Bayonetta is one of my favorite characters of all time! She is my favorite character because I like how she is an extremely powerful witch who is also very feminine. I like that she takes on enemies wearing high heels and pokes fun at her enemies. She reminds me that being feminine is a strength.
Bayonetta as a Character
Bayonetta is an Umbran witch. In the first game she is trying to uncover her past. In the second game, she is trying to save her friend, Jeanne, from the Gates of Hell. Bayonetta wears a skin-tight body suit with high heels that have guns attached to them. She is known not only for her signature outfit, but also for being a feminine and sexy character. She does dances when she summons monsters to help her. She makes jokes about “pillow talk” when fighting one of the bosses.
Her character has gotten some critique for how she dresses and acts sexually, such as from Feminist Frequency’s video “Lingerie is Not Armor”. In this video Anita Sarkeesian describes how Bayonetta’s sexuality is supposed to be seen as empowering, but the target audience is a straight male so it is not actually empowering and she is being sexualized.
I do not see Bayonetta’s empowering sexuality to be a bad thing. While I understand that her character is sexy, I do not really see her as being sexualized. It’s how she owns her femininity and her looks. Bayonetta as a character wants to be seen as sexy. She wants the camera to look at her when she moves around. She enjoys being the center of attention and showing off how confident she is in her moves and strength. Her sexuality is part of her character and cannot be separated from her. Her sexuality also gives her power because she uses it to take down her enemies. She is both feminine and strong.
An example of a character that is sexualized that Anita Sarkessian brings up is Quiet. I see her as being sexualized because she isn’t dressing sexy because she wants to. She does it because she breathes through her skin. This allows the developer to sexualize her character and pass it off through this odd logic. I also noticed in this scene that the player is free to use the camera to stare at her body because Quiet is locked in a cage. Bayonetta’s character is sexy and confident, Quiet has been forced to dress a certain way due to story elements and she is being sexualized by the player.
My Journey with Femininity
I always liked dressing in feminine clothes, but there were some things I did not want to do at first. When I was younger, I did not like wearing makeup or wearing revealing clothes. I felt that those were aspects of femininity that girls were being forced to do. So, I decided to not do it.
But, as I have gotten older, I have grown to love more feminine things. Makeup is super fun to play with! I just love taking the time to match my eyeshadow with my outfit. Or maybe add a nice red lipstick to make me feel bold and confident! Makeup has become like art to me. I am wearing it for myself and to make myself feel great, not for anyone else. If I want to have orange and red eyes so I look like a Pheonix, then I will do so.
I also do not mind wearing more revealing clothes. It feels better when I am wearing it to make myself feel good and I feel comfortable. So what if the top is backless? It provides me comfort when it’s cold out, but I do not want to overheat with a full sweater.
So that’s what I have found when it comes to my femininity or femininity in general. It’s all about you! Whatever makes you happy and comfortable, do it! If you want to wear makeup one day and not the next, do it! It’s your body so wear whatever makes you happy and don’t take pressure from others on what you should or should not be doing!
What Bayonetta Can Teach Us About Femininity
She teaches us that it’s not a bad thing at all to be super feminine if you want to be. She also teaches us that femininity can be a strength since she can still kick ass in heels! There’s nothing wrong with being too little or super feminine. What matters is that you’re happy and you’re dressing and acting in ways that make you happy! I do not mind that Bayonetta is portrayed as sexy because that’s how she shows her confidence. I like that she knows who she is and she is confident in her abilities!
What do you think of Bayonetta as a character?