Monday, September 5, 2011

Back to the Bizarre

Let's kick off a new season of blogging with a tasteful link. There. Got it out of my system. Ha.

Now for something a little more . . . dangerous. You know what's always bugged me? (To be honest, the list of things that bug me is extremely long. But let's start with a single pet peeve for now. I'll get to the rest later.) I can't stand to see an otherwise admirable female superhero or woman warrior dressed in skimpy clothes. Not that I have anything against spandex. It just doesn't offer much protection from swords, bullets, nunchaku, or medieval maces. Why oh why do most artists insist on sending their heroines into battle with so little armor? (Okay, the answer is kinda obvious. Let's move on.)

So I was thrilled to discover the website Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor. As you might imagine, the site is devoted to art that depicts women warriors in clothing that warriors MIGHT ACTUALLY WEAR. Love it. (There's a wee bit of bad language on the site. And a wee bit of blood. So don't click through if those things offend you.)

The site reminded me of the wonderful image of Kiki Strike at the top of this post. The artist sent it to me a while back, and a Facebook friend recently rediscovered it. The guy responsible for this masterpiece is not only unbelievably talented, he also gave Kiki PERFECTLY REASONABLE ARMOR. And I shall be forever grateful.


Ariana said...

Hooray for back to blogging!

Woman fighters in reasonable armour makes me think of Chell, the female protagonist in the video game portal. The character has been praised for various reasons explained in this wikipedia article.

Pshychidelic Snail said...

That is an amazing picture!! And I totally agree with you on the armor thing, another thing that bugs me is women always have their long hair down and perfectly styled whenever they're fighting bad guys in movies, etc. This seems like it would be incredibly distracting and annoying in a situation like that!

Chloe said...

OMG I love that picture! XD Whoever made it is quite talented! I feel like I'd see this on an art website like this,
OR I also feel like I'd see this at places like New York Comic Con or something! XD

Jin Ai said...

Hahahah this website is so great! and...thanks for the link.

Anonymous said...

Dear Everyone:

This whole skimpy costumes on heroines issue is a longstanding one. I know of one comic book artist/writer who's drawn a fairly well-known gag panel decrying the "chainmail bikini." He does have a reputation for drawing great chainmail bikinis, but to his credit his heroines and villianesses are clad in diverse attire ranging from fuzzy pink sweaters to consciousness-transplants into SUV-sided armored quadrapedal clawed mechanical battle beasts.

Comic book historian Mark Evanier is on record as protesting the unrealistic depiction of the female form -- which is saying a LOT as his drawing credits include The Flintstones! When a guy who's drawn Wilma Flintstone says the industry has collective, chronic difficulties with depicting women, you KNOW the situation is dire.

Robert in San Diego

Anonymous said...

Dear Everyone:

I haven't had quite the secret-writing-project-filled summer Kirsten's had, but I did write (and take the pictures for) this article about people who wear spandex. Link goes to an article about the San Diego Velodrome. Special note: I don't race there. Even the little fourth grade kids in that junior race start picture would basically tear my legs off.

And the bikes don't have brakes!

Robert in San Diego

Elizabeth said...

I love the art! It's amazing, and I really like that she's in reasonable clothing. And the fake barf company, thanks for the link! It's awesome. Nice to see you back also. :)

anonymous science-fiction writer24495 said...

Thank you so much for posting that link! My friends and I like to draw comics, and we often joke about the portrayal of women in a lot of our favorite how-to-draw books, graphic novels and tv shows. It's laughable sometimes how impractical or impossible the hair and outfits can be, so it's nice to see something more realistic for a change.

Hazel said...

I AGREE WITH YOU! This has bugged me for so long. It's different if the character's gotten swept up in an adventure with no warning, but no school uniform is as slutty as they're often drawn.

Anonymous said...

By the way -- great Kiki Strike illustration in the original posting!

Robert in San Diego

Hazel said...

Although you know, on further reflection, while the problem of women being portrayed in a sexualized way all the time is undeniably real, I feel like this particular blog is not really working to combat that.
The guy (I'm inferring it's a guy; if it's not this gets creepier but also sadder) begins the "About" page with, "Nothin’ wrong with sexy! Cheesecake has its place. But I like pictures of women who look like they are legitimately bad-ass." To me, this seems like just another way to objectify women--probably a less harmful one, but far from liberating. More like what I've seen referred to as "competence-porn". He's not really defending women's rights if he's just publicizing his own fearsomeness-fetish.
Maybe it's just an instinct of mine to be skeeved out by guys on the internet who collect pictures of women. But maybe this is actually another aspect of the same problem as the chainmail bikini--namely, wholesale objectification of women.
What do you think?

Kirsten Miller said...

Hazel: You make an interesting point. Having looked at the "About" page, it does seem as if a man might be responsible for the site. However, I don't see convincing evidence of a "fetish." Maybe it is a fetish site--and maybe it's not. (I don't know the guy, so it's impossible to say.) As a viewer, you're entitled to your own interpretation. I see the site as a tribute to butt-kicking females. Nothing more, nothing less. Perhaps I'm naive, but I've found that a little naivite makes the world look like a much nicer place.

Hazel said...

I don't mean to accuse the guy of being a weird internet pervert; I'm just raising the possibility that his intentions are less than noble.
There can be a very fine line between admiring and ogling, but I don't actually know the guy, and it's quite possible that I just have a nasty suspicious mind. It is just as possible that he's honestly irritated by all the lousy art out there.

Kirsten Miller said...

Hazel: I'm glad you have a suspicious mind. It will serve you well. When you reach my age, you'll find it's easier (and safer) to be a little less suspicious. It's one of the advantages that come with age. But anyone who wants to reach my age should be more like you in her youth.

falcon said...

Love Love Love. Sorry for not posting for quite a long time, I have still been reading!