After a 12-year wait, the world is currently going crazy for Incredibles 2. The superhero sequel has been praised for its placements of Mrs Incredible, or Elastigirl, at the centre of the film’s expansive action sequences.
However, there has been one influential commentator notably and aggressively absent from the chorus of praise: me.
Elastigirl is not a feminist icon. She’s not even an icon; her body changes too much to earn that stamp of permanency. Elastigirl’s portrayal is certain to perpetuate insecurity amongst women regarding their bodies. The matriarch of the Incredible family has a body that no girl can ever hope to have.
Think about it: at one point. Elastigirl is thin enough to squeeze under a villain’s door. But later, she is able to act as a parachute to save herself and another FEMALE from a fall. Weight fluctuation of this kind is completely unhealthy, yet the film asks us to believe that this disorder can save lives. Keep it, Disney.
It gets worse. Later in the film, Mrs Incredible stretches her torso over what must be 100-freakin’-metres in order to prevent a train crash. Does Brad Bird (a MAN and a BIRD, the most male of the all the reptiles) have ANY idea how many young girls are going to run from the cinema, stand in front of their mirror and wonder why THEIR body can’t contort into countless shapes in order to save the citizens of Metrocity? Imagine how you’d feel, Brad, if feeling is something you’re still capable of doing.
Elastigirl is a terrible role model. At no point in the film does she acknowledge that women without fantastical, stretchy, mutated superbodies are ALSO BEAUTIFUL. Nope, she’s too busy saving the world while her husband looks after the kids to be concerned with questions about the role of the modern woman.
To the women reading this: don’t give up on you. You are beautiful, and not being able to turn yourself into a jetski at a moment’s notice doesn’t change that. It never will.