When Samus was in armor, guys respected her (and even said they wanted her armor). But girls didn’t give a damn. They still don’t give a damn about her in armor, whenever I see fanart of it, the artist is almost always a guy. But now that Nintendo is pushing her as a big-breasted latex model with a nice butt, fangirls are drawing her, saying they idolize her and want to be her (and saying they want her SHOES). Care to weigh in on what’s up with that?
So… since I haven’t heard anything like this… I went and asked one of my gamer friends who happens to be a woman what she thought. Here’s how she started her response:
“Please provide sources, if you’re going to attempt to tar girls with the same brush that is clearly lubricated by entitled male gamer tears, then you must provide the burden of proof.”
From there the rage intensifies and it gets kinda nerdy, so I shall just share the highlights:
“You’re referencing art of ZERO SUIT Samus, which rose to popularity with Super Smash Bros, which has targeted a younger demographic. It’s become commonplace to see Samus OUT of her suit rather than in it, despite it being an iconic image of Metroid. Back in itty bitty pixels, we saw as a bonus at the end of a game that Samus was a girl, thats it.”
“If they’d spent any time actually IN the gaming community of tumblr … then they’d be aware that the community ISN’T vocal in favour of Samus’ new look”
“She’s 6 foot 3 too, mind you, and weighs 90kg. The recent sexualisation/slimming of Samus is a move on NINTENDO’S part, not the gamer fangirl base.”
So to make sure this wasn’t a one off, I asked another friend:
“Firstly, Dudebro McFedora, you have no basis to say that women don’t like Samus. The odds are that you’ve probably never talked to a girl that’s played the games.”
From there the rage intensifies – so I will just share some of the highlights:
“I will say that I particularly want her shoes. They’re spark shooting death heels to beat up people. It’s wonderful; who wouldn’t want that?
They are not appropriate for SSB though BECAUSE THEY’RE FUCKING PUMPS. You can’t run around in that shit!”
“Samus in her armor is fantastic because it creates this unique position where anyone can play her and entitled ‘macho boiz’ never think to say, “Oh shit I don’t want to play as the girl” or “Sweet, the girl character is fucking hot.””
“Samus Aran is my role model.”
Also, I seem to recall seeing amazing fan art by women:
And amazing cosplays:
This is not to say there aren’t female gamers who only discovered Samus when they announced her high heels of doom, female gamers who really want to cosplay Samus in heels because they’ll look cute and sexy or female gamers who like the Zero Suit better than the armors for other reasons.
I say this theoretically because I did look to try to find some of them, and between quick searches for them and searches to find choice examples of art and cosplays… I didn’t find a single woman who suggested that she only became interested in Samus due to the Jet Boot heels.
So if you have come across women who only got into Samus due to the high heels, it’s still quite ridiculous to decide those particular women are somehow representative of women or female gamers as a whole. Particularly since the character first appeared in 1986 – so has had quite a while to grow a diverse fan base.
Trying to dismiss and/or erase huge numbers of female fans just so that you can try to pretend gender stereotypes are facts is pretty much the reason why the rage intensified.
- Samus Aran by Julie Dillon
- Samus Aran by thiago-almedia
- Samus Aran by Variazim
- Samus Aran Metroid by pekepeke0
Bringing this old ask post back, because I couldn’t help but be reminded of it while browsing through other people’s reblogs of the Kitana/Jade redesign post.
The “Girls didn’t give a shit about Samus before she became sexy and therefore cosplayable!” rhetoric makes just as much sense as “Women in Mortal Kombat are floss-bikini titninjas because it’s the female power fantasy and the cosplayers want that!”, which seems to be the go-to contrarian reaction to Brendan George’s slightly less misogynistic art direction in Mortal Kombat 11.
