Jamie Chung | Complex Magazine | Sucker Punch's Butt-Kicking Women

Reader response to yesterday’s Private Studio editorial of Carla Gugino, lensed by John Russo for Esquire Mexido January 2011 issue is superb. The soon 40-year-old actress is hardly a toothpick, and readers love her.

Carla Gugino will soon appear in ‘Sucker Punch’ along with Jamie Chung, featured in this month’s Complex Magazine.

Gugino and Chung are joined by Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, and Vanessa Hudgens in an all-female credited cast. John Hamm appears in a lesser role in the story of a young girl who is institutionalized by her wicked stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the facility.

‘Sucker Punch’ was written by Zack Snyder and Steve Shibuya. Snyder directs, as he did in ‘The Watchmen’, which was just too violent for Anne in parts. An exception to her feelings about the movie was loving Carla Gugino as Sally Jupiter, a truly powerful woman.

Gugino talked about her new role in ‘Sucker Punch’ and Zack Snyder’s desire to have a fully empowered female cast.

“Zack loves women in the best way, and I think his intention from the very start was that he wanted to do a movie where these women are fully empowered,” Gugino said last week during an interview in Los Angeles, Calif. “He also hired the same amazing Navy SEAL trainers that he got for all of the guys on ‘300,’ and [although] my character sort of had different requirements, the girls were up there training for a full three months. There was no way they weren’t going to be empowered by the time they started shooting.”

Body Size and Personal Power

Yesterday we wrote ‘Black Swan’ | George Balancine | Battling BMI Beauty in Ballet, noting that in ballet also, the dancers must have abnormally low BMIs. Dancers — like models and actresses — have always been thin, but culturally the size-zero model trend is part of a larger issue called “the vanishing woman”.

Women’s rights generally and specifically having the right to control our own bodies are in a disgraceful state of affairs in America. Increasing numbers of laws govern abortion rights and the move to take away our rights to abortion is a strong commitment among conservatives.

Sexual politics are at play in the pressure on women to be so small, they lack kick-butt power. 

We believe the expressed sexuality of size zero women compared to the Supermodels (we only use that term to the real Supermodels: Crawford, Campbell et all) is a big issue in the fashion industry.

The rise of Lara Stone and Crystal Renn, and a global wave of feminism everywhere but in the US, encourage us that our younger women might take seriously the fact that the size 0 fashion model image isn’t empowering, except in those Asian cultures where women are naturally tiny.

The luxury market is moving to Asia, so of course we should have a wide array of beauty standards and body types.

Butt-Kicking Women

Within this intellectual context, we hope that the women of ‘Sucker Punch’ are as empowering, in the style of Carla Gugino as Sally Jupiter in ‘Watchmen’.

Looking at the Complex Magazine images of Jamie Chung, and especially the last three, we are reminded that this is old-fashioned Supermodel imagery.

In reality, being fierce involves having a kick-butt, healthy body. If breasts and a butt are attached, that’s just fine, based on physical gender differences that involve 80-90% of the female population.

We all come in different sizes and shapes, and it’s time to stop deriding women who have an ounce of muscle on their bones as not meeting a borderline misogynistic standard of beauty.

We love French fashion and all things French, but the argument that an ounce of muscle or fat is basically obscene — which Karl Lagerfeld is quoted as saying — involves far deeper psychological attidues than cultural beauty standards.

No muscle is allowed on a fashion model’s body. To be fair, Lagerfeld now sets the same standard for his own body. No muscle, he says.

Only a fool wouldn’t see these attitudes are deeply grounded in gender politics and also in the strong transgender, androgyny movement in play.

Sucker Punch Trailer Release March 25, 2011