Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Clarification of my previous post:

It occurs to me, while unleashing my venom earlier, that I haven't quite articulated WHY midriffs bother me.

A part of it is a bit of a prudish conservative thing. I don't think young girls should be exposing their bodies in such a sexually suggestive way. It's not necessary. It's also bad characterization. You can't convince me that over-protective parental figures like Pat Dugan or Helena Sandsmark would be all right with their step-daughter/daughter wearing that. And both Courtney and Cassie are sensible enough to choose their battles: heroing vs an exposed midriff, I think they choose heroing.

These girls don't need to be portrayed in a sexually suggestive light at all. Sure they're getting older, and sex (whether the girl chooses to take part or not) is a growing part of their lives. The characters are interesting and dynamic, inspite of that. They're beautiful, even with their torsos covered.

Some of it is that they offend my sense of practicality. Helena Bertinelli was SHOT in the stomach and now wears an open midriff?! Yeah, I can see how it's not inconvenient for girls like Cassie or Kara who have supernatural endurance and durability...but Courtney and Helena should cover themselves up for protections sake. That area of the body, stylish six-pack aside, is still one of the most vulnerable parts of the body.

Which brings me to another point. It looks weak. Sorry, it does. The midsection exposed brings to mind the way a cat or a dog displays submission, by rolling over on their back to expose their very vulnerable stomachs. So it irks me to see young super-heroes creating the same visual image. Even if they end up kicking butt later, they're still creating an image of themselves as weaker.

And it doesn't work for intimidation factor, because well, look at the picture in my previous entry. You can see Kara's very prominent ribs and hip-bones. Is that supposed to be intimidating? A skeleton doesn't scare me. She's like a marionette, no substance beneath. And do guys really see that as sexy?

So yeah, *that* is why it bothers me, and I feel better having made the clarification.


  • At January 03, 2006 4:38 PM, Blogger Centurion said…

    I sort of understand what you're trying to say, and I do have to agree for the most part. I think blatent midriffs are a cheap way of holding up a sign that reads 'sexy' to this past decade's culture.

    I don't find the midriff appealing in most contexts, though I do see it acceptible in some cases (usually when it is more of a region of skin that gets exposed by chance).

    Much of it simply relies on context in my book, which will probably accidently turn me into a hipocrite I'm afraid. Short sleeves and short pants are fair game, and I'm willing to accept low cut shirts and even skin tight spandex.

    I guess I'm from the camp of functionality over fashion. I'd much rather see bare arms than a bare torso in battle - it just makes sense.

    Then again, you could end up with a character like Cammy from Street Fighter. She's rough and tough, wearing big boots and bare well muscled arms (and a small chest as well). She doesn't have a bare midriff, like Sakura, but she does go into battle in what looks like a swimsuit. I'd argue it's a hard rubber body suit, but that's becuase I try to make sense of it.

    Still, with that in mind Cammy has a huge following (rivaling Chun Li when picking female favorites among gamers), but that's not to say Sakura doesn't - but there are other factors at play.

    I may be an naive idealist, but I think DC could take a few notes on the theory of the designs of the female characters of Street Fighter.

    Maybe Infinite Crisis will also include a Fashion Crisis in which female heros suddenly get costume upgrades that does away with pointless midriff exposure. Of course, the day that happens Batman will get bit by a radioactive bat and gain powers of least he won't have a bare midriff as part of his disguise.

  • At January 03, 2006 9:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You aren't scared of skeletons?

    Are you sure your not from the same place as a certain freind of mine...


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