I saw The Smurfs over the weekend, and let me tell you, don’t waste your money!
The Smurf era kind of bypassed me as a kid, so I had to get my housemate Eddie to explain to me that the Smurf’s village is the ultimate patriarchy in every sense of the word, with Smurfette (voiced by Katy Perry in the movie who, once again, is doing no favours for feminism) being created by the evil wizard Gargamel in an attempt to lure the Smurfs to him so he can capture their essence. Until then, the Smurfs went about their day to day activities female-free. Living the dream, right boys?
While there are of course racial stereotypes (the Scottish Smurf, Gutsy, who wears a kilt and has orange sideburns; the Italian Smurf who makes pizzas; Grouchy, played by George Lopez, who tokenises the angry American immigrant), with only one female Smurf and two other female non-Smurf characters (Jayma Mays’ Grace and Sofia Vergara’s Odile), I expected the film to be appropriately sexist. I wasn’t disappointed.
The fact that each Smurf is named for its personality was really the nail in the coffin, though. While Grace attempts to soothe Clumsy Smurf by saying that “no one is just one thing,” Smurfette would be the exception, with “likes dresses” being her only other personality trait aside from “girl”. The writers even make this a whole subplot point for her! But all girls like fashion, right, so we’re back to square one.
Image via Starcasm.