Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Random Ridiculous Realization : A Proposal

I was thinking about Power Girl lately. It's true that I like her a lot and that I actually that her chest size (which isn't to my eyes actually disproportionate)can be more of a hinderance than a plus.

I still love her. I love her brassy feminism and strong will. I hate to see those qualities overlooked merely because she's well-endowed. Having breasts does not take any of those other qualities away.

I do think that a lot of what annoys many people about characters like Power Girl is her clothes. Power Girl is large, but she has a mass/size/frame that makes it work. I think though that one problem she has is that except for her boob window costume, she rarely seems to have enough garment style support for her attributes.

The oval-cut-out costume's actually really nice. She gets some grumbling because of the peekaboo aspects, but honestly, if you look at the structure of the thing, that window is actually what's keeping everything in place. It adds enough tension to the fabric that it makes an embarrassing escape impossible. It's very clever.

But every other costume she has? Really doesn't work. And I'm sure we can all think of particular occasions when a female character's costume makes it very clear that there's no support mechanism what so ever. Which is really dumb, because honestly, even women as small as a B-Cup will feel the unpleasantness of trying to do *anything* without support.

I don't actually blame the artists for this. Not completely. Most of the offending artists are men and thus have no real way of knowing that as attractive as breasts can be, they can be surprisingly inconvenient. They simply don't know how necessary some sort of support can be.

It's not their fault, but this situation *can* be remedied. I have a proposal to fix this. I propose a challenge, in which all male pencillers have to have sandbags strapped to their chest, constantly, for a week. After that, we'll see if there's any ultimate change in the costume.

Hey, it's worth a try! :-)

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  • At September 08, 2006 10:49 AM, Anonymous Mark Engblom said…

    I don't even need to take the sandbag test to know I wouldn't be able to take it.

    As for Power Girl, I've been amazed at just how differently many artists approach her look. I think my favorite interpretation has to be Amanda Conner's. She's still a "large" girl, but the proportions seem to work better than when males draw the character. I don't know if the fact that Conner is a woman is the only factor in why the look works so well, but I'm guessing there's an element of restraint at work when a woman, rather than a man, draws Power Girl. I think with far too many male artists, the "wish fulfillment" factor (that's a euphamism, by the way) grabs hold of their drawing hand and before you know it, we cross the line from "buxom" into "Good Year Blimp" territory.

    I think the worst Power Girl interpretation I've seen recently was from Phil Jiminez in Infinite Crisis. Her chest and surrounding musculature looked like the grotesque distortions of a female body builder, and not appealing in the least. I don't know if Phil's sexual preference has anything to do with the rather mannish interpretation of Power Girl, but whatever the case, the results weren't very pleasant.

  • At September 08, 2006 11:13 AM, Blogger Flidget Jerome said…

    My love for Peej is scary and kinda fanatical but I'm starting to wish there was a way to convey the whole 'no symbol' aspect without the boob window because fans who haven't read much of the character keep writing her off because of it.

    Though, man, I love her classic outfit, it's one of most favorite superhero costumes ever. Mind, it helps that even beyond the fact that none of the other costumes knew what to do with her mammeries they were also all just downright ugly.

  • At September 08, 2006 11:31 AM, Blogger R.Nav said…

    Can I name the sandbags "Wally Wood?" :)

  • At September 08, 2006 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hooboy, you're preaching to the converted here! I used to be a sprinter and did hurdles in High school, but had to give that up, when I ended up with a 36" chest
    at the tender age of 15. Don't jog either, because who wants two
    black eyes? I mean, my husband enjoys the twins, but he doesn't have to carry them around all day! All I can think of, is that the material that they use for female costumes is made from some SERIOUS fabric,if it can lift, support and contain everything.

  • At September 08, 2006 2:24 PM, Anonymous green means wheelpower said…

    I support this all the way and first in line shoud be Frank Miller! LOL at that image!)

    And by the way as a man & artist I say all women are beautiful, many more so because of qualities that have nothing to do w/ the physical,

  • At September 08, 2006 6:45 PM, Blogger The Dane said…

    Sandbags? I dunno, that sounds about four times heavier than breast material.

  • At September 08, 2006 8:07 PM, Blogger Fanboy said…

    Someone please explain the phsucs of Emma Frosts costume for me. Ladies, is that even possible even with loads of tape?

  • At September 08, 2006 8:08 PM, Blogger Fanboy said…

    Oops. I meant Physics.

  • At September 08, 2006 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I would actually like to see more of Karen outside of the uniform...and, I mean, dressed in her civies and not naked ( I think that she is a very interesting character and given she knows about her Earth-2 origin, there's so much to play with. But, I would really like to see what Karen does when she's not Power Girl. Giving her more of a civilian life, I think, would also take the emphasis off her breasts as people would get to know her a little better.

