Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nikita's Lessons in Sexiness (It's All About Confidence, Baby)

Well, she is. Like super-sexy.
There are a couple of reasons why I love the new Nikita. The first and most obvious are that it’s an action/thriller show with not one, but two female leads, both strong, confident women in control of their lives and being generally awesome at things. That’s a pretty good reason to like a show, I tend to think.

But the other reason I love it so much is a little different. Simply put, I love Nikita because Nikita is sexy.

Wait—whaaaaat? Did I just say sexy? Like, in a good way?

Yeah. Yeah I did. Walk with me here.

The character of Nikita is established first and foremost as a badass. She’s a former superspy agent, who turned on Division, her handlers, when they killed the man she loved because he was a distraction to her mission. She didn’t take kindly to that, and swore to take them down. Already in here, you’ve got a gender reversal of the usual revenge story, and I love it.

And she learned really well.
Nikita is always a threat to Division. As soon as they hear that she’s alive and gunning for them, she becomes their top priority. They completely understand that she is dangerous, and she could seriously mess them up. So they want to get her before she gets them.

I really appreciate that. There’s no thought of, “But she’s just a woman,” or, “She’s so tiny.” It’s just a calm realization that Nikita means business, and they know exactly what she can do. They taught her most of it.

To pull off her missions, and her attempts to take down Division, she usually ends up in an evening gown somewhere in there, all strappy and tight-fitting, showing off the fact that Maggie Q, who plays Nikita, may be small, but she is ripped. But those scenes aren’t about sex or sexiness, so much as they are about Nikita’s need to fill this role at this moment. You don’t really think about her attractiveness, so much as you think about her story and the importance of this moment in her narrative.

Then there are other moments. Parts where she’s engaging in serious eye sex with Michael, her former handler, honing in on a mark while still in her signature motorcycle leathers, or even lounging at homebase in yoga pants and a sweater. Those are the moments when you stop for a second and realize: Nikita is incredibly sexy.

Daaaamn, gurl.
She’s not sexy because she doesn’t wear a lot of clothing, or because she’s a hardbody, or because she acts in a traditionally sexy manner. Nope. None of those things are part of her persona at all. She wears exactly as much clothing as is necessary at any given moment to achieve her mission. She is fit because she needs to be in order to live her life and take down Division—anything less than physical peak would slow her down. And she only acts in a “sexy” way, when she’s seducing a very bad person in order to stop a very bad thing from happening. None of these things actually contribute to Nikita’s sexiness.

Nikita is sexy because she is confident.

She knows exactly what she can and cannot do. She knows how well she can fire a bullet, what angle she needs to snap your neck to kill you, and how many drinks she can have while still being able to covertly communicate the target’s position. She knows she’s beautiful, and she knows she’s the best. It’s sexy.

There’s also something very different about her sexiness. It’s not sex appeal, or anything done for show. It’s not for anyone’s benefit but her own. She just knows who she is and what she’s doing to such an extent that she exudes confidence. She’s sexy because she knows herself, and she likes it.

I want that.

I also want more women-centric action shows. Television, make it happen!

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