Born Sexy Yesterday

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This video essay is about a gendered trope that has bothered me for years but didn’t have a name, so I gave it one: Born Sexy Yesterday. It’s a science fiction convention in which the mind of a naive, yet highly skilled, girl is written into the body of a mature sexualized woman. Born sexy yesterday is about an unbalanced relationship, but it’s also very much connected to masculinity. The subtext of the trope is rooted in a deep seated male insecurity around experienced women and sexuality.

Note that Born Yesterday isn’t meant literally. Born Sexy Yesterday can be written literally but it doesn’t have to be. If media uses a “fish out of water” plot to frame an adult woman as an inexperience child then it fits the trope.

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• Tron: Legacy (2010)
• The Fifth Element (1997)
• Born Yesterday (1950)
• Splash (1984)
• My Stepmother is an Alien (1988)
• Sheena (1984)
• Chobits (2002)
• Outlaw Star (1998)
• Enchanted (2007)
• Forbidden Planet (1956)
• The Time Machine (1960)
• Planet of the Apes (1968)
• The New World (2005)
• Stargate (1997)
• Star Trek: The Original Series (1964)
• Star Trek: Voyager (1999)
• Cloud Atlas (2012)
• Sarah Connor Chronicles (2009)
• Pleasantville (1998)
• Big (1988)
• Starman (1984)
• Blast From The Past (1999)
• The Mighty Peking Man (1977)
• Sleeper (1973)
• Demolition Man (1993)
• Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid (1948)

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All multimedia clips included in this video constitute a ‘fair use’ of any copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright law, which allows for criticism, comment and scholarship. Learn more about fair use with this awesome app by New Media Rights!

Writer/Producer: Jonathan McIntosh
Motion Graphics: Jonathan McIntosh
Logo Design: Justin McIntosh
Outro music: Jonathan Mann

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