Now I have written about half a dozen things about this subject before but there is ALWAYS something that annoys me to the limit of wanting to go super saiyan and blast people out of existence for making me bring this topic back up but just to make things clear I shall provide some context as to why I am writing this.
Recently I have noticed a trend of developers giving their characters more “realistic” proportions especially their female ones but I have also noticed that they have started to for the better use of the word treat characters with larger than average proportions like their breasts, hips and waist rather poorly, like it is a bad thing because they look that way and I am not the only one noticing how these “different” characters are being treated.
One of the many awesome people I follow on twitter was tweeting how she felt that game characters with larger than average breasts and so on were being looked down upon and how it made her somewhat upset because she is very well endowed as a woman and quite tall I might add and she is now seeing characters that she adores because they are bigger girls like her being thrown under the bus and run over repeatedly because they aren’t “realistically” proportioned or fit some “acceptable” mold for female characters.
I for one feel like there is way too much emphasis on “what” these women are and “how” they are instead of “who” they are and that is incredibly disappointing in my honest opinion because there are some really amazing characters in video games, anime and manga so I thought I would show a few examples of badass female characters from games, comics, anime/manga that are “bigger around the bust” that I personally am a fan of solely because they are great characters and not my because of the body proportions.
So whats first, I am thinking video games because boy do I have a good example of body shaming and the first example is my favorite character from the Soul Calibur franchise, Ivy Valentine who get’s a tonne of hate for her usually revealing choice of clothing and gravity defying cleavage and I have a really cool image to go along with this post that will help with the other examples because there is going to be quite a few mentions of height and bust size.
Now Ivy Valentine is one hell of a fictional woman and one you really wouldn’t want to annoy unless you fancy your teeth in your stomach, she is infamous for wearing very little and her huge chest which draws anger from the always offended like a moth to a burning flame but Ivy is way more than simply a character with a big chest.
For those of you who do not know much about Ivy or her backstory, she is directly tied to Soul Edge and it’s angelic counterpart on a personal level and she sought out the blades numerous times because her father Earl Valentine was driven mad by Soul Edge and Ivy vowed to avenge her father by using all of her knowledge to destroy Soul Edge which included alchemy and magic by the way before learning of the accursed blade’s twin.
Her story spans entire games and is easily one of the best story lines in the series but she get’s a tonne of hate because of her appearance, I believe a certain critic would call her a “fighting f**k toy” because of her figure and that isn’t exactly nice to be honest because Namco’s female characters are quite diverse in proportions and height.
Ivy has the biggest chest size out of all of them but she is just as capable if not more as any other female character in that line up despite her huge chest and keep in mind that she is technically 49 years old, because she is tied to Soul Edge she stopped aging and well she has been kicking evil’s ass for quite a while with little to no struggle….her only problem would be trying to see someone shorter than her because of those but it hasn’t stopped her yet.
Loads of cosplayers dress up as Ivy and most of them are women who are bigger around the bust, not to mention that the UK and US average bra size has doubled within the last decade…..yeah D size cleavage is now the average so if video game girls with D size breasts are treated as grossly disproportionate than imagine how my friend now feels about herself because of her body and can’t change it to meet a ” socially acceptable” standard without going under a surgeon’s knife.
It isn’t very fun now is it, being told you must look this way or you are a problem and I am pretty sure if most of my examples were real and not fiction then they would probably be feeling how she is and that isn’t right because it is body shaming in a way and judging someone solely on their appearance is wrong and making them feel bad because of how they look.
There are breast implants and the surgery can be done over a weekend so give that a thought but obviously….women can’t look like that or look like that naturally ….instead of moving forward, we are moving back and that really irritates me.
There are plenty of characters I could use as examples in games but I should move onto another medium so the next is anime and I shall use one of my favorite villains, the lead villain of Akame Ga Kill who is perhaps the baddest bitch in all of anime….the psychotic Esdeath who’s name literally means ” I am a sadist”.
