Much like an old friend who you meet up with largely out of habit, because you feel that really, you should try and still find something in common, I am tired of a certain girl, yet can’t quite cut her out of my life just yet. This particular female is a commonplace character whom I’m certain features far more frequently than she deserves, nestled smugly amongst your collection of films. Best described as ‘The Victim’, this typically All-American late teen to early twenty-something, run of the mill individual, will usually dash about with little to no sense in many of the motion pictures that come out of Hollywood within the genres of thriller, drama or horror. It is apparent that more consideration is put into deciding on how to have her latest head of highlights than to her escape, getaway or rescue plan. Your classic damsel in distress has merely been reinvented within modern cinema. Gone may be the wicked family or cruel magical curse, replaced instead with kidnappers, killers and creeps, yet the stereotype essentially still remains. Is it not time that our entertainment moves on to something, more importantly, someone new?

I would like to think that a large percentage of women within the same age bracket that ‘The Victim’ falls in, have far more going for them than a good tan and neat manicures. If not at least greater common sense and far more adequate survival instincts, then I’m certain that any audience member with an interest in fashion would appreciate an improvement in the wardrobe. With the large budgets and fantastic connections available to large scale film production teams, it seems unjustified that the wardrobes for many lead roles are often filled with unimaginative, predictable pieces such as Abercrombie t-shirts, Hollister jeans and Havaianas flip flops. With no intentions of appearing judgemental, I predict that if a protagonist appeared on screen with her own sense of style, revealing some knowledge of brands which do not appear in every typical American shopping centre (and please, for once, some decent footwear), then I might be persuaded to give her a higher chance of not needing to be rescued. Perhaps, if ‘The Victim’ presented herself with the attitude of having knowledge that extended further than the confines of a beauty salon then our cinemas might well feature a character who thinks to a) call the Police b) cause considerable harm to her assailant or even, c) not answer the door to an unnerving stranger in the first place.

Certain that I am not alone in hoping that this repetitive character will gain just a little more personality, and drop the simpering desperation, this can be considered my plea to those who plan to include this somewhat archaic interpretation of a modern female in any future motion pictures. Give the girl some gumption, a great stylist, and possibly a gun, and who knows what might happen.  You never know… she might make it out alive by herself for once, especially if she swaps the sandals for something you can actually run in.

By Sophie Seymour

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