What you’re actually talking about, I think, is how female characters are often sexualized in exaggerated ways that have little or nothing to do with telling a story or revealing character. I think that’s Doing Comics Wrong. Not because of the sexualizing or the unrealistic aspects — I think there’s a place for sexy bombshells in comics just as there’s a place for timid wallflowers, and we’ve already covered realism — but because comics are all about telling a story, and if the story you’re telling is undercut and derailed by the tough, no-nonsense nuclear physicist or the motherly, bookish rabbi looking, posing and dressing like a Victoria’s Secret model, then the art isn’t telling the story.
I believe in telling the story. My complaint is that variety is necessary to storytelling. When artists draw all the women to look like they’re auditioning for a Vegas chorus line, it gets in the way of storytelling. It even gets in the way of making the characters who are supposed to be sexy look sexy, because if Kitty Pryde looks like a stripper, where do you go to make the White Queen look sexier and vampier? Make her even more so? Doesn’t take long down that road to hit “ridiculous.”
Comics need range. When it comes to portraying women, as in so many other things, comics need a wide range of portrayals. That includes “sexy bombshell.” But when that’s overwhelmingly the part of the range you get over and over and over again, it stops working even at what it’s intended to do. It makes it harder for female characters to be characters with range and personality, even the sexy bombshells among them. And it chases away readers who aren’t interested in that sort of portrayal, if it’s all they see.
I support variety. I support range. I support characterization and storytelling, and treating characters, male and female, as individuals, who act like themselves, not like any one repetitive portrayal, no matter what it is.