There is quite a bit I could say about Esdeath as a character and most of it isn’t good because she is a full on psychopath that has no morals or loyalty and carnage and destruction follows her wherever she goes, she spent most of her childhood in the icy north and was very close with her father, the chief of her clan and was a skilled and formidable fighter at even such a young age but she became all too comfortable with inflicting pain on living things due to the fact whenever she caught prey for the tribe her father would begin gutting the creature without killing it
This turned her into something without compassion for living things including people, her father began to worry that this might cause her to lose something that she can’t regain, but in order for her to survive that was fine with him and her philosophy became “only the strong survive”.
She enjoys putting her enemies through great pain, both physically and emotionally and she has no problem about killing innocent people to get what she wants because she rationalizes her behavior and you almost never see female characters this evil in western media because everyone only want “positive portrayals of women in fiction.
What I love about Esdeath is the fact that she does not give a shit in the slightest and despite her appearance she is extremely strong, extremely fast and she has a cool party trick…she can freeze time aswell as jump about 15 feet in the air with absolutely no difficulty…..regardless of her “unrealistic proportions”
So what have we learned, well don’t mess with big chested women for one and that fiction can be well over the top and exaggerated, it’s where women with DD breasts can jump 15 feet up in the air and pretty much ignore the laws of physics and once again, they are NO different than any other character in their medium regardless of their body size or proportions.
So now onto manga and I have a good example for this one because my next example character is often teased and tormented by other women because of her chest size and that character is the heroine of a manga/anime called Freezing and if that sounds familiar I reviewed it so you can find that here.
Now I adore Satellizer and she is by far my favorite anime/manga character and I respect her highly because of her back story which is by far the most painful, heart breaking thing I have ever read but long story short she is a victim of physical, mental and later sexual abuse by her younger half brother and she had to endure it for years (which gave her extreme aphephobia, a fear of being touched) because she is a illegitimate child and her father’s wife hated Satellizer and her mother (who was gravely ill) had nowhere to go until her older half sister found out and took her away from it all.
Satellizer is a Pandora, a genetically enhanced super human that fights skyscraper tall aliens and well this girl is a tank….she has been beaten to the brink of death multiple times and survived, yeah she is big chested but so are most of the other Pandora (since only women can become Pandora for some reason) and all of them are just as amazing as she is.
She isn’t a blonde airhead or anything, she is complex and human, she feels pain, she bleeds, smiles, gets scared, cries, becomes depressed but some people wouldn’t care about her backstory or what she has been through and might I add overcome as a strong and well written female heroine because of the mindset currently floating around gaming, comics and so on about “if a character looks a certain way they surely are poorly written and just there for sex appeal” and etc.
They are numerous women in anime and manga that are like her, they are well written, complex characters and I can name more than my fair share and characters like these should be celebrated rather than shunned and despised, there are many women who like my friend I mentioned in the beginning that like characters like these because they are bigger women doing what my friend can’t.
If you need an example my friend can’t go jogging without not one but two sports bras for support or other wise she gets backache so she likes seeing and of course playing as these characters because she sees herself as them but now due to moral outrage and hash tag activism she is slowly watching her favorite characters be reduced to fit a some sort of depressing mold or else.
Yes I get some women don’t have wide hips, a narrow waist and a big chest but by trying to change characters especially already existing ones like Mileena from Mortal Kombat, game devs and other forms of media are hurting more women than they claim to be helping by taking characters they adore for WHO they are and not WHAT they are and changing them when they liked them to begin with.
There will be alot more freedom when coming up with new and interesting characters but alot more choice for consumers so we should be improving, building up on what we already have and make new things instead of tearing the old down out of contempt, anyway that’s it from me.
I might do a follow up to this but I will only post it if you guys and girls enjoyed this post and want to see more of my ramblings so what do you think, do big chested characters promote a unrealistic body ideal like gaming media and etc declare and should be stamped out or should they be improved with great writing, character development and so on.