Sunday, January 26, 2014

Why I'm not Offended by Superheroine Costumes

I'm a total geek: I play video games, D&D, read comics (both American and Asian), and own more Batman shirts than any one person probably should. I'm always a fan of strong female characters in any setting, whether in a fantasy novel, comic book, or video game. I always play a woman in games. I even give them skimpy outfits.

*record scratch*

Look at Spider Man twerk it out!

That's right. Skimpy outfits. I dress my female role playing characters and video game characters in the stereotypical skimpy outfits that you see in comics, cartoons, and other things. When I was playing DC Universe Superheroes (seriously, the instruction books need to be rewritten... the rules are so ambiguous and disorganized!) I rolled a rogue-like, Bohemian Revolution-era corsetmaker that wore a Kevlar corset and some fun knee-high boots (her name was La Croix and could summon ravens because it's me playing). Even when I played WoW, I would run around trying to find the skimpy gear to equip my female characters with. If a game lets me modify bust size, you better believe I am giving my character the biggest tits I can (I want to play a character that has similar attributes to myself). So how can I, a feminist, even conceive of creating characters designed to objectify them?

Seriously. This is hot.
I really don't see skimpy superheroine costumes as sexist or objectifying. Growing up, I thought it was awesome. As an adult and a feminist, I see the impracticality of the outfits because really, they aren't covering much at all. Look at Wonder Woman to the left (and check out the artist's gallery, his work is amazing, and he has a lot of awesome Wonder Woman portraits!). She is still wearing the iconic Wonder Woman onesie, but she is muscular, strong, powerful. That's how I see my female characters; I don't see them as pieces of womanflesh running around on a screen or in a comic book, but as strong women that can wear those skimpy outfits because they are so badass that they can defend themselves and fight their own battles. Some feminists get offended by the costumes and would see them covered completely, like you can see in this article. Honestly, when I first saw those images, I thought they were done by someone who either hated their own body or wanted to body-shame other women. I thought the costumes were ridiculously dowdy and unempowering. I didn't see strong superheroines any more.

With the world of comics, cartoons, fantasy novels, and superhero movies I am able to lose myself in a fantasy world of strong, powerful women. Xena is my spirit animal, Wonder Woman my muse, Huntress my inspiration. Let's worry less about the costumes on these positive and strong female figures and more about the empowerment they can offer little girls and women.

1 comment:

  1. The ancient Celtic warriors used to fight stark naked and painted blue from head to toe. THAT is badass!