It comes as no surprise that yet again a female protagonist is objectified in the gaming industry primarily by men.
Tomb Raider first originated as a video game in 1996 for PC, PlayStation and Sega Saturn consoles. It was later made into a movie in 2001 named “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.”
Lara Croft is the main protagonist in these action-packed video games and motion pictures. As shown in the cover of “Tomb Raider,” the 1996 video game, Croft’s saturated chest size became a major selling point as it was the focal point on the cover and in-game.
Her breasts were exaggerated to appeal to the male audience who currently dominates the gaming industry.
Twitter user, @amazingatheist, commented about her breasts, saying “Do I have to be the asshole who says her tits are too small for me to see her as Lara Croft?”
Do I have to be the asshole who says her tits are too small for me to see her as Lara Croft? Do I have to be that guy? Do I have to be the one who fucking says it?
I guess I do. Sorry. pic.twitter.com/5CsXwYFjBb
— The Amazing Atheist (@amazingatheist) March 10, 2018
With many viewers and gamers arguing about Lara Croft’s breast size, the focus on the narrative of the film and the character development is lost, undermining the Academy award-winning actress Alicia Vikander’s portrayal of the character and perpetrating the idea that women need to be hypersexualized for male consumption.
Jermone Maida, a contributing writer from PhillyVoice, believed that the quality of a movie coincided with the largeness of the protagonist’s breasts.
Not only does this dude’s review of the Tomb Raider movie complain that her breasts aren’t big enough, he tries to make it about “women’s empowerment” pic.twitter.com/xitLPREsqW
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) March 15, 2018
“She never comes across as having an ounce of sex appeal and, at times, looks like she could be 16,” Maida said. “Toss in the lack of curves and Warner Brothers could have decided to gender bend and make a film titled Luke Croft.”
Maida made this comment plus another in his article and both received much backlash for body-shaming two female actresses. Thus, the comments were ‘surprisingly’ removed from the article.
Now this is not the first time a female-centered movie was criticized for the actress’ body. Wonder Woman is a perfect example of such discrimination.
Gal Gadot, the actress who played Diana, ended the trivial comments made by critics and fans in 2017.
“It was funny for me that it’s such an amazing character and all they have to critique is her bust” said Gadot, according to Cinemablend.com. “Me, as a person, I try not to pay too much attention to all the noise that comes when I get cast for something.”
According to Entertainment Software Association statistics from a 2017 report, females over the age of 18 contribute to the video game community by 31 percent significantly greater than young boys under the age 18 at 18 percent.
However, the lack of proper representation of females damages the image of the gaming industry due to its ongoing sexist stereotypes.
Many young females should feel represented as realistically and authentically as possible. They should be able to celebrate their favorite female protagonist, such as Lara Croft, without being expected to hold up the standard of what men consider the proper breast proportions.
To succeed in creating a safe space for women and increase sales, the gaming industry should strive for gender equality through the appropriate portrayal of females.