real life

The "Hotness Gap" & 4 other tricks Hollywood plays on women.


We all love a good film but as movie goers, we’re often left scratching our heads and thinking something like “AS IF she would do that. AS IF that would happen.”

No surprises there. Movies are full of lies.

No big deal, right?


Sometimes those lies can be very, very damaging.

When it comes to Hollywood, there’s a lot of BS involved in the way that women, in particular, are represented in order to make films, characters and lifestyles more appealing to “viewers”.

But what may surprise you is the shortcuts that Hollywood directors and writers use to tell those stories. And, as one passionate moviegoer (helpfully called, “Mr Moviegoer”) explains it, these “tropes” are sexist and almost completely predictable. Expect to see these 5 cliches about women in the next movie you watch…

Yeah right. Like that’s ever going to happen.


1. The very obvious hottness gap for onscreen couples.

Jennifer Aniston starred opposite VInce Vaughn in The Breakup.

Jennifer Aniston talks about all those annoying baby rumours. And it’s kind of perfect.

Yep. This one’s pretty self explanatory. Take any mediocre looking male actor (e.g. Vince Vaughn) and pair him with a super attractive woman (e.g. Jennifer Aniston). This type of pairing is always a given and men having a more attractive, if not equally attractive, co-star has become the Hollywood norm.


As Mr Moviegoer points out, “no matter how schlumpy the guy, it’s always just kind of a given that he can’t be a leading man without a gorgeous love interest.”

And when the roles are reversed and the male is younger and seemingly more attractive? Well then age becomes the focal point for the film. And similarly when an unattractive girl is the lead – you can bet your sweet bippy there’ll be a makeover montage somewhere in there.

Films where the female lead is older than her male co-star almost always revolve around that fact.

2. The fem-jep picture.

Mr Moviegoer explains this one as females in jeopardy, or women who spend the duration of the film either crying or bravely trying not to cry. And boy are there lots of these ones.

“It’s the treatment of women in danger as spectacles that bothers me,” he says.

And this rings true of films that depict rape scenes of women too. Haven’t you ever wondered why directors feel the need to present those scenes so graphically? It portrays this devious, horrifying act as “titilating” – which is both unsavoury and scary in itself.

3. The female badass as automatic feminist icon.

We can all name a few of these. Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft. Sigourney Weaver in just about everything.

Yep, she’s got a gun. So what?


This Aussie morning TV host nearly shot herself in the face with a nail gun. Live on air.

So holding a gun makes you a feminist, does it?

Mr Moviegoer agrees on this one – “I find it odd that so many critics see these films as feminist works just because the female character can throw a punch.”

4. Super-crass “fat” chicks.

This is perhaps the most resoundingly obvious trope of all

Why are “fat” chicks always cast as arseholes with a profane sense of humour? It just doesn’t make any sense. And yet this seems to be the role that actresses like Rebel Wilson and Melissa McCarthy seem doomed to repeat. Because, “God forbid you make her an interesting character or give her a good line of dialogue.”

5. Punishing females.

Last, but certainly not least, is the punishment of women in films. Why? Well, because they have a vagina of course.

Mr Moviegoer surmises that audiences have come to expect that women get punished far more severely than their male counterparts. And it’s not just bad girls either. It’s all girls.


Want to learn more about these Hollywood shortcuts that are skewing our view of women so much? Check it out for yourself…

What do you think? Does Hollywood portray women fairly?