[image related to a Soul Calibur, not Mortal Kombat, character, but the “argument” is literally the same]
TL;DR: People who obviously never spoke with any woman sure do feel the most eager to mansplain what women really want from female video game characters. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
notice: This is a reposting of this throwback, due to Tumblr queue being a total goober and initially publishing the Throwback Thursday post on Wednesday.
New rule for female armor: if you design female armor and you wouldnt be willing to cosplay it, you’re making a mistake.
I’d like to propose an expansion of rule:
If you’re a guy and you’d wear it because “it’d be funny” but you wouldn’t respect a female cosplayer who wore it: You are a mistake.
Another caveat to the rule, inspired by an article we linked in the past: if a costume is (near*) impossible to replicate or too uncomfortable to wear for cosplayers – it fails as a costume.
Honestly, if a cosplayer would need to use double-sided tape in order to maintain their decency while wearing your costume, maybe just… don’t.
*”Near impossible” only because cosplayers are amazing and can somehow make even the most absurd shit work on human bodies somehow. But at what cost?
Maybe it’s because you’re taking the same strategy you would in designing characters for comics or video games and applying it to real people, except fictional characters are a representation of how you choose to see people or wish them to be portrayed, whereas real people get to do their own choosing, because nothing is more sexist than denying someone the right to choose, regardless of what that choice may be.
Great article, go read it whole
Worth bringing back – this quote from a pretty great analysis of complex problems with perpetuating sexism. The quoted part and image are the ones most relevant to BABD’s subject matter, but the article is still worth reading whole.
As we said again and again, in our agency and cosplay tags, real people possess the free will to dress however they like, while fictional characters look a certain way because someone decided so.
Judging real women harshly for making a choice of dressing skimpy, especially paired with celebration gratuitously half-nude nonexistent women is the sort of cognitive dissonance we refuse to stand behind.
The Laura Croft game we all deserve
It’s 5am and my eyes were so blurry that I legit thought “wow look at Shia LaBuff”
I love the smell of male empowerment in the morning
h/t: Way too many loyal BABD readers to count! Thank you all for the heads up!
Here’s my empowering warrior armor for Magic Meat March! Got it done just in time! I made the whole get-up out of leather, save for the shoes and the prop dagger. I just went to town this week with the strap cutter and the rivets.
It’s got a jointed spaulder for the shoulder, held in place by an asymmetric harness, zig-zagging down to a supple pouch to hold the necessaries comfortably in place. Onto this attaches a cuisse to guard the thigh.
Then there’s some accessory pieces: A thigh piece made of three panels laced together; an arm band with shearling trim for warmth; and a corset-like bracer to protect the wrist and forearm. Oh, and there’s that mass of straps for the left arm. I’m not even sure what that’s supposed to be for.
If I’d had a bit more time I was planning on adding more fur trim to the other pieces, but since it’s spring time now I don’t think that’s necessary. Wouldn’t want to overheat, after all. That extra padding would just get in the way during a battle anyway.
Now that is some fine craftsmanship and pure real-life male empowerment!
Not only that, the design is so on-point! Love how the straps zig-zag across the model’s torso, with pauldron and codpiece/thong as the pivotal leverage points.
Thank you, @armoreddragon, for joining the ranks of confident men ready to show us what real armor equality looks like!
GENDERBENT LARA CROFT COSPLAY
Genderbending cosplay is nothing new, we see it all the time. Usually it’s hot chicks dressed as sluttier versions of male characters, but we rarely see manly-men, like Dr. Teng above, dressed as scantily-clad lady characters.
I’d actually kind of like to see this idea pushed all the way to the opposite end of the spectrum — like dudes cosplaying as super suave and macho versions of half-nekkid chicks. I wonder if the character’s would even still be recognizable.
(top pic via Anna Fischer)
I fucking love this!
@bikiniarmorbattledamage some empowering male cosplay and a lovely example of giving men the same skimpy outfits as their female counterparts. A truly wonderful cosplay, if I do say so.
This really is an equal opportunity sexy costume.