Read this student project on Lara Croft.
Is it enough to say "sex sells"? Is that all we can say about Greek statues, or nude portraits or photos?
I don't mean to elevate Lara Croft to that level, but I wonder... Jessie's story of being surprised to realize Lara was a sex symbol is interesting. On the one hand, it shows the character appeals to kids and older players for different reasons. On the other hand, Jessie had no idea she was playing a character whose body actions were designed and exaggerated in order to be appealing for teenage boys to watch. Clever repurposing of content, or a hidden message that, in order to be considered a role model, women must appeal to certain specific male expectations about female behavior.