There's a big difference between a girl and a woman. Girls are what we once were; women are who we are now, and who we have wanted to be for so long. Girls are a one-toned, strawberry shaded paint splattered on dry canvas; women are messy, complicated swirls of bright neons and intense color concentrations. Girls are sadly overlooked, too often brushed aside, but women are impossible to ignore.
And guess who is finally catching on?
When Magic Mike XXL premiered earlier this month to a 96 percent female demographic, the Hollywood bigwigs who produced the blockbuster were not sitting in leather recliners thinking, "oh, gee, we really missed out on this one... should've thrown a princess in there and animated the whole thing, that would have gotten the girls going." No, they were probably popping bottles of champagne and congratulating themselves on the "realization" that women are one of the most powerful factions out there, and catering to their wants may end up being a profitable idea. In the past, the majority of summer theater hits were targeted unapologetically towards men, and the movies that made up for the gender gap were over-told love stories and romantic comedies, aka the guy gets the girl and f*cks up a whole lot while he does it.
Yeah, we like the cute and the sappy every now and then. But if the guys are always getting what they really want, why aren't we?
The Magic Mike franchise builds off of a female pleasure platform. Maybe it was the whole 50 Shades of Grey insanity, or maybe enough women have thankfully become more comfortable with their sex drives, but some lightbulb went off in 2012 and we finally began to have our share of fun in the form of a glistening Channing Tatum and his backup beefcakes. And the best part for those Hollywood execs? Our fun is their fund. Pitch Perfect 2 had a female director, nearly all female stars, and a female-centric target audience. Oh and it's currently easing out of its theater run with the $276,000,000 worldwide profit. The original Mike masterpiece grossed $167,221,571, and the revenue garnered solely from the sequel's opening weekend is above $27,000,000.
The numbers tell us that the decision to cater to women is obviously a good one... so if we dig a little deeper into this discovery, what else will we learn?
Maybe we will end up with a reinforcement of what we already know: that women understand other women. The power of the female population does not end with those who have the ability to buy a movie ticket; it's time that female leaders, especially in the mainstream entertainment industry, are given the respect and recognition that they deserve. Ten hot guys donning man-thongs are not going to catalyze this rightful revolution overnight, but at least the recognition of female influence in media is a trend that can be immediately sustained.
Magic Mike gives us a good two hours of inconsequential hedonism and an excuse to go overboard on popcorn, but amidst all of the the gyrating and the body glitter, it also gives us the proper identification of "woman." This film is evidence that the days of Hollywood catering to a image of sad-eyed little girls who can only enjoy fairy tales and puppies are over, and women are finally going to be getting a little bit more of what we want.
Now, Hollywood, if you are still listening, this is what we want next: more of us, leading. More of us, creating. And more of Channing Tatum, stripping. Thanks.