Women in comics aren’t sex objects

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We need to stop turning every female comic book character into a sex object. When most female comic book heroes are somewhat tall and pretty thin, they aren’t going to have breasts the size of their head. It’s not naturally achievable, and their bodies couldn’t support it, even if they had breast implants done. The lack of diversity in comics is bad enough with there being drastically less female characters and almost all of them being heterosexual and white, but their body types aren’t realistic either.

One of my favorite characters is Spider Gwen. She’s from an alternate universe where Gwen Stacy got bit by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker. I really like her storyline, and she’s an interesting character because she’s a drummer in a punk rock band and also has a lot more personality than most female characters are given. I think she is a huge step toward how female superheroes should be.

Don’t get me wrong; we have some really great classic women in comics like Wonder Woman and Black Widow, but they’re still not as progressive as what we need. They’re both empowered, kick-ass women, but they’re also still somewhat catered toward the male gaze. With Wonder Woman, for example, her uniform. No one can realistically fight off bad guys in a strapless dress. I could barely dance at high school homecoming in one. It’s 2017; we can give Wonder Woman some straps and move on. With Black Widow, obviously it makes sense for her to be wearing a really tight jumpsuit, but it doesn’t have to be unzipped halfway down her chest like it often is.

There is also a difference between female characters dressing revealing because it’s part of their style or personality and when they’re just pandering by putting them in these outfits. It’s easy to tell when the characters are dressed a certain way because they’re empowered by their appearance and sexuality and when they’re just dressed that way because of lazy character design catered to male fans. A lot of the difference is in the poses and posture – if their stance seems powerful and dominant or if it seems submissive or straight up impossible, like the famous “Spider Woman” comic cover that went viral for the absurd angle she was bent to emphasize her butt and breasts.

It makes sense for women who are crimefighter-type characters to wear things that are skin tight because it allows them movement, but some of the costumes just don’t make sense for what the character is doing. I’m not saying completely rebrand a classic character, but some could use a moderate costume change to keep up with the times.

Yes, some male characters are also in similarly unrealistic body types, but they generally aren’t totally unachievable. They also aren’t made that way to cater to female fans. They’re still created for male fans and tend to represent the ultimate male power fantasy.

My main point here is that if women are going to be sexualized in comics, let it be for their own empowerment. They can still have attractive bodies if they’re more realistic, and they can still have revealing costumes as long as they’re practical for what they do. But let’s have a little more diversity in comics. Give us characters with different body types and individuals of different races and religions. Some women are empowered in dressing modestly, and some are empowered in dressing sexier. Writers and illustrators should give their expanding female readership a larger variety in the type of female characters they create, and not just make them all objects.