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Beauty, Fashion, Gaming

Stop Giving Female Video Game And Comic Characters “Real” Bodies

average-lara-croft

(image cred: CNN Money)

I understand why artists are redesigning our favorite female heroes. Animated female characters have a stereotypical body shape which usually includes anti-gravity boobs, organ straining waist lines, and dainty legs and arms. That’s certainly not the “norm”, but adding 50 pounds and a smaller chest isn’t getting the “norm” right either.

I have two problems with these redesigns. They do not accurately portray “real” women because a single standard does not exist. Secondly, the larger proportions would not make sense for many of these characters in the first place. Here are a few examples of animated ladies that don’t need a make-over.

Our favorite British archaeologist-adventurer Lara Croft is sensible, clever, and super hot. Albeit her waistline is ridiculously small, adding 30-50 pounds of woman on her doesn’t make sense. She has a slim, athletic build that is necessary for the outrageous vine swinging, cliff jumping, and cardio killing shoot-outs she usually gets involved in. Adding more weight would only lesson her ability to perform such intense activities. We could argue that her extra chub is more muscle, but the image to the right doesn’t capture the fine shadows of a toned body at all.

And let’s talk about her physics-defying boobage (although compared to comic book super heroes she’s like a B cup). I know a few woman who have very slender shapes and a big chest. They got the best of both worlds and it had more to do with genetics than gym memberships. As a life-long member of the BBC (big boobie club) I can attest the extra shoulder weight becomes second nature, as does your center of gravity. Plus I doubt Croft would go under the knife just for a reduction.

average-aurora

(image cred: HuffPo)

Aurora, the sleepy blond, needs help in staying away from evil witches, but not from calories. Again, her waist is unnaturally tiny but let’s keep in mind she is a princess from a fantasy story. Adding a few extra inches to her hips definitely brings her shape closer to reality, but whose reality? She is a small framed-princess living in the woods with a bunch of fairies that can’t cook. Her entire diet probably consists of berries since I can’t imagine she’s taking kitchen utensils anywhere near her furry woodland family. And remember the birthday cake fiasco? She’s probably never had a sweet treat in her life. So why are we so hung up on adding poundage to Aurora? If she’s alive and healthy, then her dimensions are nobody’s business but hers.

average-wonder-woman

(image cred: HuffPo)

Diana of Themyscira has a muffin top. Wait, what? This six foot tall bombshell is literally an Amazonian warrior so cankles and love handles simply wouldn’t exist.

Actually, Wonder Woman’s body shape is one of the most pleasantly proportionate super heroine forms I’ve seen. Her athletic shape looks feminine without any unnecessary exaggerations. So unless she’s packing away a few dozen donuts with the cops every time she brings in a bad guy, this image in incredibly unrealistic. On a side note, although her chest doesn’t look too weighted down, that outfit is clearly held in place with invisible jet technology.

The truth is an “average” female body shape doesn’t exist. Short or tall, athletic or cuddly, each woman’s body is formed from genetics, environment, calories, and activities. Super heroes and video game characters aren’t shaming big booty girls just as the images above aren’t slamming skinny shapes. Fantasy characters are drawn to accentuate and celebrate the female form, however wholly inaccurate that artist’s vision may be. It’s certainly not perpetuating a physically impossible or psychologically damaging body image. I never compared myself to Lara Croft or wished I looked like her. I just grabbed the controller and killed a bunch of treasure hunting thieves.

Do you think we need to reevaluate the shapes and sizes of animated characters?

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"Making Smart Look Adorable." Check out all of Rielly's geek girl musings on her site riellygeek.com. And for a daily geekery and pop culture fix, she also blogs for Nerd Approved, Fashionably Geek, and That’s Nerdalicious.
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  • Amanda

    This article defies all logic. I thought that the author might set up some insightful observation, perhaps in the following format: “These redesigns fail to represent the ‘average’ woman…*TRUTHBOMB* because the average woman is X, Y, and Z, which is why the redesigns fail at diversity/accurate representation.” Instead, this author is like, “Why does Laura Croft need a ribcage? Clearly, a ribcage is too great a hindrance for all the cool feats she does. Also, massive boobs help with acrobatics.” Boobs hurt when you run, fool. That’s real talk. Another example: Why is it unlikely, in the author’s mind, that Wonder Woman would have no a “muffin top”? First of all, she has powers that defy all our physical reality anyhow. There’s no reason why a fattie can’t be as resistant to fire and MAGIC as a thin person in this universe. Second, loads of strong athletes have superficial fat. In fact, as one bulks up, when naturally adds fat to one’s frame. Unless you intentionally burn off this superficial fat layer, that’s part of muscle growth. In sum, both fictional metaphysics and actual human physiology nullify this argument. . . . I could keep going, but I’m not going to waste any more of my time addressing why this is a pitiful piece of writing.

  • gearbox123

    “Do you think we need to reevaluate the shapes and sizes of animated characters?”

    I think we need to reevaluate the mentalities and motivations of the feminazis (yes I went there) who are doing this redesigning. If they like fat girls, fine, but don’t start regulating MY fantasy babes! What’s next for female superheroes – leg hair, butch haircuts and denim?

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