Saint Seiya Online SWITCHEROO Part 1: Armoring the ladies!
The idea is to take two gender disparate version of the same costume and make them equal to one another, by either basing male version on female’s or the other way round.
We concluded that Saint Seiya Online, which we bingoed twice since, is a perfect material to try this out on, as their concept art (credit to @saintseiya-zone for posting them!) includes most armors in both male and female version, which are basically always textbook examples of double standard in costume design.
Prepare for this being a double feature. Today we’re posting female knights equalized with their male counterparts. On Friday come the same male knights sexified to be as empowered as original forms of their female equivalents.
First thing I noticed about the blue-white knights is that since the dude one happens to be rather androgynous and strikes a flamboyant pose, designers doubled down on “feminizing” the lady one with pigeon-toed pose and super bingo-able version of the outfit. The two share very similar body type, so I concluded that pasting his parts onto her verbatim would work perfectly.
First thing to do was to give her his legs and right hand, so she can strike a power pose instead of generic dainty passive body language completely disparate from her male counterpart’s.
Then the task was relatively easy: paint over all those completely out of place holes in her outfit, give her waist a little more plausible girth and shrink her high heels to be exactly the same size as the guy’s.
It’s actually quite upsetting how the developers put in an active effort into ruining perfectly fine costume just to communicate that the lady version is different.
I will fully admit that I probably? cheated by cutting the red guy’s chest right off of him (misandry?) and pasting it onto the lady, but I have good reason! We so often see strong women characters who are supposed to have a more “masculine” muscled look, but it never actually gets to the part where they don’t have an hourglass figure with the same old narrow shoulders. (See Overwatch’s Zarya and her most narrow shoulders.) So I wanted this lady to be beefy as heck.
To me, it seems like the artists’ definition of “beefy” for women was just a bigger rack and thiccer hips, and that wasn’t doing it for me. I made her shoulders way wider, stole the guy’s entire torso, and narrowed her hips. You also can’t ever have too much biceps. There are women who look like this, believe it or not.
(A minor thing, but I shortened her nails as well.)
For people who may not like this one because she looks too much like a dude… sometimes people do look like that. And maybe the problem is with our definitions of “manly” and “girly.” Why even cisnormativity.