It is really hard to be a healthy alien these days. Everywhere aliens look, they are bombarded with images of other incredibly skinny aliens. While it may be natural for some species of alien to be so thin, it is decidedly unnatural for others, and yet, everywhere these zaftig (but, of course, still attractive and totally healthy!) aliens look they are confronted with the currently popular “standard of alien beauty.” Just take a look at the aliens at right that will be featured in the upcoming Battle: Los Angeles: forbiddingly tall with oversize brains, oversize hands, and, most notable of all, impossibly thin waists. This is a set of measurements that we first got a hint of in Aliens, matured in Independence Day, and became de rigueur with District 9. Even more alarming, this where-do-our-intestines-fit look has simultaneously been embraced by the robot community, which, obviously, does not have the same set of health concerns as aliens. What kind of message are we sending to young aliens when we tell them to look like that which is plastic and metal?
The consequences of this beauty standard are plain to see. Consider Paul, the titular alien in the upcoming comedy Paul. Paul is a close relative of the aliens that populate Area 51, E.T., and Sony’s pitchman, Plato, but unlike those aliens, who are comfortable with their big heads and flabby and/or underdeveloped bodies, Paul has clearly gone on some kind of crash diet to prepare for his onscreen shirtless scenes. Just look at Paul: Each one of his ribs is clearly defined. (And is it just us, or is he sucking in?)
We hope that one day soon, aliens of all waistlines will be invited back onto movie screens. (Also, E.T., convalescing after a collapse from obsessive exercising, our thoughts are with you.)