So I’ve been listening to a new podcast, it’s a pair of women talking about topics dear to their hearts: Dungeons & Dragons and Feminism.
Obviously as its a podcast they have less visual element (though they do an excellent job in describing key points) but I felt this one was particularly relevant since it included them talking about some academic studies done on the gender related trends in the art of Dungeons & Dragons.
I highly recommend checking out the podcast and giving them a follow on their twitter. Among other things, they also post their sources so you can review for yourself.
They upload at the start of the month, and are currently polishing up their latest recording so now is a great time to drop in and give them some encouragement.
I recently featured some of Bryan’s depictions of female characters but more recently he released this excellent artwork of his “a Bard named slickback”
And I know what you’re thinking, he’s a bard… so of course. For that reason, I must stress that we must not let the myth that bards are always the empowered men of the party – or worse, that all bards are.
Now, the Last of Us 2 is (assume spoilers in all the links)
a very contentious piece of art – with a wide spectrum of opinions about the role of violence (1,2), depictions of a trans character (1, 2) and so much more. However, there are some parts are indisputably positive: the graphics are amazingly beautiful, the accessibility is leaps and bounds ahead of so many AAA titles, and the outfits for the female characters are excellent.
Someone is frantically typing a comment about how “they’re just clothes” but they’re really so much more, these are outfits specifically chosen and tweaked to reflect the world the characters live in, and the demands of their lifestyles.
The outfits and the way they change to reflect the changes in the mood and the characters – all without distracting from the rest of the narrative. It’s a great example of how much story telling potential you can get out of clothes when you’re not limiting yourself to the most T&A possible.
edit: fixed first Polygon link (right after spoiler warning)
So it’s always worth restating that you can, definitely get massive sales and piles of awards for not engaging in bikini armor silliness.
It’s true! No matter what Creepy Marketing Guy or the guy who won’t leave the comic book store and hasn’t bathed this week tell you.
No I’m going to go back to staring at Abby’s arms because reasons.
As it approaches Cult Classic status, its worth thinking about how Jennifer’s Body is both a brilliant deconstruction of gender in horror but (sadly to its box office detriment) a great example of the old notion of sex sells doesn’t just fail to generate sales, it actively harms many productions.
The movie was horribly misrepresented in marketing, largely because the studio was convinced the only reason anyone would want to see a Megan Fox movie was to ogle her body. That is: They assume all decisions about whether a movie is worth watching are made by developmentally stunted cishet men (the only demographic who wouldn’t work out there were plenty of places you could already ogle Megan… largely due to movie studios).
Despite what overpaid executives in suits who paid someone to do their exams for them will tell you, nobody actually benefits from the proliferation of this sort of marketing.
People interested in feminist themes don’t get works containing them identified as such to them
People wanting to watch stuff not about conventionally attractive women have to search to find out what things are actually about
Not the mask used as a fascinator, not the inexplicable window on her back, not the skirts that seem to only exist only to blow up and show her legs – nor the odd peakaboo slits on the sides of her shorts, nor the or the skin tight top – but rather the weird piece of cloth that sits on top of of the vacuum sealed top to incorporate underboob and nipple tease without actually showing any torso skin.
She is also possibly the worst archer in the history of bad archers.
Now… obviously expectations are low for this genre of game, but this particular gacha game has had made spread in the market and multiple articles about tis monetization techniques – so this remains an example of how this kind of trash design goes unquestioned in modern media.
Of course, sometimes they get political and it’s justperfect.
It’s easy to dismiss this as “product of its time” or just something of by-gone days, particularly as the current management of Wizards of the Coast and the connected companies have been very actively trying to do better – but its important to remember that these are essentially formative works both in tabletoproleplayiing games and fantasy in general.
That’s… that’s a problem.
(h/t: Slovenly Trulls for drawing my attention to this gallery of masterpieces) Specific sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Mandalorians are trained in many forms of combat, such as the battle bikini rubber spine style.
(Cover of Escape From Monster Island #1, Zenescope Entertainment)
Okay, now we’ve all recovered from the psychic damage caused by this… not-anatomy, I’d like to make matters worse. This is the “cosplay variant” cover which I guess means its “inspired” by a cosplayer… possibly in the same creepy manner J Scott Campbell was with some of his personal artworks.
In order to find out who they did this to, I had to do a worrying amount of searching: It’s Leeana Vamp (who I have met in person and can confirm, she is very lovely) cosplay of Boba Fett, lingerie version specifically:
Now that may not be all of it – because early in the searches my first thought was that based on the face and hair, it was inspired this is the cosplay by Lauren Browne and was very confused why they’d altered her outfit so much and removed her tattoos.
That’s because in a lot of Vamp’s cosplay pics, she’s wearing pants (conventions are usually family friend events) and the helmet… because Boba Fett; and Lauren just happens to look a little more like Generic J Scott Campbell Paul Green Babe.
It’s almost impossible to match a “likeness” with in individual using this “style” typical of companies like Zenescope, which take objectifying women to new levels. Neither Zenescope, nor the artist himself gives any vague credit to any cosplayer.
And he has a whole calendar of this shit that Zenescope is selling (note, this artwork was from 2016 ):ites, he doesn’t follow groups run by cosplayers – he looks at those creepy as fuck “sexy cosplay girls” sites/groups that don’t credit the models and are avoided by cosplayers because of the comments sections.
And he has a whole calendar of this shit that Zenescope is selling (note, this artwork was from 2016 and the current year is 2021):
The key consideration on this work is why is the armor and why the specific placement and design of the armor? Why this design? Particularly if its a more complicated design than regular armor.
Anzogh has a ridiculous cow skull on his belt, and a strap across his chest, bone bracelets to emphasise how little he has – it conveys that his is powerful and needs none of the convenience of civilization (like armor). Sometimes these characters have massive pauldrons to give them a more menacing silhouette
Saoirse has armor on her arms, and bits of her legs, the gaps in her armor are not to show power or independence, but to showcase her body from tits to hips. It’s to assure you that despite these weapons, her age and being on the battlefield… she’s got it going on. Generally when characters like this get shoulder, hip or thigh armor it’s to accentuate their hips and frame their torso pleasingly.