Guilty Pleasure - Lara Croft and Tomb Raider

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Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and her two cats. Visit her web site, her Facebook page, and her Amazon Author Page.

Her m/m erotic medical thriller Roughing It is a sexy cross between The X Files, The Andromeda Strain, and Outbreak. Read her short erotic story Babes in Begging For It, published by Cleis Press. You will also find her new novel No Restraint at Amazon. Enjoy a good, sexy read today.

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I recently saw the new Tomb Raider movie with my husband, Bill. Tomb Raider is one of my favorite game series. In fact, it was the second video game I ever played. Although heroine Lara Croft started out as not much more than a series of pixels with big boobs designed for male players, she outgrew her limitations and became in my mind something more. She was much more than a sex symbol to me. Lara was popular with men and women, boys and girls. The guys wanted to possess her. Women and girls wanted to be her. When I worked lighting for stage, TV, concerts, and movies I was as buff as Lara Croft. I even had the ponytail. She was everything I wanted to be – confident, strong, cheeky, gorgeous, energetic, rich.

I didn't see the character fleshed out until I read some of the comic books. Those comics gave her a backstory. She was very close to her father and relished the idea of traveling the world in search of puzzles to solve that helped her find answers to the biggest puzzle of all – herself. The first two movies starring Angelina Jolie brought more of these ideas forward. When I first heard the first movie was being shot, I told Bill the only one who could play her was Angelina Jolie. Jolie had all the make-up to play Lara. She was bigger-than-life. A little weird. Cheeky sense of humor. Beautiful. Full of energy. A bit of a loner (according to the types of roles she played). Had daddy issues. She certainly looked the part.

When the game first appeared, Bill was working as a producer at Hasbro. Due to his contacts, he managed to pick up a CD of the original soundtrack that included songs that weren't on the final soundtrack that was released to the public. I grabbed that soundtrack which consisted mostly of my favorite music genre, techno, and played it day and night. This was before the movie came out. On the way to the movie theater to see it, we played the CD in the car. I loved the movie despite it faults mainly because Jolie did such a good job depicting Lara.

Lara has evolved over the years. She's now less a pair of gigantic boobs and more a person in her own right. I've always seen Lara as a blank slate upon which I and I'm sure other female fans projected their own desires and aspirations. Through the character, those of us on the shy side could experiment with expressing ourselves. We became stronger both mentally and physically if that's what we wanted.

This is all very ironic since Lara was originally envisioned by British game company Eidos (now Square Enix) as a male Indiana Jones-type character complete with fedora and bullwhip. The character was changed to a Hispanic female named Laura Cruz, and then evolved into the English heiress Lara Croft as a hat tip to the developers. The latest movie, which sadly has garnered horrible reviews, depicts Lara more realistically, with a muscular and athletic build that doesn't focus on her breast size. The cheekiness of the character reminiscent of the earlier games and the Angelina Jolie movies has evolved to a more serious even dark manner. Judging from the end of the movie, I see a sequel in the works. I'll likely see it no matter how badly it is reviewed assuming it's made. I simply adore Lara Croft.

So I'll dig up and enjoy my Lara Croft dioramas, my pewter Lara Croft, my Tomb Raider socks and beach towels, my Lara Croft iPhone case, and the rest of my extensive Tomb Raider collection. It's a good thing to have such a fun template to aspire to. I can be anyone I want. And I'll enjoy the hell out of it.