The Thing I Like About …

AVP: the part where the Predator honours the woman’s kill [spoiler alert].

In AVP, the Aliens and the Predators are duking it out on our planet – and we’re caught in the crossfire.  And we’re caught completely unawares, because we have no idea what or who the Aliens or Predators are, what they’re doing here, or (at first) even that they’re there at all.

The main character – Alexa “Lex” Woods – ends up being the last human survivor, bringing the Predator his weapons back because she hopes that he might be willing to let her live in exchange for being able to kill the Aliens together.  She is right.

He shows her how to use the Alien exoskeleton as a shield against their acid attacks.  He lets her handle the dispatching of her friend when they find him cocooned and impregnated.  He … doesn’t kill her.  And, after they fight off the Aliens and save the day, he marks her face with the symbol he has burned into his own skin – the symbol that says they have killed the Alien, a most formidable quarry, and that they have therefore earned respect as warriors.

It’s pretty cool.

But the really cool part is that she seems not just fine with it, but proud of it.  She doesn’t hesitate a moment when he offers to mark her face, and she recognizes that the mark keeps the other Predators from killing her too.  She stands there with her tiny human weapons, and her hard-won victory, and her scars … and then she gets on with her life.

In our culture, we shy away from scars.  We get tattoos and piercings, but we put them where we want them, and we make them look the way we want them to look.  We – especially women – don’t like random scars – especially on our faces.  They seem ugly, grotesque, and at best a sign that life is full of nasty surprises that we would rather not be obliged to think about.  But the truth is, life is full of nasty surprises, and challenges, and ordeals … and triumphing over these things is something we should be proud of, rather than feeling downtrodden or fearful or oblivious.  We have more strength than we imagine, more resourcefulness than we realize, but we spend our days hoping that we never have the scars from the battles we have fought and won.

Wear your scars.  They aren’t ugly, or grotesque, or bad.  They’re badges of honour and courage.  They say, “I did this.  I lived through this.  ‘This’ tried to kill me, and I said, ‘piss off!’”  They say, “I’m strong.  I’m a survivor.  I’m a respected warrior. Faberge eggs are ‘pretty’; I’m human, and I’m alive.”

Wear your scars.

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