It’s going to be a long six months if stories like this are causing national outrage. Earlier this week, Disney released the teaser trailer to their latest Marvel Cinematic Universe film Captain Marvel which is due out March 8, 2019. Marvel looks to be going all in on the film as Kevin Feige has stated that the character will be the face of the MCU for the foreseeable future. However, after watching the trailer for the film, many people online criticized the lead actress Brie Larson for having a disinterested and seemingly unhappy face in the majority of the trailer. So in a response to the trailer backlash, one Twitter user by the name of TFMonkeyYoutube decided to take it upon himself to photoshop a smile to some of the promo pictures for the film.
While most people really didn’t bat an eye at the photos, when the media got a hold of them, the loud cries of sexism came pouring down.
Vox: Not even Captain Marvel is safe from the “smile more” catcall
Nylon: ‘Captain Marvel’ Promos Were Photoshopped To Make Brie Larson Smile
Vice: Brie Larson Was Told to Smile, So She Put Smiles onto Marvel Dudes
LADbible: Brie Larson Updates Male Superheroes After Captain Marvel Fans Tell Her To Smile
IndieWire: Brie Larson took a sexist reaction to the “Captain Marvel” and turned it into social media gold.
For those are you who don’t understand the outrage, according to Vox, “smile more” is a sexist form of harassment that women hear all the time. Women are frequently advised to smile by the people around them from co-workers to strangers on the street implying that they need to appear happier, for the benefit of others, usually men.
A man telling a woman to smile — and in Captain Marvel’s case, digitally altering a woman’s face to smile — capitulates to the crooked idea that it’s not up to women to decide when to smile, that a woman appearing to be happy and pleasant is more important than how she might actually feel, that women owe it to others to perform a certain emotion whether it’s sincere or not.
The media attacks the demands that Brie Larson smiles more for the trailer when that isn’t the nature of the complaints. Nobody was demanding that Brie Larson smiles in the trailer, she was criticized for showing little emotion in a trailer for a major superhero film which will be used to set up the final Avengers film. Now you can argue that the criticism is in poor taste and you would be within your right to do so, but this isn’t the first time this year criticism has been a problem for Actress Brie Larson. Back in June, she called out film critics for being too white and too male when defending A Wrinkle in Time, another Disney film that flopped earlier this year.
“I don’t need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work about ‘A Wrinkle in Time, It wasn’t made for him. I want to know what it meant to women of color, biracial women, to teen women of color.” Larson said
Well, I hope Captain Marvel is viewed favorably when it comes out next year or else I think we already know who the targets are going to be for the film’s failures.