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.”
“Well she is on the beach in her bikini. But…”
“But, she’s not relaxing or swimming. She’s just posing a lot.” *my daughter appears uncomfortable*
“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?”
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.