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Pacific Rim
Vanessa Gottlieb
Noimage
Biographical Information
Name Vanessa Gottlieb
Nickname(s)
Born  ???, England[1]
Death
Cause of Death
Citizenship British
Family

Hermann Gottlieb (husband)[2][3],
Click for full list

Lars Gottlieb (father-in-law)[2][3],
Dieterich Gottlieb (brother in-law)[2],
Karla Gottlieb (sister-in-law)[2],
Bastien Gottlieb (brother in-law)

Physical Description
Hair Black
Eyes
Height
Weight
Career Information
Academy
Occupation Model[1]
Rank
Ranger No.
Strike Group
Deployment
Affiliations
Jaegers piloted
Partners
C.O.
Series information
Appeared In (canon) Pacific Rim Uprising: Ascension (mentioned)
Appeared In (non-canon) Pacific Rim: The Official Movie Novelization (mentioned)
Actor
Voice Actor(s)

Vanessa Gottlieb is the wife of Hermann Gottlieb.[4][3]

Biography

Early Life

Little is known about Vanessa's life prior to meeting Hermann Gottlieb. She was born in England and later becomes a professional model.[1]

Hermann Gottlieb

At some point in time she meets Hermann and begins a relationship that later results in their marriage.[1]

Characteristics

Personality

According to Travis Beacham, Vanessa may have started out as a awkward young woman before maturing. Her confidence following has made her "striking" and "a presence".[5] She equals Hermann in "wit and capacity".[6]

Appearance

Vanessa is a woman of mixed heritage with long and tight black curly hair. Vanessa is tall with features that may have been "awkward" for her during her youth, but have since become "quite striking" with confidence and adulthood.[5][note 1]

Controversy

Torres Nicole Vanessa Reference

According to Travis Beacham, Vanessa Gottlieb is a biacial Black woman resembling Gina Torres (left) or Jasika Nicole (right).

Canonicity

Vanessa Gottlieb is mentioned in Pacific Rim: Man, Machines & Monsters, listed as Hermann's next of kin.[3] Her relation to Hermann was later revealed in the official novelization. Herman's dossier listed her as his wife.[4]

On August 17, 2013, when asked about Vanessa, Travis Beacham confirmed that she was Hermann's wife and that she was a model.[1] August 25, 2013, he provided a brief description of what Vanessa could look like, answering that she could resemble actresses Gina Torres[7] or Jasika Nicole.[8] He further implied Vanessa was a biracial Black woman when answering more questions about her appearance.[7][8]

Racism and Misogyny in Pacific Rim Fandom

Following his confirmation of Vanessa as a canon character and her relationship to Hermann, a part of the Pacific Rim fanbase reacted negatively to Vanessa and her named profession. Beacham was accused of sexism by fans who considered the profession of a model to be lesser when compared to a scientist. They believed Hermann would show no interest in a woman with "no say" in her career on account of the sexism prevalent in the modeling industry.[9][10]

Beacham stated that he "left the interesting parts out" of his initial description.[11] Reluctant to reveal more about her biographical information, Beacham stated that knowing what her profession was "knowing very little about her" and that "everyone is interesting enough if you ask the right questions"[12], after elaborating his point with questions of her professional identity and relationship with Hermann.

Beacham's characterization of Vanessa as a biracial Black woman was seen as inclusive by woman of color. Supporters labeled arguments against Vanessa's profession as misogynistic for believing it lesser than a scientific position, or that Beacham's brief descriptors of Vanessa were evidence of her lack agency or character aside from being the wife of a main character.[13][14][15] They also argued the reaction to Vanessa stemmed from radicalized misogyny[16] prevalent in most fan spaces[17] as other characters mentioned in the film's external media were not scrutinized or criticized as Vanessa had been.

Detractors believed that she was written solely to be the stereotypical "trophy wife".[18][19][20] They argued their disagreement was justified on assumption of misogyny currently implied in her known characterization.[21] They questioned her "necessity" to the canon of Pacific Rim and denounced the character as Beacham's attempt to deflect accusations of homophobia[22] by fans who perceived Newton and Hermann as a romantic pair.[23]

Beacham stated the supplementary material of Pacific Rim that did not contradict the film stood as long as "that possibility is not pointedly excluded by the expanded universe works subsequent to the fact of the film".[24][25]

Supporters remained vocal in the defense of Vanessa as a canonical character and Hermann's wife following discussions of Hermann's assumed sexuality[26] and dissection of slash culture said to marginalize Black and LGBT characters in favor of shipping[27] two canonically straight and white men together.[28][29][30] Other means of support of Vanessa Gottlieb as a canonical character in the Pacific Rim universe were exhibited through fan art, blogs and discourse with other fans of the character.[31][32][33]

Notes

  1. Travis Beacham: "Mixed race. Nice glasses. Long, tightly-curled black hair that tends to flare a little wispily. Very tall. A sum of features that may have at one point in her life been a bit awkward for her, but her effortless confidence has since made something quite striking of it all. She’s a presence."

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Travis Beacham: Hermann Gottlieb's wife
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Pacific Rim: The Official Movie Novelization
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Pacific Rim: Man, Machines & Monsters
  4. 4.0 4.1 Personnel Dossier: Hermann Gottlieb
  5. 5.0 5.1 Travis Beacham: Could you describe Vanessa Gottlieb?
  6. Travis Beacham: Are Vanessa and Hermann equals?
  7. 7.0 7.1 Travis Beacham: What does Vanessa Look like? #1
  8. 8.0 8.1 Travis Beacham: What does Vanessa look like? #2
  9. summer-of-supervillainy
  10. Dear people in the Pacific Rim fandom who actually love the idea of Vanessa Gottlieb being a model: How?
  11. Travis Beacham: Re: Vanessa is a Model #1
  12. Travis Beacham: Re: Vanessa is a Model #2
  13. dhaunea: Vanessa Gottlieb as a Model (original post)
  14. icarusinstatic: Re: Dear people in the Pacific Rim fandom who actually love the idea of Vanessa Gottlieb being a model: How?
  15. Re: Dear people in the Pacific Rim fandom who actually love the idea of Vanessa Gottlieb being a model: How? #2
  16. What Fandom Racism Looks Like: Beige Black Slates
  17. What Fandom Racism Looks Like: Misogynoir Introduction
  18. The One In Which I Address Vanessa Golttieb
  19. feministbatwoman: Vanessa Gottlieb addendum
  20. what alchemy: My Problem With Vanessa Gottlieb Is...
  21. suavedemoncrowley: hauntedjaeger and so-i-did-this thing Re: Vanessa Gottlieb
  22. Welcome to fyeahvanessagottlieb!
  23. getintherobot
  24. Pacific Rim Wiki - Beacham on the Novelization
  25. Travis Beacham: Is the novel Canon?
  26. my main problem with the idea of vanessa gottlieb
  27. Fanlore: Race and Fandom
  28. Re: Newmann Shippers vs. "Vanessa Gottlieb is Canon"
  29. Fanfiction: Not Necessarily a Voice for Minorities
  30. Slash fandom, race, sexuality, and other shit you don’t want to read
  31. Vanessa Gottlieb Appreciation
  32. Fuck Yeah Vanessa Gottileb
  33. Vaness Gottlieb tag (tumblr.com)

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