Bond girls show women's progress

01:29, Oct 05 2012
Bond girls show women's progress
In this publicity file photo provided by Sony Pictures, Daniel Craig, right, appears with Eva Green in the 2006 James Bond film, Casino Royale. Whatever their role, Bond girls still must be inarguably beautiful.
Bond girls show women's progress
This undated publicity photo provided by Sony Pictures shows Judi Dench playing the head of MI6, "M," in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale. The greatest change in women's position in the Bond saga, is that the agent's boss, M, is a woman.
Bond girls show women's progress
This undated publicity photo provided by United Artists and Danjaq, LLC shows Halle Berry in a scene from the James Bond 2002 film, Die Another Day. Who qualifies as a Bond girl has also changed over the years, as the blue-eyed, buxom blonde has given way to more diverse leading ladies, including Michelle Yeoh (Tomorrow Never Dies) and Halle Berry (Die Another Day).
Bond girls show women's progress
This undated publicity photo provided by United Artists and Danjaq, LLC shows Sophie Marceau, left, and Pierce Brosnan in a scene from the James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough.
Bond girls show women's progress
This undated publicity file photo provided by BMW, shows Pierce Brosnan, as Bond, and Michelle Yeoh, as the Bond-girl, Wai Lin, in a scene from the James Bond 1997 movie Tomorrow Never Dies.
Bond girls show women's progress
This undated publicity photo provided by United Artists and Danjaq, LLC shows Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterson, in the James Bond 1961 film, Goldfinger
Bond girls show women's progress
This undated publicity photo provided by United Artists and Danjaq, LLC shows Talisa Soto, left, and Carey Lowell in the James Bond 1989 film, Licence to Kill. Always glamorous and sophisticated, yet uniquely susceptible to James Bond's flirtations, the Bond girl over the years has become as compelling as Agent 007 himself, and not just for the way she fills out a swimsuit.
Bond girls show women's progress
This undated publicity photo provided by United Artists and Danjaq, LLC shows Grace Jones as May Day from the James Bond 1985 film, A View to a Kill.
Bond girls show women's progress
This undated publicity photo provided by United Artists and Danjaq, LLC shows Roger Moore, center, with Maud Adams, left, and Britt Ekland, from the James Bond 1974 film, The Man with the Golden Gun.
Bond girls show women's progress
This undated publicity photo provided by United Artists and Danjaq, LLC shows jane Seymour, left, and Roger Moore, in the James Bond 1973 film, Live and Let Die
Bond girls show women's progress
This undated publicity photo provided by United Artists and Danjaq, LLC shows Jill St. John from the James Bond 1971 film, Diamonds Are Forever.
Bond girls show women's progress
This undated publicity photo provided by United Artists and Danjaq, LLC shows Karin Dor in a scene from the James Bond 1967 film, You Only Live Twice.
Bond girls show women's progress
In this Dec. 22, 1965 file photo, Claudine Auger, the latest James Bond girl, stars with Sean Connery in the James Bond 1965 film, Thunderball.
Bond girls show women's progress
This undated publicity photo provided by United Artists and Danjaq, LLC shows Molly Peters and Sean Connery in a scene from the James Bond 1965 film, Thunderball.
Bond girls show women's progress
his undated publicity photo provided by United Artists and Danjaq, LLC shows Ursula Andress in a scene from the James Bond 1962 film, Dr. No. When Ursula Andress emerged from the sea, curves glistening, with a dagger strapped to her bikini in 1962's “Dr. No,” she made the Bond girl an instant icon.

When Ursula Andress emerged from the sea, curves glistening, with a dagger strapped to her bikini in 1962's Dr. No she made the Bond girl an instant icon.

Always glamorous and sophisticated, yet uniquely susceptible to James Bond's flirtations, the Bond girl over the years has become as compelling as Agent 007 himself - and not just for the way she fills out a swimsuit.

"Initially, Bond girls were part of the aesthetic of the series. They had more transient roles," said Karen Tongson, a professor of English and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California.

"Especially in the last 15 to 20 years, there's been a marked shift in their greater involvement in the action of the story line and also the motivation for Bond, especially Daniel Craig's Bond."

The greatest change in women's position in the Bond saga, Tongson notes, is that the agent's boss, M, is a woman.

"The sense that the higher power that Bond responds to is this dignified woman played by Dame Judi Dench suggests that the relationships he has with these other (female) figures are not just fleeting casual sexual trysts, but far more complex," she said.

Who qualifies as a Bond girl has also changed over the years, as the blue-eyed, buxom blonde has given way to more diverse leading ladies, including Michelle Yeoh (Tomorrow Never Dies) and Halle Berry (Die Another Day). Modern Bond girls also present a more formidable challenge to the suave secret agent.

"They reflect some of the shifts in the post-feminist perspective: Women who use their presentation and their wiles to outsmart Bond," Tongson said.

One thing that hasn't changed? Whatever their role, Bond girls still must be inarguably beautiful, as this photo gallery illustrates.

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AP