Thursday, December 26, 2013

X-23: The Taboos She Entails

I've glossed over this before, but never really went indepth with it all in one entry.  X-23 is a character that encapsulates a lot of symbolism from all across the emotional spectrum.

Her character history has had to deal with cutting, physical abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, depression, anger issues, and more.  She's gone across the proverbial spectrum of the full emotional range from supportive of others going through these issues via metaphors or herself trying to understand them.

This is what makes her character hard to adapt for film outright.  With the symbolism rooted deep into her character's story, she's a hard one to approach for the big screen.  You take any of these elements out, and you make the character lose the realism to who she is and has gone through and why she cares so much about the sanctity of innocent life with how beautiful it is.  You leave them in and you're dancing pretty damn close to an R rating.

Many of these taboos have a social stigma attached.  Cutting for example is often misunderstood and rightfully so causes adverse reactions to the depictions of it.  It is a heavy topic to dive into and the reasons behind such actions can vary as much as the person in question.  It's often confused for suicidal thoughts, but often can be a precursor to someone that will take that action as well.  This is why it gets convoluted and is scary to deal with as a topic.

Personally, originally when wanting X-23's story adapted for film, the cutter element was one I had thought should be left out.  It's complicated and depending on the angle the story goes and the cast chosen, it may cloud perceptions too much.  Now rethinking about it, it's an element that might be better served left in her origin story.  It gives a window that opens up discussions on these topics and show the world at large that yes it is scary and frightening and does not solve anything.  It allows for a vocal approach on that topic to let people know if you do feel this way, it's okay to ask for help.  It helps show people you aren't alone and it's never an answer.

Laura has gone through the full spectrum of emotions in the comics and grown from them.  The physical and mental abuse she endured while with the Facility didn't turn her into a monster like they wanted.  Over time, it turned her kind.  The bullying and manipulations they committed didn't turn her into another Kimura, it made Laura stand strong in never wanting another to go through what she went through in her life.

These are heavy topics though.  Child abuse, depression, and more always are.  They are not pleasant to see or experience.  That's what makes them work on film to show exactly how scary it truly is.  To show why no one should ever have to go through these things.  It's a part of her life that juxtaposes well with the happiness she discovers with her family, and why it becomes even more heartbreaking later once she's separated from them.  It's shock and horror, but it's shock and horror with a purpose as it shows the true horrors about them rather directly.  In theory, for a film to cover these topics, and in such a direct manner using such a star vehicle as a Marvel franchise, it pushes discussions.  Not just for the sake of the property itself and box office revenues, but for the sake of the audiences and the people it reaches.  The people it shows that life does get better.  There are good days and bad days, and if you hold on, those good days will outnumber the bad days.  That every person is beautiful in their own way and has much to offer the world and the lives they touch, but to do that they must be here.  They must keep living.  Life is a set of cause and effect like that.  Our every action reverberates throughout all the lives we touch.  Every one of us matters and makes a difference everyday, not just in those around us, but in those that hear or see our words too.  In the digital age this has never been more true.  The words of one person can be broadcast around the world and back again within an instant.  Kind words from one coast can reach the other side of the world to help another.  Stars interact with fans on a regular basis and hear their thoughts and concerns every day.  Friends chat from countries apart.

We're in one world where we need to support one another, and it's easy to forget that.  We are all of one people trying to make it home and find where we belong through our own paths.  We shouldn't make that harder on each other.  We should be kind, courteous, and understanding.  Helping those along the way as we can.  We shouldn't let each other fall into the cracks.  We should never be the ones to push others into those cracks.

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