Of course, as Hollywood does, they remade the story, and called it Oz The Great and Powerful. I haven't seen the movie, so I can't comment on the content, but this picture made it's way to my Twitter feed and I did a triple take.
Female roles, typically when they are the "bad guys" always seem to ridden with misogynistic ideals- they are sexy, either trying to steal the leading man, or a full on man hater but they are always the sexy vixen. No, they aren't like their male counterparts, who are usually handsome and incredibly smart (though most villains often come with some sort of disability, which is worthy of it's own rant but I digress). Always, their evil comes with how they are able to sell their sex, and how they can use that as a means to destroy the other characters.
Here we have it, in the year 2013, when some of those viewing this story have never seen or heard of the original Wizard of Oz, are seeing the Wicked Witch, full cleavage and a tiny waist- which makes no sense for the character in any way whatsoever. Even in The Wizard of Oz, she was a girl who was trying to get her sister's shoes back because some stranger stole them right off her body, after of course, said stranger had maimed and killed her sister with her flying house. She was never about being sexy, or attractive. The Good Witch, of course, is covered, and demure, sweet, dressed in white, perpetuating further that good = not sexual. Why, I ask, is sexuality even coming into the occasion? Neither of these characters need to use their sexuality to strengthen their character. W
I'd be all for this sexed up version if it was meant to empower; that's to say, she was using her sexuality for the greater good of mankind. The issue is, Disney took it on themselves to take a complex, rather incredible female villain whose sexuality had nothing to do with her character, and made it about her sexuality. I dread to think what sort of dialogue she may (or may not have) in this film. We didn't need to see her breasts to know that she was the bad guy in the original version. Even in Maguire's Wicked, sex is only discussed when it's in the context of the relationship she has with a man, of her choosing. It never has anything to do with the advocacy she does, and the intelligence she has. No, sex is never a key role in defining this character.
Furthermore, sex was not a part of The Wizard of Oz. There was no steamy scene between the Wizard and Dorothy, or The Wicked Witch and the Wizard, or some twisted love triangle that again, in Hollywood, only women ever get into. She was not wanting vengeance because a man had done her wrong. She didn't need to use her charms to get what she wanted. She used her brains, and with those brains she trained flying monkeys, and placed spells on people who seemingly deserved it (again, read Wicked- you must).
Even Maguire was able to pull that out and see what a strong, feminist character she was. Perhaps he didn't purposely write her as such, but he stayed true to her voice. He didn't sex up the story line in order to vilify her or anyone else. She was just an intelligent woman, with brains, on a mission. The kind of girl that has the get up and go; the kind that will leave love behind if that's the price that must be paid, because what she wants is more important.
You may say it's "just boobs", but it's not. It's a reflection that we're showing our younger generations, showing them that being a sexual creature as a woman is an inherent evil.Furthermore, it's showing them that in order to be a prominent character, even the evil one, you must show your breasts, or your body. We're continuing to promote the idea that women are only of worth when they are showing their body- otherwise, they are too dull to be worth notating.
Disney, shame on you. Somehow, as I battle the damn princess culture and pink madness that you have spewed all over, you have now taken an amazing character and completely degraded the value of her, simply because her brains were not enough character depth for you. I wish I could understand why you are completely dead set on propagating the idea that female villains are sex crazed, deformed, insane lunatics who want to destroy the poor helpless princesses who will obviously need a man to save them in the end. This Princess Complex is not ideal, nor is it helpful to young women who may see your movie. Why not give these young girl strong, savvy, intelligent female role models? I also ponder, if your audience is families or women, why is there a need to dress her up in such a sexual fashion? Why not have her well dressed, well manicured, and leave it that?
We know the answer: Sex sells, and it especially sells when it's a woman. No, thanks Disney, I like my Wicked Witch with her dull clothes.
*There are of course inherent issues with The Wicked Witch's character in both The Wizard of Oz, Wicked, but in the Broadway play, I was most disappointed (spoiler alert) when they changed the ending to have the Wicked Witch walk into the sunset with her male lover.