Fighting with the Sky

Megan Fox is Setting a Bad Example…Anyone Surprised?

Posted on: June 29, 2009

I saw “Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen” for the second time last night when I took my neighbors to see it. I was interested in seeing it again not only because I like action movies but also because something about it bothered me the first time. I thought that seeing it a second time would help me get past the explosions and loud noises to help me better understand what bothered me about it the first time.

It was obvious, even the first time, that there were racial stereotypes (even though Michael Bay, the director, claims it’s just comedic relief) and it was also obvious that Megan Fox’s character didn’t really serve a whole lot of purpose, at least not to me.

I’m not going to talk too much about the racial stereotypes, there has been a lot of discussion of that (see Newsday and Valley24 – for a more positive review of the movie). What I do want to talk about is the obsolete character of Mikaela Banes, played by Megan Fox.

To me, it seems like the only thing that Fox seems good at in this movie is having pouty lips and wearing low cut shirts while running in slow motion and falling cleavage first in front of the camera. And the main storyline surrounding Mikaela Banes is her trying to get Sam (Shia LaBeouf) to tell her that he loves her.

The first time she tries to get him to say those three words she changes into a white dress to look like the hot, innocent girl. Throughout the movie, she brings this up numerous times and threatens to leave him if he doesn’t say it. The message that I got out of this is that to get boys to love you, you have to look hot and wear low cut shirts and very high heels and this is your whole purpose in life. You can’t contribute meaningfully to saving the world from killer robots, you just have to get the guy to want you. What kind of message is this sending to the teenage (and younger) boys and girls that are populating the theaters in the thousands (or more, I don’t know exactly)?

When I saw this last night, I took four children (1 girl and 3 boys) all under the age of 12. I didn’t know what to tell them when they asked why I didn’t like Megan Fox’s character. Do I tell them that she’s only there as a sexual object whose only purpose is to have teenage boys stare at her for hours on end (and Fox likes it that way)? What I did end up telling them was that she was setting a bad example for women and teenage girls. But they didn’t really understand what I meant.

How do we talk to children (especially ones that aren’t your own, in my case) about what Megan Fox and her character mean for women? How do we expect these children to grow up to have healthy relationships if they keep seeing these types of ones in the media where girl is desperate to be desired and the guy refuses to say “I love you” until the girl says it first? Not to mention how do you discuss the racial stereotypes of the Transformers with them?

Maybe it’s just me or the fact that these children aren’t my own (I don’t want to step on the toes of their parents), but it was a really awkward moment for me when they asked why I didn’t like Megan Fox. If they don’t understand why this character is harmful to women, what does that mean for them when they grow up?

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5 Responses to "Megan Fox is Setting a Bad Example…Anyone Surprised?"

It was especially noticeable because Megan Fox's character had been portrayed as a much stronger character in the first movie. Mikaela Banes was a strong 'biker girl' in contrast to Sam Witwiki's nerdyness. The character had definitely been de-clawed. Hell she even looked over make-upped with the pet in her purse (Arcee in that box) as if she was a watered down Paris Hilton wannabe. The movie was definitely a list of cliches and stereotypes (some very offensive) mashed together without much forethought.

You're exactly right. I didn't even think about comparing her to her character in the first one.I struggled a lot with this part (and the racial stereotypes) of the movie because I did really like it otherwise. And I wanted to like it…and then this stuff happened. Way to go, Michael Bay.

Thank you for this article. I'm part of a group protesting the endemic prejudice of the Hollywood casting process.People Against Racebending: Protest of the Cast of The Last Airbender Moviehttp://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=9376&post=49254&uid=54866461619#/group.php?gid=54866461619Transformers 2, has unfortunately become part of the examples, alongside recent films like Dragonball Evolution, 21, Hangover etc.Due to the majority of fans of the Last Airbender being young people, we have debated on what points to give them. Some do not understand and others just want a film no matter what.If you want to know more, please follow the linkracebending.com

you make valid arguments, but here’s where I have a problem with your article:“When I saw this last night, I took four children (1 girl and 3 boys) all under the age of 12… How do we talk to children (especially ones that aren’t your own, in my case) about what Megan Fox and her character mean for women? How do we expect these children to grow up to have healthy relationships if they keep seeing these types of ones in the media where girl is desperate to be desired and the guy refuses to say “I love you” until the girl says it first?”Those are good questions for which I have no answer for, but you can avoid this situation simply but limiting their exposure to such media. Sure, you can’t have 100% control over what your children see in the media, but in this case you could have avoided the situation. You were well-aware of the racial stereotypes and still brought children under 12 into a PG-13 rated movie. If you weren’t aware of these issues, the PG-13 rating is still there to help you make your decision when taking your children out for a movie.There are many things that are out of parents’ control, but with proper parenting they can minimize the damage caused by the media.

When I was 12 I could handle the reason of feminist thought, so if you know them well enough to think they can too then maybe explain yourself more?nice article–I'm glad someone else realized this!

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