It seems that no matter what day of the week it is you can always count on the internet for a dose of troll hate for Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel.
I have kept to myself about all the noise, but in a recent google search (looking for some Captain Marvel merch because I’m obsessed) I found yet another endless stream of bashing! Why do people hate her so much? Here are my two cents…
1: The Male Gaze: I don’t want to compare, but at the moment we only have TWO female lead superhero films. Captain Marvel and the also very successful Wonder Woman. I don’t think it’s fare to compare these stories to one another but I do think it’s worth noting the difference in how general audiences reacted to their deliveries.
Wonder Woman has always been “the female hero.” Femininity is a crucial part of her identity; she is from an island of amazon women, they stay away from the world of man because of how corruptible they are, and she is here to show that emotional power, and not just physical power, is a great weapon. She is here to show the full range of what a warrior woman can be and is.
That being said- she has also been doing it in star-spangled panties and a revealing top for decades. I don’t diminish the icon that IS Wonder Woman but I also don’t ignore that everything about her physically, until recently, has been to satisfy the male gaze. They cast a supermodel as the film version for crying out loud!
Note: No offense to Gal Gadot she is my Wonder Woman. Long may she reign.
This is not saying that Brie Larson isn’t beautiful, but when a good chunk of the attacks online are about how her ass looks in the Kree uniform then let’s call a thing a thing here!
Captain Marvel’s uniform is militaristic and is the same for all female AND male Kree soldiers. It also covers her from head to toe showing no skin. People can say all they want that they’re fine with it but her uniform is built for battle and not booty. There is nothing to sexualize about her attire and we as an audience are used to that being not just a element but a necessity for female leads.
2: Smile!: The feminist movement has fought back on the smiling argument for a hot minute. People have countered that it has been a made-up issue and that no one has ever been upset because a female lead, actress, singer, or whatever didn’t smile.
When the first Captain Marvel trailer dropped? It rained fire in the comment section because she didn’t smile!
She’s a F#$^#$^# soldier! Who does she need to smile for?! Leave her alone! (Yes, I’m channeling a bit of Chris Crocker defending Britney Spears some many years ago).
3:Owning It: Here’s the other thing about the empowerment of girls that we hear all the time-Be strong, but don’t be TOO strong. Be good but don’t be better than the boys. Be smart but be careful not to outwit the men or they might not like you… We claim we want girls to be the most powerful versions of themselves yet subconsciously or out of fear of loneliness and rejection, we frame that pursuit under what men might allow. What is this, 1950 during Annie Get Your Gun?
Yeah, Carol Danvers doesn’t do that S#$^.
She isn’t the “feminine hero” like Wonder Woman. She is rather a hero who happens to be female. In her debut film she took to the sky to stop a shower of ballistic warheads and ripped a spaceship apart with her barehands to save a refugee race of aliens and her friends. Also, she did the whole damn adventure without a love interest! She’s not here to live up to anyone’s expectations! She says it best in the film after Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) tries to get her to fight him on his terms and by his rules, “I don’t have to prove anything to you.” Then, BOP! Photon blast! Get after it Captain Marvel!
The internet has attacked Brie Larson for saying arrogant comments about how powerful she is. Uh, in Avengers: Endgame she flew down from the sky and ripped through a ship like it was a piñata! Then after? She held her own against Thanos and didn’t flinch after a punch square in the face! Yeah planet Earth, she’s the strongest Avenger! She’s Superman status! Deal with it!
People can try to reframe their arguments of why they hate her but for me it will clearly always be about this; she’s powerful and she’s not apologizing for it. Fine by me captain! How’s that billion dollar club treating you!?
Higher, Further, Faster baby!