I’ve been obsessed with the movie The Warriors since I first saw it in middle school. In the eighth grade, my parents had a Halloween party and I went as a Baseball Furie from the movie with red and black face paint. No one knew who I was. This year for Halloween, my boyfriend’s band was playing a Halloween show at Screwdriver bar/Belltown Yacht Club and I knew I had to bring the costume back. I did the same thing I did in the eighth grade and went with the baseball tee and pants rather than a full uniform. But this time, I went with the iconic yellow face paint. I searched for inspiration photos and found this one that was exactly the vibe I was going for. I loved the photo so much, I decided to recreate it.
The costume was a total hit for the crowd out at the show that night. People were stopping me all night to compliment my costume. I even met a guy dressed as Cowboy from the Warriors gang! I moshed to the last band, Monsterwatch, and it was nice to feel as free as I was in middle school when I first started getting in to cool stuff and moshing with my friends at every show I went to. It was the perfect Halloween.
I wrote the blog post that follows at the end of college about a scene at the end of The Warriors that I didn’t recognize the significance and power of until then, and I wanted to include it here:
I recently re-watched The Warriors and there was a scene that I found particularly striking. After a long night of fighting for their lives running from cops and every gang in New York City, Mercy (left) and Swan (right) finally find themselves on a subway home to Coney Island. A group of cool teens coming from the prom enter the subway and sit across from them. The discomfort builds as the prom couples exchange looks of pity and disapproval at the huge gash on Swan’s cheek, Mercy’s mussed hair, ripped clothes, and dirty hands and feet. Mercy no doubt feels insecure being so unkempt. She was introduced earlier in the film as a spectacle–something to be seen. Throughout the film she grows to be a sympathetic and complex character, whom Swan refers to as a “tough chick.” Having been the strong, beautiful, sexy woman through most of the film, it is difficult to see her now so insecure and vulnerable. For a moment I think, “If only these lame teens could see how good she looks at her best.” Mercy must think this too, because she reaches to try to fix her hair. But Swan stops both of us. He grabs her hand before she can get there. In that moment, he is screaming “YOU ARE ENOUGH."
I love that the makers of this movie allowed our beautiful female lead to be ugly, even for just one scene. Because to assume that a woman is incapable of flaw, and expect that she look perfect at all times (especially after trudging through subway tunnels and engaging in gang war scuffles) is unrealistic, problematic, and insulting.