Pretty good Women In Comics article at the Daily Beast: http://tinyurl.com/ygoyjsu
Pretty good Women In Comics article at the Daily Beast: http://tinyurl.com/ygoyjsu
Black Canary owns your world.
Interesting article. Not sure I agree with this though:
It still seems like the body types of female superheros or villians are very cookie cutter. You would think being a female superhero requires that you have the body of a super model or playmate. It would be nice to see the same diversity of body type in comics that you see in real life.The move to make female comic book characters more vivid extends to the artwork, as well. Rebekah Issacs, the artist for DCís DV8, says that the industry shift toward photorealism in general has led to ďa move away from that tiny little waist you can put one hand around and the gigantic, double G breasts, that almost sickening ideal. You donít really see that as much anymore.Ē
Real life, where? In Paris? OK. A huge percentage of the people I came across daily were in wonderful shape.
In the US? NO way. The last thing I want is a significant portion of the super-hero world being morbidly obese.
I never really know what to make of articles like this. I know they're well intentioned, but I always feel like they're talking down to the generations of female comic fans that have existed long before any manga was ever sent to the U.S.
A good friend of mine has been reading comics since she was a little girl, she's currently in her mid 50s. She told me she always liked DC's women better than Marvel's because they got out there and fought right alongside the guys with no problems, whereas Marvel's women tended to faint when the going got tough. Another good friend of mine's mother read Plastic Man when she was a kid, and she's in her early 70s!
I didn't get into comics because of manga(which aren't "Japanese styled", they ARE Japanese, there's a difference!), I got into comics because the characters looked cool. I also had the fortune of starting out with X-Men comics which are packed with strong women. But in addition to loving the awesome kick-ass women, I loved the awesome kick-ass men! And so do other girls who read comics! We don't all need sappy soap operas to appeal to us, women are more complex than that!
Actually I think I need a whole other thread to explain my views on comics in relation to age and gender.
And as for the body type issue, of course super heroines aren't going to be built like regular women, they're super heroes! If you want comics with regular women, read Love and Rockets or Dykes to Watch Out For.
That's my only concern: All the gratuitous cheesecake.
i have to say
made me laugh pretty hard. i don't know, maybe she's talking about estonian comics or something.The move to make female comic book characters more vivid extends to the artwork, as well. Rebekah Issacs, the artist for DCís DV8, says that the industry shift toward photorealism in general has led to ďa move away from that tiny little waist you can put one hand around and the gigantic, double G breasts, that almost sickening ideal. You donít really see that as much anymore.Ē
In super-hero comics, we're talking about extreme versions of athletes, in a way. Both men and women are near-perfection, physically. And really, for obvious reasons.
Also, from an aesthetic point-of-view, who wants unattractive people in art?
I would also note that in the picture you provide none of those girls have breasts any where near the size found on most female superheroes.
No, they don't. Because in sports body type is determined by necessity, not by aesthetics.I would also note that in the picture you provide none of those girls have breasts any where near the size found on most female superheroes.
But I still don't see this "broadening of the view" you're talking about. Not in athletics, not in modeling, not in acting. So, it isn't surprising that the aesthetic in comics has a particular bent.
Throughout various eras, aesthetics in art change. But they usually remain fairly consistent within each era. So, obviously Renaissance figures look different than Victorian figures, for instance. But within each of those eras, the aesthetic is at least somewhat consistent.
The fact that lots of (though, hardly "all") comic book heroines have great figures and big boobs, and most comic book heroes are impossibly muscular and beyond athletic -- well, that's clearly what the audience generally wants. Or, that's what they want from art that isn't highly stylized, at least; and apparently, what the artists want to draw.
To bring this back around to Wonder Woman for a moment, she's not only the most beautiful woman in the world, but she is physically perfect. Now, what perfect is depends on the particular artist. But you're right: Society does have certain over-arching aesthetics that it prefers. So, you're not going to see a 300 lb. Diana (unless, maybe, you have a Ugandan artist).
Right or wrong, at the peaks of their careers, Maria Sharapova was the highest paid female athlete in the world, and Justine Henin, who was just as good (if not better) made a small fraction of what Masha did. Because Masha is a 6'3" blonde bombshell and, well, Justine isn't.
Now, is that fair? Who knows. But it's reality. And it is reality because of the fact that people (and by "people" I mean "more of society than not") are attracted to what attracts them. People don't wake up one morning and say to themselves, "Today, I'm going to like red-heads!"
So, I don't know exactly what you are suggesting people do to change this.
Why not a few heroes who look like the girls in your picture? They're certainly beautiful young women. Why not a few that are a bit more voluptuous? The majority of female heroes to me are very cookie cutter when it comes to body type, and from an aesthetic stand point I find that really, really boring. It's also just not realistic. If there really were superheroes they wouldn't all look like supermodels.
On a deeper level it just reinforces a concept of beauty that can be detrimental to a young woman's developing self image. I'd like something more from the comics I read, particularly superhero comics, which at some level are supposed to be about standing up for and protecting other people. I tend to think that Wonder Woman, a character so connected to the empowerment of people, would be troubled by such a narrow minded vision of beauty and the effect it can have on a persons self esteem and sense of dignity.
And Supergirl, Wonder Woman, and Black Canary all generally have different looks, physically. Just as an example.
So, I'm still not sure what you're suggesting.On a deeper level it just reinforces a concept of beauty that can be detrimental to a young woman's developing self image. I'd like something more from the comics I read, particularly superhero comics, which at some level are supposed to be about standing up for and protecting other people. I tend to think that Wonder Woman, a character so connected to the empowerment of people, would be troubled by such a narrow minded vision of beauty and the effect it can have on a persons self esteem and sense of dignity.
And is your argument that someone like Giselle Bundchen somehow ruins peoples' self-esteem? Because, personally, I think that's absurd. I mean, I'm no Brad Pitt, but I'm well aware of that, and just accept it.
And "standing up for" and "protecting" other people how? I don't even know what you mean, in this context.
What I'm talking about is a socially reinforced concept of beauty, one that permeates advertising, movies, television, and of course comics, not a particular person that may or may not fit that concept. I'm willing to bet that 80%, and that may be low, of the athletic young women in the picture you posted think that there is something wrong with their bodies. Yet, I bet a good artist, without altering the way they look, could portray them as superheroes in a compeling manner. Let the female heroes in comics reflect the diverse beauty of real women. It's not about getting rid of heroes that happen to look like supermodels, it's about letting in other looks and body types, and in many cases recognizing the beauty of those different forms as well.
I think it's the same with the guys, too. Explain to me the "diversity" among Kal-El, Bruce Wayne, and Hal Jordan, for instance. They're all handsome, tall, muscular, square-jawed, and have perfect physiques with completely flat abs. In other words, they are physically appealing.
If you look at the great heroes as sort of modern mythological representatives, it's not surprising that they look the way they look. Anything "wrong" physically is a sign of something wrong in the character of the person. Heroism is represented physically through beauty and perfection and strength. Villainy, represented through the opposite.
An excellent example being Wonder Woman vs. Dr. Psycho. One doesn't have to know the characters or their stories to guess which is the heroine and which the villain.
"With Knowledge we built a city to rival heaven."