The issue of modern role models (both positive or negative) is a thorny and often extremely contradictory one, especially when the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ lists are more often than not projected through the lens of media sensationalism. For better or worse, Michelle Rovinsky falls somewhere in the middle of these two camps.
The pretty blonde survivalist and gun enthusiast, otherwise known as Bunny Hunter, has recently been making waves and racking up the hits on her YouTube channel for her trademark blend of glamour and guts. Despite her delicate features, petite build and burlesque-like pseudonym Hunter is surprisingly rough and ready, displaying both impressive handling of powerful firearms and extensive knowledge of outdoor survival techniques.
Although the implications of America’s Second Amendment are often hotly debated Ms. Hunter’s sincere commitment and enthusiasm towards her passion is somewhat refreshing, particularly when held up against the pursuits of other female celebrities who seem to be celebrated for their sex appeal over any unique talents they might possess (Helen Flanagan’s The Real Hel’s Kitchen springs to mind). However, the idea that she is part of some kind of feminist revolution is a bit of a stretch, not least because her own views on gender roles are rather skewed. Her belief that an armed woman is an empowered woman sits uncomfortably with the ideals she imposes on men – that so-called metro-sexual attributes do not a real man make. It’s also difficult to take Hunter’s criticism of stars such as Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian seriously when she actively plays up her own image as a saucy playgirl. One particular photograph which shows her posing in a pair of bunny ears and matching bow-tie makes the huge weapon she is brandishing (I promise that is not a euphemism) seem like less of a tool designed for destruction and more of a novelty fashion accessory. This not only downplays her right to be taken seriously, it also comes across as a little distasteful.
If anything, Hunter’s latest bout of publicity is a depressing reminder of the standards by which women continue to be measured. Is she a capable and driven young woman? Demonstrably so. Does she look smashing in a bikini by the same tired definition? Of course. Encouraging a correlation between the two however creates a minefield that even this intrepid survivalist would have trouble navigating.
Feautured image rights: Dirk Calloway