Power Rangers' High Heels & Boob-Plate Armor | The Mary Sue
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These New Power Rangers Posters Display the Gendered Differences in Costuming

 

I’ve had some hesitations about the Power Rangers movie, but on the whole, I’ve been really excited to see the diverse cast and the concept. After all, the TV show has been rebooted and redone so many times, why not do it all over again and give more young actors a shot at some fun action roles? All that said, I really just don’t like these costumes.

I don’t like any of these costumes, really, but above all I don’t like the Pink and Yellow Rangers’ costumes. We got a teaser image of these outfits a few months ago, and even back then, I had my hesitations about the fact that the female characters were in high heels and closely cropped boob-plate armor (that is to say, bra-shaped, cup-defining armor). Metal bras and heels are fun fashion pieces to wear to a fancy night out or a pop concert or a fashion show. But… in battle? While piloting a robotic mech? Not a great choice. Also, not part of how the Power Rangers usually dress.

Sure, the Pink Ranger historically wore a skirt even though the rest of the rangers didn’t, and everybody pointed out that it was silly at the time, but comparatively, that was nothing. At least the skirt didn’t look like it would actively hinder the Pink Ranger in battle. There’s just no reason why, in this new movie, the Pink and Yellow Ranger would be wearing high heels, when their male counterparts appear to be wearing more practical sneaker-like boots designed for fighting, running, and jumping.

I love high heels; I wear them all the time; I don’t wear them when I’m working out. Because it would make no sense. High heels are designed to make you look taller in a cool, interesting way. If you’re already in a towering robotic mech, then you should probably worry a little more about whether your feet can adequately handle the controls, not how good your legs look!

I know the counter-arguments for this. This is a fantasy movie, it’s not supposed to be practical, blah blah blah. But if that’s the case, then why do the guys always end up in practical, battle-ready outfits? If this movie is a “fantasy” and “not practical,” then why are only the female characters saddled with wearing these things? Also, this is a kids movie, starring characters who are supposed to be in high school, working together on a team where they’re supposed to be equally super-powered fighters… I can’t believe I’m bothering to explain all this 101-level stuff. I guess I thought we were past the period of time in society when female action heroes wore high heels. But we are not.

Lastly, the reason why boob-plate armor like this bothers me is because if you were to wear it in actual combat, and you got hit in the torso, it would smash into your solar plexus and kill you. I don’t see why genre fiction costume designers keep making armor of this kind, except to emphasize female characters’ breasts, which–fine, great, but why is that a part of their battle armor?

Sigh.

Anyway, the giant robots in the posters look really cool. So at least there’s that.

(via CBR, image via PowerRangers.com)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).