2 years ago
InVinsybll
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Re-Imagining Bodies: Famous Video Game Heroines Madeover
Bulimia.com, a charity focused on bringing attention to as well as treating eating disorders, has re-touched several prominent video game heroines, to showcase how far off the "average" they are.
However, though well-intentioned, these picks make very little sense in some regards. Instead of moving towards realistic depictions of women, they go too much in the other direction, without really heeding the source material.
I think it is important to acknowledge differences in body types, but some of these are just ineffective at doing so.
First, we have Lara Croft and her re-imagining. This one is weirdly problematic for the same reason a bunch of the others are, too. Lara is an active woman, living a fairly rigorous lifestyle. For her to have this weight gain around her stomach just doesn't make sense.
More than that, the website took an already-outdated version of Lara to remake. In the newest addition to the franchise scheduled for next year, the newly-remodeled Lara has been re-imagined with a smaller bust and a more realistic waist, espeically for an active woman. So these beauty standards are already being addressed.
Cortana is one of the most unnecessarily sexualized women in all of video games. I know that, and I get that. However, though, I think her makeover does a disservice to a character that was already one of the curvier figures in the industry.
Cortana was already at the forefront of women in games who were fairly accurately depicted, and you can actually measure the growth of that realism as the franchise progresses.
Cards on the table, I don't know much about Rikku fron FFX. I know she's a machina user and she's an upbeat, happy-go-lucky type. She also received one of the most dramatic re-imaginings on Bulimia.com's list. I think they're going in the right way, but perhaps a little over-much.
The thing for me with this is that Rikku, and most other ladies in the Final Fantasy universe, is not based on American standards, or indeed any western standards. They are drawn from a Japanese source material, and the Japanese average sizes are already much smaller than our own. This is basically imposing a western influence on Japanese standards, whether or not it's the American standard or not.
Now this one I really don't get. I honestly can't see anything being all that wrong in the first image, aside from the ridiculously over-sexualized outfit. Maybe she could use a little more meat in the thigh, considering that is obviously where a lot of her power comes from.
With her re-imagining, the extra belly makes no sense. This woman is a fighter, and so her core strength is super high, and super important. It wouldn't make sense for her to carry that much weight around her stomach. For a fighter, an athletic woman, to look like she does in the right-side picture doesn't add up.
This one I think was done well, really fleshing out an otherwise emaciated character. In the first picture, her waist is only slightly thicker than her arm, and that's just not how bodies work, fictional or not. In the re-imagining, this woman is made fuller in figure without sacrificng any of the character underneath.
In general, posts like these are well-intentioned, aimed at representation. I think it's an important discourse to have and be a part of, but I also think there's an inclination to thin-shame when trying to do away with fat shaming.
Insulting one group so as to boost another does nothing for the community. It does no good to put someone down in order to raise someone up. We have to stop thinking about bodies (and indeed everything) as part of one or another diametrically opposed brackets. Bodies exist on a scale, and as long as you keep clear of the extremes on either side, that's progress. Real progress.
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its kind of hard to believe that the women in these games especially Lara croft would be out of shape considering the actions they perform. i mean Lara's rich, in sure she'd have some kind of trainer or nutritionists regardless lol. but i get the point they're trying to make
2 years ago·Reply
20
Just to play devil's advocate here though, I will argue that thin-shaming, while being an unnecessary negative action that we should avoid and often just as harmful as fat shaming, is not as pressing an issue as fat-shaming (in my opinion). Thin privilege is real, at least here in the USA, and I believe that the privileged do not need to be defended nearly as much as the oppressed do. The reason I really like this re-imagining campaign is because – doing away with concerns of realism or storyline or even context – in the media and in mainstream art, we see too many thin women. We are always looking at thin women. And so thin, extraordinarily beautiful women become the norm. They become the baseline, rather than the extreme (and that's what they are. Only ~5% of people on earth have "model"-standard bodies). I just like the fact that campaigns like this show us more bodies that break away from the thin standard that we are all subjected to on a daily basis. As a thin woman, I do dislike that campaigns like these tend to use the words "normal" to describe bigger bodies, as though there's something abnormal about being thin or traditionally attractive. But you know what? My displeasure is nothing compared to the systematic oppression and suffering that other women face because their bodies do not conform to society's idea of what's allowed and what's desirable.
2 years ago·Reply
20
@allischaaff that's a good point. it would also be nice to see the flip side. the guys with thinning hair and beer guts. it really doesn't get mentioned a lot but we get a lot of similar messages about body image. I'm glad its starting altogether. hopefully it'll catch on
2 years ago·Reply
30
@allischaaff I totally agree with the points your making. I guess I'm just more concerned that there is this growing trend of didain for fit bodies, calling people out for shaming fat bodies by virtue of just being in shape. We should hold the standard to be fitter, shouldn't we? Why do we feel the need to criminalize women (and men sometimes) for their fitness? Obviously lets not focus all beauty around it, but campaigns like this, while certainly well intentioned and often effective, they serve to demonize fitness in favor of uplifting generally unhealthy weights. I think there should be more focus on thicker women and various body sizes, but also an emphasis on self-improvement through fitness.
2 years ago·Reply
30
Good thoughts @buddyesd :) And @VinMcCarthy good points, all. I agree with you that we need to find a balance between encouraging people to make healthy choices, and putting them down for having the body they were born with.
2 years ago·Reply