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Published 3 years ago with 28 Comments
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  • TheEnglishMajor
    +17

    I love the idea of seeing more realistic bodies in games, cartoons, and other media, but that doesn't mean making every single character plus-sized. We need variation, we need women (and men!) of all proportions. Because the truth is, there are women who look like Rikku. They do exist. And by erasing that body type from view, you're just alienating a whole different group.

    • Cheski
      +5

      I agree. I was looking at these and thinking... "um there are girls who are actually fit". Wouldn't go as far as calling all of these characters plus sized, but they're bodies aren't representative necessarily of what activities they are constantly doing.

      • ObiWanShinobi
        +6

        Lara Croft is the female equivalent of Indiana Jones, and he definitely doesn't have a gut till, like the fourth movie. They are extremely fit.

        So are a bunch of other characters pictured here. Assassins, martial artists, etc. You generally have to be fit to be competent tat these things, and being competent at these things makes you fit.

        • Cheski
          +3

          It would seem we agree my fine fellow. ObiWan and Shinobi were both fit as well ;)

    • worthlessgalaxy
      +2

      I agree with you, some of those women's bodies really made sense for the particular character. The wardrobes are terrible, but bodies aren't the only issue. With different bodies we should expect to see a wider variety of roles for them as well. Because fixing the body and the clothes doesn't do much if we don't also fix the roles they play in stories.

      • TheEnglishMajor
        +5

        I could not agree more with this, and wish I had more up arrows to give. Vary the roles, vary the stories that "matter."

  • septimine
    +10

    Even when feminists imagine non sexual images of women, they still don't wear clothes. >.<

  • staxofmax
    +9

    Should be titled How women gaming stars would look if they were drawn as Pam from Archer.

    • callmefish
      +2

      Too bad I can only give this one up arrow. Laughing out loud - okay, okay ...a very audible chuckling - commenced when I read your comment.

  • cailihphiliac
    +6

    I think it would be more realistic if instead of adding fat to these women, you added clothing. Otherwise you're just advocating weight gain.

    • eviltrout
      +2

      Shouldn't larger women be able to wear whatever they want?

      • cailihphiliac (edited 3 years ago)
        +1

        That's what you got out of what I said?? I meant that most of those outfits weren't suitable for fighting in, not that larger women shouldn't be wearing them. The woman from Tekken 5 was wearing a bikini top or something that would never stay on in a fight.

        They haven't made the women less sexualised, just less slim.

  • Xeriel
    +5

    Virtually all of those post-shop would likely be classified as an overweight BMI. When two thirds of the population is overweight or obese and far less than 5% suffer from an eating disorder, I really find it difficult to jump on the "skinny advertising bad" bandwagon.

    Has anyone ever actually demonstrated that media portrayal has an impact on eating disorders? I've seen some studies that show their rates don't change much over time, while obesity continues to skyrocket.

    This kind of thin shaming seems like you're trying to snuff out a problem by throwing gas on an already bigger fire. We need to emphasize healthy body images. In the case of fictional, digitally created, idealized characters, I think erring on the skinny side does far less harm.

  • Ricwulf
    +5

    I'm sorry, but get this crap out of here. Look at women that are actually in a similar profession to the characters. Look at climbers for Lara, look at MMA fighters for fighting game characters, look at celebrities for the GTA5 girl. Why in the hell would Sonya Blade be chubby? Seriously, she has military inspired styles, she's a fighter, so why wouldn't she have a body like Ronda Rousey? Why would Rikku be fat? She's a thief archetype. They're going to be nimble. And if they wanted to make someone more chubby in the FFX universe, Yuna or Lulu actually can make sense (there is no reason for a magic caster to be thin).

    This whole thing screams of being about justifying the artists body onto a character that they like. This isn't about realistic bodies. This is about fat and chubby bodies.

  • idlethreat
    +5

    Wow. That's pretty blatant. The article is yammering about "female characters should be more realistic", then posts a bunch of pics of them with Photoshop fat plugin turned up to 11. Honestly, Rikku with a double chin looks fucking stupid.

    While I don't have a personal issue with the "more realistic body types" in entertainment. Variation is nice. But let's not turn the knob up all the way to "Diabetes special" and proclaim that's normal.

    • exikon
      +4

      I think those are definitely realistic body types for the general population, although some are definitely done better than others (Chrstie Moneiro vs. Rikku for example). However, I think they also dont get that in some cases the body type in the game might be more reasonable. Of course Laras body is ridiculous, the fact that they accidentely turned up the boob size to 150% is what made her famous and nobody will have that waist. But, she is also portrayed as an incredibly fit women that climbs rock walls and temples. Have you ever seen the body of a professional rockclimber? The are very fit, definitely less fat than on that "corrected" character. I think developers have to find a reasonable middle ground with more realistic body types being portrayed but also being able to put in the occasional supermodel or olympian athlete without being criticised for it.

  • 0r4n9e
    +5

    You'd think they'd put a bit more muscle, not fat, on Sonya Blade...

    • BlankWindow (edited 3 years ago)
      +8

      Seriously, they photoshop a bunch of female characters who are extremely active and say it is 'normal' for them to be bigger. It simply isn't in most cases. Lara Croft? It takes quite a bit of conditioning to freeclimb as she is portrayed to do in game. Any of the fighters are just as laughable the way they are depicted now as they are with added heft. Several franchises are starting to tone down the vivacious females, but media is media and you can see these things in every format.

      • Xeno
        +4

        This is my issue. The "correct" depiction of Laura Croft is probably neither of those images. In reality it is someone who is more muscular.

        • BlankWindow
          +1

          Nope, thin and toned is what they want and about what they have done. Muscle is just extra weight to lug around. Most game characters would fit in that type of build. People also seem to forget why the characters are who they are in a game. Playing games is an escape to be something other than we are, typically that would entail being someone 'better' than we are or at least capable of doing things we can not. While sometimes the depiction of these characters leans in fantastic direction that is completely to be expected in most mediums. In the end, you can talk all you want but money is the only thing anyone hears. Don't like it, don't buy it. These things don't bother me in the slightest because I don't look up to or try to emulate fiction and art. They are stylized representations of people. Not people.

  • SevenTales
    +5

    I really don't like what they've photoshopped, but I do think this discussion is worth having, so I posted it anyway.

    • worthlessgalaxy
      +3

      While the article isn't great, it does start a discussion which I think was the goal.

      • SevenTales
        +2

        Exactly. It started a good debate in here, and I'm glad.

        • worthlessgalaxy
          +2

          Me too. Even as a guy I have really gotten tired of the crazy costumes. It doesn't serve a purpose for me at this point. I like that people are pushing back, but I hope they remember that even though these are unrealistic, they do have a place in games and movies.

          • SevenTales
            +2

            There's no problem with fantasy, but there's a problem with normalizing models in fantasy, and this is one way to (badly, but still) highlight the problem.

            • worthlessgalaxy
              +2

              Yep and that's where it goes too far (which is the area that it is firmly in and will probably never really leave).

  • Urbanknight4
    +2

    There's a reason games are unrealistic. I'm cool with promoting Bulimia awareness, but we have to keep in mind that sex appeal is a great selling factor, not equality. I'd be fine with more realistic women as long as you do the same for men. I mean, HeMan exists, yet nobody points to him as a male oppressor or whatever.

  • SevenTales
    +1

    I've just added Meg Turney's reaction to the article, which is pretty much what I think of the whole debate.

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