Just saying “weh weh this isn’t actually an issue, let the designers do what they want” is actually ignoring the cultural context in which this bikini armour exists. It is a classic example of women as a [sexual] commodity to be sold, and gives the o.k to treating women like said commodity. That sexy armour is the default is concerning in itself. Is it not possible to be sexually attracted to a girl in armour designed for fighting rather than sex??? The bikini armour problem exists in a culture which is obsessed with sexualising women at every turn. Male warriors get to be “rugged”, “dark”, “complex”, an “anti-hero”, while female warriors get to be “sexy”, and on the rare occasion they do have the aforementioned characteristics, they are added as a secondary characteristic to that sexiness, or as an afterthought.
“It’s not an issue, blah blah.” No, it is an issue, it contributes to an overall culture. “Why do we have to debate this?” sounds a lot like “I don’t want to think about the attitudes and beliefs in which art functions, and ways in which certain art may be damaging.”
“Historically, women didn’t fight/wear armour.” Congratulations, you’ve completely missed the point. We are talking about fantasy genres here, worlds where slaying dragons, leading campaigns of hundreds of soldiers, traipsing through a haunted forest are normal occurrences and yet we can’t treat women like people rather than toys. Plus, “historically”, you have people like Joan of Arc, and outside of Western history there are lots of cultures in which women fought battles.
That does not look like a very practical armor, not to even mention that fighting stance. It also looks like poor Valkyrie’s breasts are running away from her face.
As bad as skin-tight metal armor is, it’s even worse when the breast formed parts aren’t even in the right place! The poor girl!
It would be truly a horrific curse to be trapped in such a metal prison, unable to move or even breathe without crushing pain and mega chaffing. She can do nothing as the world’s worst archer fires arrows at unlikely angles towards her.
That is the story this cover is trying to tell right?
edit: Since the image apparently was deleted from its external sever, here it is:
You know what irks me?
You know why it irks me? Because that shit ain’t practical, and hell, it doesn’t look comfortable either. Sure, it looks nice, gives the bad guys something to look at, but will it work in a fight? Will it protect the user against swords or arrows or whatever else is being thrown their way? They better goddamn hope those chain mail bikinis are enchanted with a force field, cause that’s not going to save anyone from any lethal hit.
They’re a badass and have the skills to not get hit? I call bullshit. Even the most seasoned warrior (minus the Greeks) knows better than to give an opponent any possible opening. Armor is there for a reason, and that’s to cover for you when and if you make a mistake or there’s something you cannot deflect.
Not to mention, I think having cold hunks of steel rubbing against my girl parts would be the most uncomfortable and unbearable thing ever. I hate underwire bras enough, but a bra made entirely out of steel wire? Haha, no, There is no way that would work, even for aesthetic purposes. Not to mention the chaffing in the nether regions, good god. Metal chaffs. Knights wore clothing underneath their armor and chain mail for a reason.
Oh, and just because it covers doesn’t mean it’s practical, while we’re at it.
This breastplate is a bit of an improvement, but still has major flaws. The way that it curves around each breast would direct blows inwards, closer to the heart. Armor can be pierced, and after enough hits, guess where this breastplate is most likely to be pierced? That’s right, the cleavage. That’s why armor tends to be very rounded, so blows are deflected away from vital organs and such. Makes sense? I think so, too.
What is good female armor? Any armor that men would wear, basically. Like I said, there tends to be a lot of room in the front for the girls, so there should be no problem fitting them in. Here’s some examples of good (or better) armor:
Oh, and this little jewel~
So yes, you can be a badass, feminine heroine- with the proper, practical protection on. No excuses.
A new rule of thumb:
If you wouldn’t look impressive holding a bunny, you’re not going to look impressive holding a weapon.
Nah, it’s totally not weird to be worried about a legit anatomical problem.
As we learned from The Chainmal Chick, actual panties made from chainmail are out of the question, considering how absolutely uncomfortable (chafy and pinchy!) they would be… It’s safe to assume similarly with any other kind of underwear made of metal or other material not suitable for it… especially if it’s a g-sting/thong.
That said, it would definitely be entertaining to see, for example, a video game that decided to acknowledge most of their thong-clad heroines have functioning uteri and thus make them wear something comfortable and conservative regularly for like 1/6 of the gameplay!
You want gritty realism, AAA gamers? Then there aren’t many grittier things about everyday real life than periods! >-D
edit: Slight rewording of the initial sentence to make it more inclusive.