Catsuits And Bodysuits In Popular Media
Catsuits are a recurring costume for fictional characters in various media, as well as for entertainers, especially for use in musical performances. They are sometimes referred to as "bodysuits", especially in reference to a full-body suit worn by a man (although bodysuit usually refers to a legless garment); catsuit is typically used only in reference to women.
The catsuit has been identified as a film-maker's costume of choice for stealth. In films like Irma Vep, Les Vampires and Heroic Trio, crime and catsuits are featured together, as well as its major original use in Alfred Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief.
A trend of bodysuits was observed by film reviewer Alan Farrell in his book High Cheekbones, Pouty Lips, Tight Jeans, and a number or occurrences of the garb in films were mentioned - Charlize Theron in Aeon Flux, Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil, Jennifer Garner in Elektra, Halle Berry in Catwoman, Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix, Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Kate Beckinsale in Van Helsing, and Underworld, and Raquel Welch in Fantastic Voyage. The trend of leather and vinyl catsuits were identified as an attempt to redefine the gender role of women through films. Theresa L. Geller described the catsuit as a part of the Hollywood tough chic paradigm in an article published in the journal Frontiers. That view was shared by Sherrie A. Inness in her book Action Chicks, which also included computer games and professional wrestling in that paradigm. The Action Heroine's Handbook describes the catsuit as one of the three options of the first rule of thumb described in the book: "Dress to accentuate your best physical assets". Action Chicks: New Images of Tough Women in Popular Culture by Sherrie A. Inness describes catsuits as an iconic garb of female TV and film characters.
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