The pixie behind the pixels
"It'll be really funny to get a feminist perspective on Lara Croft for a techie games magazine," the editor chuckled. The end result, it seems, was just a bit too funny for Cnet, and the article never saw the light of day.

It’s such a high-
profile job – and one
that lets you keep
your boobs and bum."

So Eidos has unveiled its new Lara Croft, a 16-year-old pixie to represent the famed pixels. Model Lucy Clarkson now slips into the halter top and gun harness of cyber-space’s pin-up. The British lass has become the public face – and curves – of the games icon, not to be confused with Angelina Joelie, the cinema Lara.

Though only a teenager, Lucy has perfected the PR one-liner, the conversational equivalent of "Game Over". Her simplicity is daunting. She unreservedly loves being a cartoon fantasy chick, an icon of lust. "That’s what I’m here for," she says. "To make Lara’s fans happy and to do the best I can to represent her.

"I think she’s a fantastic role model because she’s not only curvy and sexy, she’s independent, very bright and she knows what she wants in life," Lucy gushes. "In a way I’m very much like Lara, strong and active."

Lucy’s alter-ego has infiltrated even her love life. Her male model boyfriend is a huge Tomb Raider fan. "He’s obsessed with games and loves Lara. Well, now he’s got a Lara of his own!" she explains.

But doesn’t she worry that it’s Lara he wants, the gun-totin’, bra-bustin’ action woman? "No!" she writes, her email dripping with indignant exclamation marks. "Why should he be infatuated with the icon when he’s got a real Lara Croft of his own?!!!"

Because, dear child, you are not Lara. Especially not to your beloved, who should cherish Lucy Clarkson from Rotherham, Yorkshire, UK. He should appreciate the little girl who entered the Elite Model Agency competition and won, who got swept up in the great media mill and is maybe, just maybe, forgetting who she is.

She can not, however, forget what she is – 5’11’, 140lbs, 32DD-25-36, brown hair, brown eyes – as Eidos proudly displays her charms. "Perhaps best of all for Lucy," the press release brags, "is that fact that, as Lara, she can be as curvy as nature intended. Another rarity in the stick-thin world of modeling."

The company also boasts of Lucy’s disdain for body fascism. "I’d been in South Africa on a modeling job and they’d told me to lose weight. I didn’t fancy that so I was on my way home. And that was when I got the call telling me I was the new Lara. It was such fantastic news. It’s such a high-profile job – and one that lets you keep your boobs and bum."

Now, the sentiment here is good, unless you’re a hard-line feminist angry at objectification of women’s bodies. But hey, most of us have – or at least deeply appreciate – boobs and bums. Healthy bodies should be promoted, a fact women’s magazines, like Marie Claire, are just discovering.

But why did Lara have to go all three-dimensional? I liked her better as an over-blown, console dream-girl. Men crave erotic images and that’s exactly what she delivered: a heady cocktail of sex and danger. But the fantasy was all neatly contained, frozen in the pixels and programming, and certainly not muddled up with a lovely brainwashed girl from Yorkshire, who thinks it’s all "fantastic!"

Lucy Clarkson is sweet 16. Right now, she’s happy to be pigeon-holed as Lara (thinks it’s "fantastic!" in fact). "My dream would be to go into TV work and also to carry on modeling," she says.

Yet 16 is not so very old. Maybe she’ll grow out of Lara’s boots.

Now that really would be fantastic!

"Why should he
be infatuated with
the icon when he’s
got a real Lara Croft
of his own?!!!"
Men crave erotic
images and that’
exactly what Lara
delivered: a heady
cocktail of sex
and danger.

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