Sunday, 2 December 2012

If They're Not Pink, How Do We Know They're Girls?

Cartoons typically follow certain archetypes. You have your boring hero type, the brainiac, the strongman, the surly rogue, and the chick. Oftentimes, however, the chick isn't always that distinguishable, save huge breasts or the knack for easily falling into traps.
The quick solution?  Make 'em PINK!
For whatever reason, pink is the universal sign that something is girly and this solution is always applied to sexless cartoon characters who need a little femme'ing up.

Although not technically the first female Transformer, Arcee is certainly the most frequently featured and popular of the bunch.

Why there was even a need for gender identity amongst three-storey tall robots is a hotly-debated subject among hardcore Transformer fans. The fact remains, however, that there are a slew of pastel-colored femmebots stomping around Cybertron.  Arcee was first featured in 1986's controversial Transformers: The Movie where most of the original cast had been killed off to make room for a new roster of characters.

Arcee being the lone female had Princess Leia hair buns and a substantial hood for breasts... but it just wasn't enough.  Colored white and pink, there was no mistaking who buys the space groceries and gets her tailpipe stuffed by no less than three different Autobots during her run.

She later appeared in the cartoons series' EnergonAnimated, and the movie Revenge of the Fallen in her classic pink colors but when introduced in the current Transformers: Prime, she showed up as a blue motorcycle!  Gasp!  The mold had been broken!  Fear not Arcee purists, she's got some pink highlights and is ridiculously shorter and more diminutive than her male counterparts.  Kicks all kinds of ass now too at least.
Fans of giant robots that combined to create even giant-er robots rejoiced when Voltron first aired in 1985. The show featured five young, sexy (and Caucasian) pilots whose robotic lions get their asses kicked each week until they eventually decide to combine their vehicles to form the mighty Voltron!  Although the pilots' uniforms were a veritable rainbow, they seldom matched up with their respective lions' color schemes.
Sven (in black) originally piloted the Blue Lion but after he died, Princess Allura (in pink) took over.  A real shame she couldn't get it together and color code her Lion accessory, but then again, a fearsome giant robot with a pink leg would be pretty ridiculous, wouldn't ya say?  This would be fixed years later, however, when a similar show stormed North America...
1993's Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers took the same basic concept of Voltron (and countless other Japanese shows) and rebranded it with dinosaur Zords that
combined to form Megazord.  Sound familiar?
Once again, five teens with, like, major attitude were chosen to become Power Rangers. This time, however, the team featured two girls, Kimberly Hart with a pink pterodactyl and Trini Kwan with a yellow sabretooh tiger.  Although Trini bucked tradition by wearing yellow, the reason was that the show reused shots from the original Japanese Super Sentai series Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger where the Yellow Ranger was a dude and, hence, didn't wear a dress or have boobies.
While Trini was no tomboy, her feminine side was overshadowed by Kimberly's beating-you-over-the-head-with-her-vagina.  A stereotypical valley girl, she liked to shop, do mild gymnastics in battle, smack gum, and was hopelessly smitten with Tommy the Green Ranger.  So, y'know, like pink was naturally/totally her color.
Although Garfield didn't boast an outrageous color scheme for his fellow pet pals, his girlfriend Arlene was an affront to good taste.  Pink with plumped up red lips and dagger-like eyelashes, there was little question she was the gal of the bunch. Or a kitty drag queen at least.

One could argue that perhaps she was dyed pink or was a shaved pussy (snicker) but since she was actually a homeless alley cat, I sincerely doubt any hobo would go to all that trouble just for her.

The lesson in this exercise of futility, if you're going to include a token woman on your team, there are a few rules to follow. Make them vacuous, slather on the makeup, and make sure they're draped in pink.  Kids are apparently stupid and if the ladies aren't wearing pink, wouldn't they just be confused with one of the guys...?