• Tue, Sep 27 2011

7-Year-Old Girl Responds To Absurdly Sexual Remake of DC Comics Female Superhero

We all know that comic book illustrators get off (possibly literally) on drawing ridiculously sexualized women. The female leads and supporting characters in their stories tend to have huge tits and huge asses, tiny waists, giant hair and a penchant for latex outfits that are little more than pasties and thongs.

I’m not really a comic book reader, but apparently these designs are for the most part all good among ladies who love them.

But one redesign of an old classic took it too just a bit too far.

The comic in question features a DC Comics character named Starfire. Once a badass crime fighter, she’s now been “rebooted,” and in that reboot, apparently she spends less time getting bad guys and more time posing seductively and having sex.

Here’s an example of the old Starfire:

And here’s the new one:

And also, here’s the new one’s new plot:

It’s pretty easy for those of us who have been speaking Feminist for a long time to sum up what’s wrong with all this, and separately, there’s a line of thought that’s unique to female comic book readers saying that this “reboot” takes the sexual interests of male audiences way, way, way too far. Comic book writer and reviewer Ms. Snarky has an awesome post up about it.

But one person said it perfectly, and that person isn’t a gender studies major or a woman who has spent years writing and reading comic books. It’s a seven-year-old girl who’s a huge comic book and Starfire fan. Over at io9, fantasy author Michele Lee asked that girl — who happens to be her daughter — what she thinks of her hero’s new look. Here’s an excerpt:

“Why do you like Starfire?”

“She’s like me. She’s an alien new to the planet and maybe she doesn’t always say the right thing, or know the right thing to do. But she’s a good friend, and she helps people. She’s strong enough to fight the bad guys, even when they hurt her. Even her sister tried to kill her, but Starfire still fights for the good side. And she helps the other heroes, like Superboy and Robin and Raven.

“She’s smart too. And sometimes she gets mad, but that’s okay because it’s okay to get mad when people are being mean. And she’s pretty.”

“What about this [new] Starfire? What do you think about her?” (Referring to image on the left from DC’s reboot Red Hood and the Outsiders)

“I can see almost all of her boobs.”

“And?”

“Well she is on the beach in her bikini. But…”

“But?”

“But, she’s not relaxing or swimming. She’s just posing a lot.” *my daughter appears uncomfortable*

“Anything else?”

“Well, she’s not fighting anyone. And not talking to anyone really. She’s just almost naked and posing.”

“Do you think this Starfire is a good hero?”

“Not really.”

If that isn’t some of the saddest shit I’ve read all day, I don’t know what is. It’s not often that you actually get to see young girls internalize the message that their female heroes are more valuable when they’re sex-crazed and silent than they are when they’re strong, smart, a good friend and actively fighting for what’s right.

Nice, DC Comics. Real nice.

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  • Groovymarlin

    Uh, your “picture of the old Starfire” is actually another picture of the NEW Starfire. You can see a picture of old Starfire from Teen Titans here: http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Starfire_(Earth-Teen_Titans)

    • Stephanie Zhao

      Teen Titian’s Starfire is also kind of a remake. The OLD old starfire can be seen on her wiki page.

    • Donna

      Teen Titans!!! <3 she's unrecognizable….

  • Odbery

    I never read the old comic books, but the cartoon Teen Titans Starfire is awesome. She’s a bit of a ditz (I think she deserves a pass, seeing how she’s new to the entire planet and all) but she is also super sweet and the strongest member of the team. Her PG-ified costume still has a bare midriff and thigh high boots; looking at the pictures though, I think Star has always been somewhat scantly clad.

  • Rose

    I like Starfire. I always have. But I think it’s a bit sad that she ended up lost and buying a child’s bikini. {Even if she did lose her ugly haircut}.

    That little girl’s awesome though.

  • Megan

    What kills me about this is all the males I know who are crying holy hell over Starfire’s new look. And Catwoman’s. Starfire’s in porn star poses, and Catwoman’s having sex with Batman…in a scene in which her face isn’t shown for pages. No male I know, who is into comics (or even just animated series!) enjoys this. No one.

    Sure, tight costumes happen. On the male side of things, too. And no male comic fan I know cries foul at that; I don’t, either. But the objectification? As a woman, I don’t like it. And an unofficial poll of comic-liking male friends says that they don’t appreciate the assumption that they’ll enjoy this. That they’re a hell of a lot better than that. So I guess not all is lost.

  • cleve

    i love looking at scantily clad women, but i couldn’t agree with you more. i was just looking at supergirl’s costume lat night, thinking, “geez! why does she have a big red heart over her–you know–girl part? i would like to see some more practical action wear for characters expecting to engage in action. and i don’t mean hooker-action, which is what most of these new costumes put me in mind of. i mean hero action. that should be the slogan for a new campaign of de-objectification. “HEROES NOT HOOKERS!”

  • Rose D.

    The old Starfire was actually very similar. She liked sex, and wasn’t afraid to say it. This is the first issue of a reboot. This was a very “getting to know you” issue. Starfire will still be the heroine this little girl loved, just give it a month. Also, anyone who has read the comic can tell you that she totally kicks ass in the reboot. She destroys a fleet of tanks without even blinking. I still love her.

  • John Shmoe

    Silicon implants in a cartoon? Not too attractive.

  • Odbery
  • bob

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH
    seriously