The Surprising Reason the Yellow Power Ranger Never Wore a Skirt
Jason David Frank, who starred as Tommy- the Green and White Rangers from Power Rangers, attended a con in Columbus, Ohio a few years back and shared his enthusiasm with a panel of how great of an impact doing the show has been for him and his future career as a globally recognized entertainer and martial artist. While sitting in his afternoon panel, I pondered the one question I always had as the dozens of Power Ranger-clad fans piled up in front of the microphone. “Why didn’t the Yellow Ranger ever wear a skirt?”
The Pink Ranger absolutely wore a skirt, so why did the Yellow Ranger, who was always a female character throughout its American run on television, always don the same outfit as the male characters? Distracted by the affection of his fans, I forwent asking Frank this seemingly superfluous question, leaving more time for answers that were deeper and more inspiring.
But all the same- I really wanted to know. The Yellow Ranger was my absolute favorite Power Ranger as a kid. She was predominately played by an actress of minority and I always found that so interesting and cool. You didn’t see too many minorities (ethnically and otherwise) kicking butt like everyone else all over the TV and I found it awesome.
So I took to google and did some research. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ run as spanned from the summer of 93’ to now. All of the actors may have changed over time, but the character’s archetypes and roles have remained relatively unchanged. Until recently, however, the Yellow Ranger’s uniform did not feature a skirt.
The reason behind this is that the original choreography and much of the actual video from the Power Ranger’s battling on screen came directly from Japan- where it was originally created. In Japan, the Yellow Ranger was actually a male character. In order to keep continuity between the two distinct shows, the American Yellow Ranger uniform had to match the Japanese uniform. After a while, we were able to shoot our own fight scenes and feature the costumes however we wanted here in America, hence the Yellow Ranger earning her skirt.
I wouldn’t say I was sexist as a child, but I will say I longed to see the Yellow Ranger twirling around in a short skirt and projecting femininity in her uniform just as much as the Pink Ranger could when I was a little girl. And now that I know the reasoning of why she couldn’t, and can reflect on it is a “grown-up,” I have to say the Yellow Ranger definitely kicked butt and held it down for the girls while doing it! Skirt-less or not, the Yellow Ranger never let the uniform define her and Mighty Morphed my version of what a strong yet feminine girl really looks like.