A Princess of Mars
Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Barsoom" pulp novels are a guilty pleasure, classic 'planetary romance' in which Burroughs' hero, the invulnerable John Carter, wanders around butchering monsters and evildoers and wooing women of surpassing loveliness and curious biology (the women of Mars lay eggs; Carter has a son with Dejah Thoris; don't ask me how that works). Carter is, of course, a textbook 'white savior', the strong good white man who shows the lesser races how to behave by his heroic example. It's pretty questionable stuff, although to Burroughs' credit, the different colored races of Mars -- red, green, black, yellow, white -- are mostly shown as misguided rather than genetically predisposed to evil or ignorance, and in each book Carter always finds at least one brave and virtuous member of the race in question to be an ally. And, in fact, the only irredeemably evil race on Mars seem to be the white Therns, so make of that what you will.
The most important thing, of course, is that the people of Mars (sorry, Barsoom) are mostly smoking hot and, above all, entirely naked. This is one of the mistakes Disney made when they made their film "John Carter". It was nice to see Dejah Thoris, capably played by Lynn Collins, given a lot more agency than she has in the books -- where she exists mostly to be plunged repeatedly into peril so that John Carter can rescue her. Unfortunately, Disney, with an eye to family values, gave her a relatively modest costume to wear, thus disappointing the tens of thousands of perpetual adolescents who'd shown up to see ‘the most beautiful woman in two worlds’ dressed only in bangles and earrings.
Here, incidentally, is how Burroughs describes Dejah Thoris:
Her face was oval and beautiful in the extreme, her every feature was finely chiseled and exquisite, her eyes large and lustrous and her head surmounted by a mass of coal black, waving hair, caught loosely into a strange yet becoming coiffure. Her skin was of a light reddish copper color, against which the crimson glow of her cheeks and the ruby of her beautifully molded lips shone with a strangely enhancing effect.
She was as destitute of clothes as the green Martians who accompanied her; indeed, save for her highly wrought ornaments she was entirely naked, nor could any apparel have enhanced the beauty of her perfect and symmetrical figure.
So I claim textual authority for this version of Dejah Thoris. She does have something of a put-upon look, though, as if she's saying
"How much longer do I have to stand here wearing this nonsense?" So this image is open to interpretation any way that you want.
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