April O’Neil: Is that you? Has the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle leading lady lost her iconic yellow jumpsuit under the guidance of producer Michael Bay and Wrath of the Titans director Jonathan Liebesman. It sure looks that way thanks to this new photo of Megan Fox‘s version of O’Neil popped up on the Internet Monday. Turtle fans are (expectedly) losing their ever-loving s**t over the change.
For many TMNT-obsessed fans, April O’Neil is a bit of a vessel for the creepy fetishization of nerd wet dreams made up of yellow jumpsuits. I mean, just look at the first page of search results for “April O’Neil” on Google. The obsession with April is not for the work that she does as a companion and friend of the turtles, but rather for her body. Gee wilikers — a lady being objectified by nerd culture? A comic book lady with little to add outside of her exaggerated and unrealistic body/looks? Wow, truly something you don’t see every day!
Except, har har har, just kidding! Comic book heroines are constantly touted as sex objects for the men who love ladies, but not lady minds. Megan Fox is certainly no stranger to such territory: homegirl is constantly objectified by Hollywood and seems to almost exclusively be cast in roles that do just that. Just look at her track record with the film’s producer. We all know how well that went. It’s actually surprising the two decided to work together again.
It’s a fairly easy argument to make that O’Neil’s portrayal in the TMNT series’ many iterations has never really been about what she brings to the table. As long as she’s in a yellow jumpsuit, her duties are inconsequential. O’Neil has been given the completely illogical and not-at-all-connected jobs of journalist (in the animated series), warrior (yeah thanks for that, Archie Comics), and computer programmer (in the original comic). Every time someone takes the lead on April O’Neil, her personality traits are completely disregarded; she’s not supposed to have a specific skillset that is exclusive to her, she is merely a vessel.
And that’s not even taking into consideration in the Mirage Comics/original version of her, where the big twist revealed O’Neil’s origins to be that of a pen drawing brought to life. Now, if that doesn’t prove to you that April O’Neil has long been a victim of the comic book world’s misogynistic lady problem, I don’t know what will. O’Neil is a body, nothing more. No wonder Bay hired Hollywood’s current go-to body for the role. We just hope he decides to treat O’Neil like a real, human woman instead of a figment of nerd sexual fantasies. Getting rid of that yellow jumpsuit certainly gives us hope.
We, for one, are glad that O’Neil has shed that goddamned yellow jumpsuit in favor or something more practical and less fetishized — perhaps we’ll finally get to meet the real April O’Neil and Fox will have an opportunity to escape the typecasting.
What do you think of April O’Neil’s lack of a yellow jumpsuit? Let us know in the comments!
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes