My Least Favorite Trope (and this post will include spoilers for The Lego Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Matrix, Western Civilization, and—cod help me—Bulletproof Monk*.) is the thing where there’s an awesome, smart, wonderful, powerful female character who by all rights ought to be the Chosen One and the hero of the movie, who is tasked with taking care of some generally ineffectual male character who is, for reasons of wish fulfillment, actually the person the film focuses on. She mentors him, she teaches him, and she inevitably becomes his girlfriend… and he gets the job she wanted: he gets to be the Chosen One even though she’s obviously far more qualified. And all he has to do to get it and deserve it is Man Up and Take Responsibility.
And that’s it. Every god-damned time. The mere fact of naming the films above and naming the trope gives away the entire plot and character arc of every single movie.”
Can I just say that I think this is the way Mulan should appear int the parks. In the beginning of the movie they make it very clear that the dress she wears to meet the matchmaker is not comfortable nor does it represent her personality. She spends the whole of the film proving that she is not a prize to be won or just a pawn to be married off at earliest convenience. She proves her worth in this outfit. She saves China in this outfit. She falls in love in this outfit. She risks her life, makes her strongest friendships, and changes the entire country IN THIS OUTFIT. Then they have her walk around the park in the same outfit she wore in the first scene of the movie and I think it is really negative toward her character. That is not who she is.
I’ve seen this post pop up on my dash time and time again, and it’s never quite sat right with me. I agree 120% with the idea that the pink “matchmaker dress” is a poor way to represent Mulan in the theme parks, but… so is her soldier armor. It’s just as much not who she is as the pink dress. It represents her pretending to be Ping, and her deceiving everyone around her. It is her pretending to be a man, to be someone else entirely. Honestly, if you want to talk about the outfit that best represents her, I’d suggest this one:
The outfit she wore when she defeated Shan Yu. That is who Mulan is; a warrior, but still a woman. It displays all of the strength that she truly has, yet still manages to be true to who she truly is. This it the outfit that she changed the entire country in; would anything have changed if she was still pretending to be a man? I doubt it. This proves that a woman can be strong, but still be feminine. Given that many people tend to equate being feminine with weakness, I think portraying that the two are not mutually exclusive is a damn powerful message to be portraying to kids in theme parks.
Just my two cents.
Yes, thank you.
Either way, can we just appreciate how raw this cosplay is?