Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Bane of My Existance:

Today, I intend to rant about something that annoys me greatly.

The Midriff

Now before I misrepresent myself, I'd like to state clearly that I don't hate the torso. In fact, I have one myself. I just keep it covered. Which is, I believe, how torsos are intended to be unless you're at the beach or something. And even that's pushing it.

Seriously though, if it was just one female character that had an exposed midriff it wouldn't bother me. I've got nothing against T&A in comics. I mean considering how often I leer at Dick Grayson or Kyle Rayner in their skin tight costumes, that would be vastly hypocritical of me. And hey, I enjoy Power Girl's rack as much as anyone could.

But honestly, there is no look that I think most embodies current fashion than the exposed midriff. I swear the midriff is becoming the new 'history of sexual trauma' among young female heroes in the DCU. Almost every girl has one.

And I'm sick of it.

Look, artists. Yes, the human body is attractive, but an exposed midriff is this generation's bell-bottoms and afro. It dates the material. In ten or twenty years, we're all going to cringe seeing those'll be like reading those issues of Teen Titans where they're all dressed like hippies.

And honestly, does it have to be *all* of them. Off the top of my head, I can only think of two teenage girl characters who don't have exposed midriffs, (Batgirl and Speedy). And that's annoying as all hell. I mean if it were just Courtney or Cassie Sandsmark, I could deal. But it's *ALL* of them.

Even some not-teenagers have exposed midriffs. What the hell is *Helena Bertinelli*, a strong and independent woman in her late twenties (a teacher even), doing with her midriff exposed like that?! And hadn't she been *shot* in the abdomen before?! Egads.

And what the hell is the appeal of that part of the female body? I mean, breasts? Rear end? Legs? Those I understand. But the middle torso? The only possible appeal to the abdomen I can see is that it helps picture these girls naked...these *fifteen* and *sixteen* year old girls.

I don't care if real teenagers are wearing it. They look ridiculous. And real teenagers wore bell-bottoms too. It's no less stupid.

Here, let me show you something...this is Stargirl's costume in JSA:

And here's the one the imps made her in JSA 79, when Thunderbolt's dimension was too damn cold.

It's a shame it's probably not going to last. Because, damn, I know which one *I* think looks hotter. Courtney finally looks like a grown-up woman here, and *what* a woman. And ten-to-one it'll be a lot less dated in two decades time.

Edited to add: It occured to me that I'm not very clear on articulating *why* it bothers me, so I've clarified it in my next entry here.


  • At January 03, 2006 2:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    But I think they look better with that hippy look

  • At January 03, 2006 2:54 AM, Blogger James Meeley said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At January 03, 2006 2:55 AM, Blogger Diamondrock said…

    I'm still not convinced that Ma Kent actually made that costume for Supergirl. She's smarter than that.

    And I'm with you on part of that James: if she dropped the boots, I would be furious. I love boots.

  • At January 03, 2006 2:59 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    mallet: Heh.

    James: I have to admit, I like the shorts. And legs...I can definitely understand the appeal. It's just the midriff that annoys me.

    Diamondrock: Yeah, Ma Kent's pretty easy going? I bet she gave her a costume like Matrix had, and Kara just ripped out the midsection herself.

    Which is a shame, I loved Matrix/Linda!Supergirl's costume.

    And boots are fun! Midriffs aren't.

  • At January 03, 2006 9:30 AM, Blogger Melchior del DariĆ©n said…


    I totally agree with your post. Spider-Girl had an interesting exchange with Electro's daughter in issue 81 that was pretty funny. During their battle she says to her: "I give you credit for going the bare midriff route. My father would freak if I dressed like that."

    While I'm with you on the midriff (and Stargirl's case makes your argument obvious), I wish you could've gone easier on the big 'fro and bell-bottoms people. I was only fifteen, kalinara, how was I responsible for the size of my 'fro?

  • At January 03, 2006 3:06 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    melchior: you're right, I shouldn't be so hard on the afro and bell-bottoms generation.

    They looked better than the bare midriff look anyway. :-)

  • At January 03, 2006 3:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Nightwing with bell bottoms kicks the crap out of anything. He could have just been wearing them as Dick Grayson and gone to a movie and I would have rooted for him.

  • At January 03, 2006 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I also prefer the second costume, but I could do without the cameltoe. That's not something I want to be thinking about when I look at an adolescent comicbook character.

  • At January 08, 2006 4:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It took a while, but we finally got rid of Huntress' exposed belly.


  • At January 08, 2006 4:57 AM, Blogger Ragnell said…

    Gail -- let me be the first to thank you, then.

    That was a hideous costume.

  • At January 08, 2006 5:04 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    mallet: ...honestly I'd pay to see that. Dick's scary clothing choices are hilarious whether in the appropriate time period or not.

    anon: Thank you for replying! Honestly I think that's just a poorly placed seam or least I'm hoping. :-)

    Gail: Thank you for replying too! And I'm very glad to hear that. I love Huntress as a character but not so much her costume.

  • At May 21, 2006 2:52 PM, Blogger notintheface said…

    I just saw a "Marvel in the 70's" comic that reminded me of the goofiest exposed midriff ever.

    Yes, that's right, I'm talking about:


  • At May 21, 2006 2:53 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Heh. Another bad one is Guy Gardner's from Guy Gardner Reborn.

  • At October 18, 2007 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sorry but a world without females baring their midriffs is a world I want no part of :(

  • At March 07, 2008 12:36 AM, Blogger jer said…

    I feel the curve of waist and hips the bareness of an exposed belly button is very foxy

  • At April 20, 2008 6:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I really doubt that the bare midriff will make the comics seem dated seeing as this look as been popular at some point during the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and this decade, nor that there is anything degrading about it... but then I'm male so my opinion doesn't count on these kind of sites does it?

  • At April 20, 2008 6:37 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    but then I'm male so my opinion doesn't count on these kind of sites does it?

    That sort of blanket statement doesn't tend to endear you to most feminists. If you're serious about engaging in this sort of discussion, I would highly recommend a change in "tone." At the very least, generalizations are annoying and not particularly helpful. I think if you look through this blog more in depth, you'll see my own policy toward discussing feminist concerns with men quite clearly.

    And do be alert at the dates of some of these posts. This particular post is more than two years old, so it's fairly safe to assume that the initial participants of the discussion are no longer interested in pursuing it here.

  • At April 21, 2008 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That last statement wasn't meant to be taken seriously, I was being sarcastic and sometimes I like to play devil's advocate but I realize that I came across as ignorant and chauvinistic so for that I am truly sorry.

  • At April 22, 2008 12:22 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Heh, fair enough. As you've probably noted, I can be pissy sometimes and less inclined to give the benefit of the doubt. (My only defense is law school finals suck. :-P)

    :-) Happens to all of us.

  • At September 01, 2011 5:36 AM, Anonymous Shawn said…

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