You want me to save the world AND look good doing it?

Howdy! Its Wednesday, November 9, 2011, my brain is still sorting through last nights episode of RINGER, and this is The Side. I'm going to be amazed if that show makes it to a second season. Its not that it isn't a great show. Its absolutely brilliant. However, they've managed to weave such an intricate web of deception between all these characters that its almost impossible for a new viewer to penetrate.

But, mna-o-man its fun to watch.


Something got brought up the other day, and it seems obvious, but no one seems to talk about it. I'm a big old nerd. I nerds it up like nobodies business. However, one thing that doesn't really affect me is comparing myself physically to the characters I read about. This does happen though, and its sometimes leading to serious problem: eating disorders.

In looking at how women are portrayed in superhero comics, its easy to see the problem. Artists often work to "idealize" how they are portrayed. Tiny waists, and plenty of curves are pretty common in the spandex crowd. Some artists take things further than others. Some have difficulty showing women of differing body types. It is obvious that it you have a woman who is a successful crime fighter then she will most likely have to be in top physical condition.

The problem is there's been a disconnect as to what a woman in top physical condition really looks like. That's one of the reasons there's such scrutiny over casting female superheros. We like it when the actors actually resemble the characters they're playing, but real women don't look like how women are portrayed in comics. Yes, there are some out there, but they absolutely aren't the norm.

If you're a guy and want a woman that looks like the one you read about in comics, its not going to happen. If that's the standard you are judging against, then you're standard is flat out messed up. This makes you part of the problem, but there's an easy solution. Take a good hard look in the mirror. Do you look like Bruce Wayne? It you put on a Batman costume right now, and not one of those padded things, could you pull it off convincingly? Probably not. And don't try saying to yourself that you could if you hit the gym and ate right. That's a lot for gym time, and while I'm all for people eating right and getting plenty of exercise, there's a little something called body type to consider. Some people are built trimmer than others. Some are stockier. It goes on, and its both genders.

Do I find the women in comics attractive? Some of them, yes. I've had my own comic book crushes over the years. When I was a kid I was a really big fan of Kitty Pryde, and the New Mutants. They were just a little older than me and I really liked how Chris Claremont wrote them. The artists didn't draw them as sexed up bombshells. I was attracted to the girls in those comics, and while they were attractively draw, it was more their characters that I liked.

I think about this more as a parent now, especially with daughters. They know about superheros. They know about the Justice League, and the Avengers, and the X-Men. However, when they see Wonder Woman, Wasp, or Storm in action they're don't seem to be thinking about how they look. They want them to see them doing awesome stuff. One of my girls only wants to wear clothes that are 'awesome'. If the shirt isn't 'awesome', she doesn't want to wear it. As a parent I have to keep an eye on what they're watching. When they're watching their favorite superheroes in action, its up to me and the missus to guide they're viewing a bit. We focus on the attributes of these characters that make them strong and noble.

So, of course I want my girls to Wonder Woman's grace, Kitty Pryde's guts, Oracle's brains and perseverance. I don't want them to think that they have to look like the sex up versions that some artist put out there.

I do feel bad for the women out there that see characters in comics, or some girl with freakish genetics and/or strategically placed silicone parading the goods around in a cosplay costume, and feel like they don't measure up. As far as your body goes I've always thought that if you're a healthy weight and can make your body do what you want it to do, then you're just fine. Unfortunately, there's still that matter of being happy with what you see in the mirror. If you're not happy with it, then there's plenty of healthy ways to make your body change and bit fitter. No, you don't have to go to extremes like a top flight athlete, or have a training regime like you'd imagine Black Canary would have.

And a lot of this is at the feet of the artists, and the higher ups that push these images. To those people I just have to say: I've seen real, beautiful women and they don't look like how some of you are depicting them.


Because anthropologically speaking, they're still drawing them wrong.

Time to hit the ground running. See y'all Friday.

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