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13 Things That Action Movies Get Wrong About Women

List RulesVote up the ways action films just do not understand women.

Seeing women in action movies is empowering, and it's great to see films including more female leads. But many writers and producers have yet to steer away from female action movie hero tropes. Women might seem strong in films, but they're still far removed from powerful women in real life because many of their actions and appearances just don't make sense.

If women were to actually throw down, sexy clothing and fancy moves wouldn't be a priority. They wouldn't put on makeup and heels just to make a memorable entrance. And most importantly, women can be strong without having a "flawless" appearance. All women can be beautiful, powerful, and strong, so it's about time the media start representing them that way.

Even in the present day, movie tropes continue to reflect questionable decisions about female characters. Here are some closed-minded stereotypes about women that are continuously shown in action movies. While they might look cool on screen, reality is so much more complex.

  • 1

    Sprinting In High Heels? No Problem

    Photo: In Time / 20th Century Fox

    The Trope: Women can easily run and fight in high heels.

    Why Is It Inaccurate? High heels are stylish, but for most women, they're not an everyday accessory. If a woman knows she's going to get involved in some physical activity, she will keep the heels at home and choose something more fitting. Running in high heels will leave someone unbalanced, and it could even damage their feet, knees, and spine. Not to mention that heels are not cheap, so no one would want to ruin their fancy shoes on a dangerous adventure.

    Odds are, many films use heels for the sexy silhouette it gives women. It gives some illusion that wearing heels is what makes someone a woman, which is far from the truth. Men in action movies don't have footwear that could break their ankle, so why should women?

    The only reasonable times to wear heels in combat is if the character is in disguise or just leaving a formal party. But as soon as she knows it's time to fight or take off running, removing the heels is the smartest choice. If someone fought in heels in real life, they'd be at a huge disadvantage. 

    Notable Offenders: Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic WorldSuicide SquadIn Time

    Totally got it wrong?
  • 2

    Long, Flowing Hair Doesn't Impede Fighting

    Photo: Wonder Woman / Warner Bros. Pictures

    The Trope: There's no need to tie back long hair while fighting.

    Why Is It Inaccurate? Long hair is a pain and always getting in the way. No matter what form of exercise you're doing, pulling back hair can certainly make things easier. But if hair is better out of sight and out of mind, then why don't female superheroes ever pull their hair back? 

    Women in movies will keep on fighting without messing up their beachy waves at all. In real life, half of that hair would be in their eyes by the time the fight is finished. Rather than a practical hairstyle, most women in action films have long, flowing hair because it looks beautiful. But realistically, if these powerful women had a hair tie accessible to them, they would've used it. It doesn't matter how great your hair looks if you can't see through it. 

    Notable Offenders: Wonder WomanGuardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man 2, Captain Marvel

    Totally got it wrong?
  • 3

    Women Should Wear Skimpy Outfits That Expose Skin

    Photo: Catwoman / Warner Bros.

    The Trope: Showing skin during battle won't put you in danger.

    Why Is It Inaccurate? You're likely to work up a sweat while battling, but that doesn't mean you should lose layers of clothes. Armor and bulletproof vests are the best ways to keep someone safe from weapons flying their way. But when it comes to women in Hollywood films, it seems as if less clothing is somehow more protective. Of course, that logic doesn't actually fly.

    In action films, women seem to wear the bare minimum. Exposed shoulders and legs are incredibly common, and lots of cleavage is expected, too. The characters won't even settle for jeans and a hoodie because they're never seen without a miniskirt or skimpy top. Of course, small clothing items can be cute and stylish, but they're not safe for someone planning to fight.

    One knife swipe or bullet to exposed skin could cost someone their life in extreme cases. Depending on the weather, these clothes could also make women freeze to death. It seems movie producers are so worried about keeping the characters attractive that they don't worry about the dangerous cutouts in the women's clothing.

    Notable Offenders: CatwomanDaredevilResident EvilSuicide Squad

    Totally got it wrong?
  • 4

    Pointed Breast Armor Is Protective

    Photo: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets / EuropaCorp

    The Trope: Large boob armor is a necessary form of protection.

    Why Is It Inaccurate? Of course, a woman's breasts need some protection in a fight, but the way films handle it is far from realistic. Anyone who actually wears a bra knows that when you're exercising, it's best to use a sports bra to strap your breasts down. The more a woman's breasts move around, the more uncomfortable they'll be. 

    So, while making boob armor unnaturally round or pointed might look attractive, it's not fully effective. Instead of keeping the breasts safe and secure, boob armor leaves more space for them to move around, making them more vulnerable in battle. And even if they're properly supported underneath the armor, the curves and points are still unnecessary and don't need to be that dramatic. If anything, those enlarged parts of the armor will only get in the way.

    Historically, women's armor was flat like any other armor. If a woman were to fall onto her chest with the curvy armor from action movies, the part separating the two breasts could sink into her chest and even end her life. Yet films often choose to make the armor sexy rather than practical. 

    Notable Offenders: Ant-Man and the WaspValerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Wonder Woman

    Totally got it wrong?