Top 10 Needlessly Sexualized Female Movie Characters

Script Written by Clayton Martino. Sometimes a sexy character can add an important element to a film, but sometimes we just have to ask, is it really necessary? Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 needlessly sexualized female movie characters. For this list, we are looking at those big screen characters that were sexualized really for no reason. We’re limiting our list to females, as the males deserve their own list. We’re excluding those characters that assume the classic femme fatale role as well as those characters that were intended to be extremely sexy. Special thanks to our user MikeyP for submitting the idea on our Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script Written by Clayton Martino.

Top 10 Needlessly Sexualized Female Movie Characters


Sometimes a sexy character can add an important element to a film, but sometimes we just have to ask, is it really necessary? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 needlessly sexualized female movie characters.

For this list, we are looking at those big screen characters that were sexualized really for no reason. We’re limiting our list to females, as the males deserve their own list. We’re excluding those characters that assume the classic femme fatale role as well as those characters that were intended to be extremely sexy.

#10: Leeloo
“The Fifth Element” (1997)

Sure, if we were building a woman, we may choose to model it after Milla Jovovich too, but this isn’t “Weird Science.” In this sci-fi action flick, Jovovich plays Leeloo, one of the Supreme Beings of the Universe. Her main two outfits consist of a series of bandages that reveals more skin than they cover and a crop top with tight pants and suspenders that wrap around the crotch. We get that you need a sexy female lead to play alongside Bruce Willis – but did her character really need to strip naked in front of everyone?

#9: Ginger Knowles
“Swordfish” (2001)

This entry makes our list for one main reason – Halle Berry’s topless scene. Sure, we’re assuming audiences weren’t complaining that they got to see Halle Berry topless, but was this really the movieshe should have done it in? The scene seems out of place with the rest of the film, an action crime thriller about a computer hacker, and critics complained that the moment was only added to give “Swordfish” more buzz. At least she was paid an extra $500,000.

#8: Christmas Jones
“The World Is Not Enough” (1999)

Bond girls are supposed to be sexy and are often overly sexualized. We get that. But “The World Is Not Enough” goes too far with Christmas Jones. She’s a nuclear physicist who is tasked with assisting Bond on his mission to prevent a nuclear meltdown. This character certainly could have provided more depth to the film than Bond girls of the past, that is, if she hadn’t been played by Denise Richards. Richards, who won a Razzie for her performance, claimed that she liked the role because the character was brainy…maybe they should have chosen an actress who actually fit that description and isn’t more known for being a “Wild Thing” instead.

#7: Loana
“One Million Years B.C.” (1966)

This adventure fantasy film had no intention of being historically accurate, as it portrayed dinosaurs living alongside humans. That may be more believable than the appearance and attire of Loana, however, played by the stunning Raquel Welch. Loana’s raggedy clothes barely held her breasts in place, and her beautiful hair and long legs make her look less like a cavewoman and more like a Victoria’s Secret model. If you asked today, barely anyone would remember the plot of the film, but the majority of people would be able to recognize the iconic pinup poster – we know Andy Dufresne would.

#6: Princess Leia Organa
“Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi” (1983)

Princess Leia was without doubt everyone’s fantasy girl when the original “Star Wars” trilogy hit the theaters, but for the first two films, George Lucas focused more on developing her character than exploiting her feminine image. Of course, he couldn’t hold out forever, and we were given the famous gold bikini outfit in “Return of the Jedi”. While this answered the prayers of every fan boy, it felt like a cheap exploit of a strong female character, one the film didn’t really need.

#5: Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
“The Avengers” (2012)

Female characters in comic books are often exploited for their sexuality and depicted with large breasts that are barely held in by skin-tight leather outfits. This is no different with Black Widow, aka Natasha Romanoff. While “The Avengers” did seem like they toned down her sexuality a bit from the comics, they still gave her a tight leather outfit that seemed quite impractical for fighting aliens. We also couldn’t help but notice that there are several shots throughout the film that seem to pause on her character just a bit too long.

#4: Tinker Bell
“Peter Pan” (1953) & “Hook” (1991)

It seems like fairies have always been depicted as gorgeous females, but we think that may have started with Disney’s “Peter Pan”. Sure, like many of Disney’s female characters, Tinker Bell has an exaggerated hourglass figure, and that’s accentuated with big blue eyes and bright blonde hair. We draw the line at her skimpy green dress, however, in that it barely covers anything. While they may have slightly changed the look in “Hook”, Julia Roberts still reveals a ton of leg for what is supposed to be an innocent fairy.

#3: Lara Croft
“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” (2001)

We place more of the blame on the video game industry than the filmmakers for this entry, but that doesn’t make them any less guilty. They had a chance to focus more on the intelligent and athletic side of the English archaeologist-adventurer, but instead cast Angelina Jolie and made her wear a skin-tight top and short-shorts. Jolie certainly has the acting chops to pull off a female action hero, but she was relegated to eye candy for this film.

#2: Lola Bunny
“Space Jam” (1996)

Just because you don’t have an obvious female lead in a film doesn’t mean you need to turn a side character into an object of sexual desire - especially if that character is a bunny. We’re looking at you, “Space Jam.” Lola Bunny is sexualized for absolutely no reason in this flick, as she wears incredibly short shorts and a crop-top that hangs off her body. Surely that can’t meet the uniform standards in the basketball rulebook. Plus…she’s a bunny!! What really makes it awkward is how everyone, including Michael Jordan, checks her out...

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Dr. Carol Marcus
“Star Trek Into Darkness” (2013)
- Ripley
“Alien” (1979)
- Esmeralda
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996)
- Akasha
“Queen of the Damned” (2002)

#1: Mikaela Banes
“Transformers” (2007)

We get it; Megan Fox is hot. She also plays a character that is supposed to be in high school, which makes her the definition of “jail bait” in this film. While Michael Bay similarly over-sexualizes Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”, at least her character was of legal age. Did Mikaela Banes serve any purpose other than being illegal eye-candy for the audience? Remember that the next time you look at the poster on your wall of her leaning over the car hood.

Do you agree with our list? Who do you think is the most needlessly sexualized movie character? For more exciting Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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