Sunday, February 21, 2016

Ms. Pac Man was released in 1982, 2 years after Pac Man hit the arcades.  As a 12 year old girl, it was great for me to be able to play a "girl."  Few games allowed me to do this.  Ms. Pac Man's lipstick and bow signified her femaleness.  However, these two signifiers did not represent who I was.  I distanced myself from what I called the 1980's "bowheads" -- young women, many of whom were very popular, who wore huge bows in their hair and who often played dumb.  I was also not a lipstick wearer.  The image above, where she's not even wearing pants but has high heeled shoes on, makes me wonder if there was ever a similar kind of image for Pac man (I don't think so).  Where are her clothes and why is it ok to have this provocative image for what originally was a circle with some triangles on top?


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