5 Insane Things Comic Books Believe Women's Bodies Can Do
Popular culture has had issues with women for, oh, several thousand years or more. So, we're not exactly blowing everyone's minds by pointing out that even to this day, women tend to get depicted as trophies or sex toys for the (male) hero.
But, comics really do inhabit their own category here -- if not in the storylines, then just in the frankly ludicrous way females are drawn.
It's not only a matter of relying on unrealistic body standards, but doing it to a degree that we're not sure these characters could even survive. We're talking about things like ...
5. Breasts as Alien Organisms
We don't want to perpetuate the hateful stereotype that everyone who enjoys or works with comics is a virgin. But, maybe it would help if boobs weren't constantly drawn as if the artist had never actually seen one (or, you know, two). Those who have usually don't think of them as perfect spheres loosely attached to a woman's collarbone ...
... or as independent organisms who hate the body they're attached to so much that they're constantly trying to escape in opposite directions:
Over the years, the hilariously inept depiction of breasts in comic books has actually given rise to many helpful guides on how to properly draw the main reason many young males get into comics in the first place.
They all boil down to one thing: Stop treating breasts like unmovable, quantum events that the rest of the universe revolves around. For example, when a character turns, her chest shouldn't stay right where it was -- as if trying to make sure that no one sneaks up on them.
Failing that, it would probably be a good idea to remember that breasts are meant to be three-dimensional objects and thus shouldn't be drawn as two modesty flaps occasionally obscuring a character's midriff.
And while we sorely wish it wasn't the case, thousands of years of advances in the field of human clothing have sort of proved that breasts can only really be held in place with bras, not bitchin' leather belts.
If you feel like that's too many rules for you to remember, you can always print out this page from Jade Warriors and look at it whenever you want to remind yourself how natural-looking breasts should never, ever be drawn.
And while we're on the subject ...
4. Torpedo Nipples That Dent Armor
How many characters in this picture have breasts?
"All of them," you say? But, how can you be sure? Those are comic book characters, so maybe you're looking at a bunch of aliens with two extra heads hidden under their shirts, or robots with missile launchers cleverly hidden inside their chests. There's just no way to know without doubt, except with Black Canary, the first character on the left.
You can be sure SHE has breasts because of her nipples standing visibly at attention at the mere thought of justice (or possibly because fishnets are a poor substitute for pants). In any case, that extra visible piece of her anatomy provides irrevocable proof that the character is female, and that's why so many artists have to draw their heroines with nips hard enough to peek through leather ... or even solid armor.
But, of course, we all know the real reason why artists do this. It's to make their stories a bit sexier without outright drawing the characters naked and having to admit to their dates that they make cartoon porn for a living. And we could actually respect that if the conspicuous nipples only visited while a character was relaxing at home in her T-shirt or something.
However, when they start making appearances in the middle of brutal fights, undeterred by the heroine's thick battle attire, you can't help but think that you're looking at ladies -- with adamantium-tipped boobs -- who live in a world where cold showers can be lethal to the people around them.