Photo: Jurassic World
Have you ever noticed how women in Hollywood always seem to be fighting crime or running from monsters or saving the world in heels? Like, it’s not enough that they’re literally rescuing us all from certain doom (and probably, even in a fictional world, getting paid less than their male counterparts to do so), but they also have to be doing it in five-inch stilettos (and maybe also a crop top). Thankfully, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom seems to finally be giving star Bryce Dallas Howard a break from this toe-crushing agony, as the trailer for the upcoming picture has nary a heel in sight.
The first film, Jurassic World, caught some flack for showing Howard’s character, Claire, running from dinosaurs in highly impractical nude stilettos. While some argued the shoes were simply sartorial shorthand for Claire’s icy persona, the beautiful-woman-fighting-evil-in-sexy-clothes thing has become such a ridiculously overused trope that it’s hard to seriously argue for its merit. After all, aren’t there other ways to establish a character’s personality?
While she has yet to remark on Claire’s much more practical wardrobe of jeans and boots in Fallen Kingdom, Howard initially defended the decision to have her character in heels following the initial controversy.
“Colin [Trevorrow, the director,] texted me ‘#NoHeels2018,’” Howard told Cosmopolitan in 2015. “Claire knows to get in there now, and her dynamic with the animals has certainly shifted, and the woman you see at the end of Jurassic World is very different from the woman you see at the beginning.”
“She was somebody who looks like she belongs in a corporate environment for a reason because she was someone who was disconnected from the animals and disconnected from that reality and disconnected from herself,” she continued. “She doesn’t at all expect that she’s going to be tromping through the jungle… And you know what? She’s in high heels because she’s a woman who has been in high heels her whole life and she can fucking sprint in them. She can. That’s kind of how I perceived it. She doesn’t have to be in menswear and flats in order to outrun a T. rex.”
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a woman rocking high heels, and more power to her if she can somehow outrun a dino in them. Personally, I find can often barely make it from the cab to the bar in my more sky-scraping shoes, but hey, that’s my cross to bear. But subverting the pervasive notion that women have to do it all and be it all and look perfectly pretty and pulled together at the same time is an important step on the way to more realistic representations of women in the media, something that’s been proven again and again to have real-world consequences.