Stop Pretending “Sexy” and “Sexualized” Mean the Same Thing
An article relevant to the rhetoric we’re often met with in response to our posts – that we’re against anything remotely sexy, or that we’re conflating sexyness with sexualization (even if the author is weirdly fixated on alleged inherent problems with anime culture).
It also alludes to the problem of distinguishing between nudity and sexualization, which we also addressed recently:
This article is not about how you perceive people; it’s about how they are presented to you. The human body is neutral, not inherently objectified just by virtue of being visible.
As well as the good old “sex sells” argument:
Sexiness without objectification is not some hypothetical or abstract concept […] “Sex sells!” commenters squawk every time this comes up, as if this voyeuristic collage of disembodied lady parts is the only way to make non-erotic programming commercially viable.
Back to clearing up the confusion, important thing to remember is that here at BABD we usually use word “sexy” (as well as “empowered”) in a tongue-in-cheek manner, unless stated otherwise.
For example – in the Overwatch slot machine “sexy” is a shorthand for “objectified and attractive according to conventional Western beauty standards” and replacing it with “beefy” and “curvy” for Zarya and Mei does not mean the two aren’t sexy characters. It means that (slightly) different body type/beauty standard than generic hotness was a priority in their design.
We’ll always firmly stand by the assessment that sexyness is perfectly fine thing to portray in media – the key is to remember there’s time and place for anything, even fanservice – and (in our blog’s case) portrayal of female warriors ain’t that time.