with!
- She’s modern – So she lives in a huge manor house, who has balls nowadays? What does our Lara do? Turns it into a gym with an assault course, and she has a very nice butler and staff to keep it all clean while she’s off adventuring, clever girl.
- You don’t see her moaning about dates or waiting for him to text. Not our Lara, she’s far too busy living life and exploring the world to worry about man hassles. Though her past track record with men isn’t great she either kills them or the die anyway.
- She’s super clever, she can speak a dozen languages, she can recall countless historical facts, read ancient languages, drive any vehicle you plonk her in front of, quickly assess any situation AND practice basic first aid (and self-surgery).and her knowledge of ancient history is unrivalled, even MI6 and the queen ask her for help, now that’s pretty cool.
- She always gets back up again – Lara Croft does NOT go down easily. No matter how many times you crush, pulverise, drown, break her, she’ll be bouncing around again like a little lamb after a quick reload. Point is, she’s ready to take some serious pain in exchange for serious gain – and I quite like that about her.
Okay I get it Lara Croft is physically improbable. Her breasts are enormous, (though more realistic now) her waist is tiny and, with a pony tail that long, her split ends should be atrocious. However this is something which seems to be addressed in the newer, more real versions of the game where he body is more realistic and less overly sexualized. After all, the viewpoint of the game is such that Lara never looks us in the eye. It does not allow her to be sexualized to a point where there’s an impression of ‘control’ or ‘domination’ that supersedes her own strength and independence as a character. She never gets naked, she never engages in romantic relationships with others and ultimately, she is a positive, female lead. Recent updates to Lara over the years have also given her a more gritty less pin up edge which has made her stronger than ever.
So to sum up – she’s witty, eloquent, smart, physically capable, exceptionally talented who’s mentally driven, who would you prefer your daughter look up to? Someone from TOWIE who’s famous for essentially nothing or a fictional Lara Coft? I know my choice…. Now where are those hotpants….