Princeless #3 + a commentary about female heroes’ costumes

Princess Adrienne is trying to find her sister. She’s now being pursued by the king’s guards. She stops at a local blacksmith and meets the string bean, pixie cut rocking, Bedelia is the real craftsman behind the armor. Adrienne finds that Bedelia only has a selection for women based on- well, what we’ve seen in the media for women warriors. 

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So we’ve got the Red Sonja get up

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which was recently addressed in Legends of Red Sonja #3 as a method of distraction. As in the mens will be distracted by your curves. As someone who loves Red Sonja, I also think there’s some level of cockiness that shows through that get-up, not just about her curves, but as a “yeah right, you’re not going to make it within a stone’s throw from me anyway.” Sonja’s also presented as a very sexual being and being flashy is her thing.

As is true with Xena.

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Her get up is not too gaudy, protective leather and minimal armor plating is not unreasonable for a traveller who can’t be weighted down. Besides, her male contemporary, Hercules, walked around with no armor and his shirt open all the time. Like Sonja, she is a grown woman who hooks up with Gods (for Sonja, recently a forest god, for Xena it was Aries).

I’m not innately anti-sexy-costumes. In fact, here’s a picture of me at Rhode Island Comic-Con rocking some spandex. (With Rory and Amy and fellow Radio Of Horror host dressed as Indiana Jones)

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I like showing off my body, and I’m a grown woman and I do what I want.

But this bugs me out:

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Batman and Superman look gruff and …like adults. Diana looks maybe 16, like she has an E cup, no rib cage and is wearing undies. The men are big and huge and Wonder Woman has zero muscle definition. That’s absurd. But mainly, what I’m mad about is the infantilization. Say it with me, Wonder WOMAN. It’s also absurdly out of character. In Justice League War Wonder Woman’s costume was skin tight, under scrutiny by anti-supes she says that her outfit makes her feel powerful. And there’s nothing wrong with showing off what you’ve got. Of course her JL War costume is “modest” compared to the photo above:

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And there’s a duality where woman are made to feel vulgar for liking to show themselves off while being bombarded with sexy women. sexy women are presented as fierce and confident, but is “The Sexy Woman” really empowered?

Back in the comic, Princess Adrienne runs around dressed as the Amazonian and experiences street harassment and learns how to work a lasso. Bedelia finishes up her armor and its spectacular. 

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2 thoughts on “Princeless #3 + a commentary about female heroes’ costumes

  1. It’s arguable that this is even more of a problem in video games than in comics. At least with comics, you have a growing number of prominent female writers and artists, fighting for better representation in both outfits and characterization. But for every modestly dressed character like, say, Captain Marvel’s new uniform, and every character who has a solid reason for barely wearing anything, you have several of these pointlessly skimpy Wonder Woman outfits or under characterization. For those of us not in the industry (yet), the most we can do is vote with our dollars.

  2. I agree w/ everything and also the outfit revealing the character of a character, like Psylocke too: goes very well with her radiant,dominating spirit,
    i find classic 90s Rogue to have a nice outfit also, all covered (‘for once’ in comics^^), not going out of her character-tragedy: ‘lets keep everyone safe from me’
    That WW cover makes me want to hurl. I didn’t know it was that bad in comics.
    I couldn’t write a comment w/o writing a blog so there it is:
    Mostly ramblings actually…
    http://www.ign.com/blogs/jerggernault/2014/03/11/roamming-around-the-gender-pic
    My only hope is ‘it might have to be that bad or worse for it to get better’

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