Okay, it’s my turn to do one of those classic Tumblr posts where I reblog somebody else’s movie gifs and add a, “let’s talk about this scene, though.”
Let’s talk about this scene, though. This little exchange about the bikini is one of the moments that stuck with me the most from The Winter Soldier, in terms of characterizing Natasha, as well as Steve’s relationship with her.
So we learn that Natasha has a small but grisly-looking bullet scar on her abdomen. She points out that it keeps her from wearing a bikini.
What Steve hears her say is that she’s self-conscious about how she’d look in a bikini because of a scar. So his reaction is basically to say, “Whatever, girl. You still look great.” He’s not even flirting, he’s just saying, “That’s ridiculous.”
But he’s hearing her wrong. It’s not that Natasha doesn’t wear bikinis because she’s embarrassed by her scar, or self-conscious of its ugliness. Natasha doesn’t wear bikinis because she doesn’t want anyone around the pool or at the beach to know that she’s the sort of person who acquires bullet scars.
Think about it: Whether it’s an undercover mission or R&R, any situation where the Black Widow wears a swimsuit is going to be one in which she prefers everyone to see her as just some anonymous hot girl. Because if somebody else is around with the same training she has, they’re going to be scanning the area for anyone who looks dangerous. And part of Natasha’s job- part of what keeps Natasha alive- is not showing up on their radar.
I like to think that later Steve put this together, or she explained it to him. RIght now, though, they have more pressing concerns, like Steve’s one-armed ex-boyfriend who put the scar there in the first place.