Anna Faris was the original girlboss, no questions asked.
CREDIT: Women in Horror
I can distinctly remember peeking into the living room as my older brother was watching Friday the 13th with his friends from high school. Watching from behind the corner I quickly became infatuated; not with the jump scares or murderous villain chasing after a side character—but with the busty blonde that was running for her life. I know that may come off as strange, but oddly enough there’s something so camp about the blonde girl who has no clue what’s going on.
It was the trope of the blonde, “slutty” girl that truly sparked the bimbofication of Halloween. The delightfully tacky character, often portrayed as a self-absorbed bitch, is one that has infiltrated horror movies for years. For those of you that are unfamiliar with what a ‘Bimbo’ is, please let me take a second to enlighten you.
Simply put, a “bimbo” is a gorgeous woman with big boobs and little intelligence. Think Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, and The Girls Next Door all in one.
The scary movie bimbo is seen in almost every notorious American horror film. From Nightmare on Elm Street to House of Wax, there is a noticeable trend of beautiful blondes being brutally murdered. One of the most unique traits about these women is that they are, unfortunately, the first to be killed off—which typically happens at the beginning of the movie.
Though seemingly overdone, audiences seem to fall head over heels for these women. Even if you’re not able to physically relate to what these characters offer, you’re able to relate to them on the emotional rollercoaster that they’re experiencing.
Certain audiences, specifically gay men, have become infatuated with the hyper-feminine “bimbo” portrayed in horror films. The dumb blonde is quite literally a caricature of femininity and highlights an almost misogynistic view of women—portraying them as weak and unable to fend for themselves.
Undoubtedly, the start of the trend is the first movie in the Scream series. Rose McGowan plays the role of Tatum Riley, bimbo that is constantly shown in clothes that are two sizes too small. In her death scene, Tatum is trapped in a garage (wearing a sweater and no bra) trying to escape the Ghostface serial killer. One of the last scenes we see, before Tatum kicks the bucket, is her entering the garage with her nipples poking through the tightest sweater I have ever seen.
Tatum is just one example of the various dumb blondes killed off in Hollywood blockbusters. This horror movie trope became so overdone that the Scary Movie franchise created an entire protagonist dedicated to filling the role of the “bimbo”. Anna Faris as Cindy Campbell i is quite literally the blueprint for all up-and-coming hopeful bimbos in training.
The question still remains, why do audiences love a bimbo? And why did horror movies become associated with the idea of a stereotypical blonde?
The bimbo has become a staple in horror movies because she is the embodiment of what everyone wants to see. For straight men, they get the viewing pleasure of watching a beautiful blonde say three words on the screen. While women see the bimbo as an idol of sorts—she is delightfully naive and hypersexual in the most captivating way possible. The role of the bimbo encourages women to not stray from their sexual tendencies, but to embrace them! And the stereotype of her lack of intelligence highlights the male perspective of what women are intellectually capable of.
All in all, the Bimbo is a horror movie essential that I don’t see fading out anytime soon. The campiness of horror mixed with the campiness of being a dumb blonde creates the perfect character that audiences want to root for. I mean, who wouldn’t wanna see Paris Hilton run for her life?
Kyle Hamilton is an Online Writer for the 'After Dark' portion of Rowdy Magazine. In his free time, he enjoys photography, being super gay, and drinking enough cold brew to kill a small child. You can find him at @hamkyl on insta ;)