Showing posts from July, 2015

Ten years and counting... Happy Blogiversary to me

So it turns out that two days short of my "one year living in Japan" anniversary is another milestone: the ten year anniversary of this blog. This Sunday, 26 July, Pfangirl Through the Looking Glass will be a decade old.

Granted in recent years I haven't been updating as frequently as I once did. However, I hope I make up for it by providing meaningful content when I do find the time to post.

Thank you to everyone who has visited and read my ramblings over the years. I hope you've enjoyed my writing - and other creative output that has popped up here - and will continue to get something out of the experience.

Now, if you don't mind, it's time to celebrate...

Why, thank you, Lara. I certainly won't say no to a slice.

Source: Irishhips

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Queer Icon (Part 4)

Part 4:
The mystery of Lara Croft’s sexuality

“Now what’s a man gotta do to get that kind of attention from ya?” – Larson Conway (Tomb Raider, 1996)

Despite being an icon for many queer pop culture consumers, Lara Croft’s own sexual orientation remains ambiguous. Outside of the Top Cow comics and live-action films – where Lara is blatantly heterosexual, with a fondness for slightly scruffy bad boys (who keep betraying and hurting her) – the character comes across as primarily asexual. Kurtis Trent is the only male figure who even comes close to being a love interest in the game series.

Lara's apparent sexual disinterest is despite the adventurer appearing very sexually attractive herself; a figure of desire with bee-stung lips, voluptuous breasts, toned stomach and impossibly long, athlete’s legs. Yet Lara is never dominated by sexual yearnings or romantic affections. She is very much in control of herself at all times.

It’s worth noting, however, that over time the character has …

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Queer Icon (Part 3)

Part 3:
Lara and the gay guys

Given how Tomb Raider seemed to be exclusively marketed at the laddish FHM crowd for years – with cleavage shots and cheesecake poses the order of the day – it seems rather ironic that hetero sex symbol Lara Croft ended up emerging as an icon for queer men.

Why was this the case?

As already mentioned in Part 1, Lara has chosen the outsider’s path. Hell, she gets called “outsider” repeatedly in the 2013 game. Not only does she blatantly, and continually, disregard definitions of ladylike behaviour (discussed in Part 2), she proves that heroes don’t have to be the embodiment of heterosexual masculinity – a sentiment that queer men are sure to support as much as queer women. Given that queer men are positioned similarly in terms of society's “what makes a real man” expectations, it's easy for them to admire the adventurer’s shrug-it-off, rebellious attitude. Lara lives her life with style and without apology.

Take this quote from Professor David J. L…

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Queer Icon (Part 2)

Part 2:
Lara and the ladies

So evidently an old euphemism for lesbians was “female adventurer.” Who, in the whole of Popular Culture, is more of a poster child for those two words than Lara Croft? Disregarding her own mysterious sexual orientation (to be covered in Part 4 of this blog post), no wonder she is an icon for queer women.

On a more serious note, it would be easy to dismiss Lara’s appeal to ladies who like ladies as simply a mirror of her appeal to heterosexual men. In other words, it’s purely about sexual attraction. Whichever version of the character is your favourite, Lara is intimidatingly intelligent, gorgeous, and sports a smokin’ hot body.

So queer women just want to get into Lara’s shorts. Right? Uh, no.

Evidently, even if queer women are sexually attracted to Lara Croft, admiration trumps objectification every time. As already mentioned (in Part 1), Lara Croft is held in high esteem by fans for the qualities she embodies as opposed to her many undeniably impressive…

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Queer Icon (Part 1)

There actually aren’t that many fictional heroes with full spectrum appeal – a fan following that spans all genders and sexual orientations. Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft, arguably the most iconic of female video game characters, is one of these rare cases (despite what the laddish marketing of the franchise in the late 90s would have you believe).

Source: Pedro-Croft
Once we may have stated “Women want to be her, and men want to be with her”, but such an explanation is outdated, simplistic and far too heteronormative. It does nothing to explain the diversity of Lara Croft’s fan base, and why it is that so many queer men and women around the globe hold her in high esteem.

Now, of course, some of the reasons for Lara Croft’s popularity are universal. Ultimately, straight or queer, people are people, and certain characteristics appeal to most in society – like strength of purpose, courage, resilience and independence. Pistol-packing rogue archaeologist Lara Croft embodies all of these qual…