Damn, so i just realized: while I’m basically indifferent to the romance characteristics of their relationship, I enjoyed Bruce and Natasha so much in AOU because they’re both people who view their bodies as potentially monstrous, and are constantly aware that their agency over those bodies has been stolen/never existed
And that’s how I feel about my body! Like, I feel that whatever mental work I do to cope with being trans, however my mental illness improves, my body will always irrevocably mark me as broken, and its qualities will continually torment me.
And that’s how I read both Natasha and Bruce, but especially Natasha, and it’s why I’m so defensive of her character arc in this movie. It speaks to my own relationship with my body. Like, my body is hypothetically neutral, but the fact that I’m in it makes it monstrous to me. Likewise, not being able to have children is neutral, but with Natasha’s background it becomes the focal point for every worry she has that she’s permanently ruined by what was done to her