  • At September 08, 2006 11:04 PM, Blogger Loren said…

    Argh! It signed me as anonymous again. Anyway, I'm the anonymous poster about Karen in her civies.

  • At September 09, 2006 1:20 AM, Anonymous ben said…

    Does Karen even have a civilian life right now? I've never seen her portrayed with any kind of a life outside of heroing, other than that one awful JLE storyline where everybody forgot they were heroes...

  • At September 09, 2006 1:24 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Mark: I really like Conner's Power Girl. Actually, I also like Wood's original. They're probably my favorite two. :-)

    flidget: Yeah. That's the only outfit they've ever given her that's actually flattering, I think. Which is a shame!

    r.nav: Be my guest! :-)

    anon: Oh yeah, there are benefits, but also downsides. :-) I don't mind the costumes when they look like they could possibly provide support, but so many don't...and are painfully obvious... :-)

    green: :-)

    dane: It's not actually the heaviness that's the issue. It's the bulk and the way they hang. Even a small weight gets tiring if it's continuous.

    :-) If you want to suggest something better though, sure. I only picked sandbags because they're funny.

    fanboy: unstable molecules. :-P

    And no. :-P

    loren: I think that'd be an awesome idea. PG's civilian life tends to be neglected!

    ben: I think she ran a corporation or something. But she could definitely use a civilian-life revamp I reckon. :-)

  • At September 09, 2006 2:15 AM, Anonymous David Horenstein said…

    When I was a kid, I loved Powergirl. As a kid, I used to develop crushes on female superheroes (if that makes me weird, whatever). In fact, my love of DC Comics may come from the fact that I found their women far more appealing then Marvel heroines (except for the Wasp). I started reading Superman because of Supergirl and Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, Teen Titans because of Wonder Girl, JLA because of Black Canary and Zatanna, Legion of Superheroes because of Shadow Lass, Dawnstar, Saturn Girl, etc. I just loved female superheroes and something about them was just so appealing for me. Of course, I loved male superheroes too, but I propably chose DC because of their female heroes.

    Powergirl was my favorite though. As a child, it had nothing to do with breast size or her costume. I just liked her. While there must have been a physical attraction there, her personality was what the main draw was.

    I think far too much is made of what a female character wears (though, for obvious reasons the thong/g-string outfit is too much) and it's far more important on what they say and what they do, etc.

    As I've posted before, I think this woman with too much power becomes an evil person that loses grip with reality far more destructive then a gay artist like Phil Jiminez draws.

    This trend which started with John Byrne has continued and corrupted far too many female characters. This wasn't a problem when I was growing up. Supergirl was a hero, now she's burying this evil slut within her.

    That to me is far worse then what Powergirl wears.

  • At September 09, 2006 2:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What about water balloons?

    --Zaratustra (blogspot login thingy is borked)

  • At September 09, 2006 3:12 AM, Blogger notintheface said…

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall Power Girl's breasts being so "out of control" until after Bart Sears started drawing her in Justice League Europe. Before that, the most I've seen her in is the C-cup range, even in early drawings from Adam Hughes, for cryin' out loud. I don't get why everybody "credits" Wally Wood, and nobody mentions Sears.

  • At September 09, 2006 3:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah, I was going to say water balloons. Human body made of mostly water, etc.

    --Ununnilium, whom it won't let post non-anonymously

  • At September 09, 2006 3:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I too like power Girl's costume. It does bug me though when artists expand the cut out until it's almost to her armpits, as they seem to do so often.


  • At September 09, 2006 8:08 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Hey guys, thanks for commenting! Even with the blogspot trouble! I appreciate it!

    david: I find DC women more appealing than Marvel's overall too. Except Storm...which might be part of why I'm not as pleased by the marriage story as some. :-) No one's quite good enough for her, iMO. :-)

    I think Supergirl's got potential, but yeah, Power Girl's awesome. She's got a great personality and strength of will. It always irks me to see people dismiss that because of her breasts.

    Zaratustra: could work, but they'd pop easy...if we can find non-popping material though!

    notinthe: Honestly, Wood gets the "credit", but his Power Girl was very realistically proportioned. I'm actually shocked by how often PG looks perfectly able to support her chest under a wide variety of artists. Sears was a bit extreme though.

    niles: that does get irritating. :-)

  • At September 09, 2006 8:57 AM, Blogger Brett said…

    As for Power Girl's civilian life I am suprised no one mentioned the brilliant fan film that went around recently. One of the most unstated and funny fan films of the last year or so.

  • At September 09, 2006 11:10 AM, Blogger The Dane said…

    Oh man, can you imagine if your boobs were filled with sand?

    How 'bout Bags of Bacon Grease(tm)? They'd probably be about the right weight and they'd have an added bonus that any guy wearing them would have other guys staring at their chests. And dogs would follow them for blocks...

    Women could keep their feminine mystyque while guys embrace teh bacon mystique!


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