There have been a lot of reblogs on that post I made regarding comic character positions. When I wrote it in a fit of frustration, I can’t really say I imagine it would circulate the way it has. That is pretty cool! And I’m not gonna lie; I’m really enjoying the fact that there are such a variety of people out there that shares at least some of my opinion on this.
Gotten a few negative comments, most of them that can be summed up as “It’s a comic book, you idiot, seriously. Get over it.” And at first I didn’t see much point in addressing them—why explain myself more? I said my bit, I’m done.
Then I kind of realized I had a little more to say anyway, so…why not?
First off, I didn’t make the post out of rage, over frustration; this pose that I see everywhere looks stupid, here’s why, in my opinion.
Now, both are important; that the pose (and others like it) is painful-to-impossible and so overused. The latter is more important than the former, to me. At no point do I want it to sound like I’m annoyed over this because I think comics should be realistic. Are you kidding? The point of comics is entertainment and escapism! And sure, throw in some females being sexy for appeal.
I mean, throw in females only for appeal, even if they are awesome in their own right.
Oh, no, sorry, have females that are awesome in their own right, but don’t let them be awesome without being sexy.
No, wait, I mean, have females that are awesome in their own right, and they can be sexy because that’s just who they are, but let’s make them extra sexy, even if it means sacrificing other things.
Look. These women are perfect-bodied heroes (or villains) who can lift buses, or fly, or can lift buses while flying, or can leap off tall buildings, or do gymnastics routines during crossfire. They own businesses or are teachers, or are world-renowned assassins, or are uber hackers, or some mixture of everything awesome forever. They are already sexy. And between you and me, I’m not about to forget that, say, Catwoman is all woman if you take away her stiletto heels so I’m not worrying about her breaking her neck while she dives across rooftops.
We don’t need that pose to show off the good ol’ T&A. We know they have them. And there are plenty of times they show them off. I mean come on, they are females, and they’re moving around. A fellow black belt from my TaeKwonDo class has fantastic kicks. I mean yeah, I can kick, I’m proud of my kicks, but hers could knock you back from the sheer awesome. Her perfect stance also happens to show off her perfect body. It’s a byproduct. It happens. So the extra push that takes “sexy” over into “that…what, no,” why does it seem so necessary?
I’m using Kory as an example now because she has canon cultural reasons for the way she acts and dresses and moves and lives, and also because she’s popular making pictures easier to find, and also maybe because she rocks.
All that good stuff. Hear, hear, Kory. And that means she damn well does what she wants to, including out-and-out fights with both Superman and Wonder Woman, wearing whatever, and keeping the most incredibly scary alien garden known to man.
From the picture above, Kory’s a pretty sexy lady. And she definitely has a chest. I’m pretty sure her lower half matches, even with the skirt. She isn’t trying to be sexy in this shot. The sexiness is a byproduct of her existing.
This is a behind-ish perspective-ish shot of Kory in her pre-reboot work uniform. She’s looking pretty sexy here, too! You can definitely see both parts in the equation here. And yes, her positioning is emphasize that fact. But at the same time, it at least looks fairly natural and doesn’t, you know, kill her spine. As mentioned before, I know a fair amount about spine killing:
If we’re going to hash over the fact that duh, they’re superheroes and can fly, okay, well, I wan’t aware that having the ability to fly came with the ability to dislocate your torso. Further, as I said before, this pose is used a lot. Heroes, villains, powered and not. Black Canary is drawn in that position all the time, as is Catwoman, as is…almost every female who has ever had a fight scene. There are plenty of other positions that would show off costumes they’re drawn in, the fact that they’re incredibly fit and attractive. So why the poses that only make our beloved characters look like they need a chiropractor and maybe invasive surgery? And why so often? We already have their inherent sexiness. We have this sexiness emphasized every time they move. Why do they need to be put into positions to further exaggerate this? They really need swayback and scoliosis to prove to us they’re awesome, sexy women? Being male and/or being attracted to the female body doesn’t make people idiots.
Tell me that isn’t a great picture. Tell me that she isn’t sexy just because she isn’t displaying every asset in every possible (or impossible) way. Tell me this takes away from her character, and her beauty, and her power.
On second thought, don’t. I don’t want an argument, I just wanted to elaborate. It is my opinion. Go ahead and have yours. And it’s true; this isn’t a ‘big’ issue. It’s a small detail in a big media industry, which is why this thing has about 500 notes instead of 5000. Okay. But don’t tell me that this doesn’t encourage a bigger picture. One that, to me, is a little ugly.
Okay. Guys. Guys. Two things.
1) I’m a martial artist. I’ve been studying since I was seven. I wouldn’t even hesitate to say that I’m good at it. I have done work as a fight choreographer for film, and I am trained in stage combat as well.
2) I’m a contortionist. Yes. Again, since childhood. I had to take a few years off due to some back issues, but I’m getting back into it again. I am Dick Grayson levels of flexible. Yes.
And this pose?
Let’s forget for a minute that it is a supremely stupid and impractical pose for fighting because hey, it’s a comic book. If it looks neat, it doesn’t matter that a real fighter would never, ever do that, right? I mean, why use real positions when you can use made-up ones? Actual showy martial arts moves certainly don’t exist.
And it’s not like they look cool, or anything.
Hey, did you know that the makers of Avatar: The Last Airbender brought in martial arts experts to demonstrate moves, to make sure that they were both making sure things looked cool but also getting them realistic, thereby making iteven more awesome?
Yeah. But. As I already said, let’s move past the whole it’s “stupid for fighting” thing.
I am, actually, physically capable of posing like Cassie above, if we stuck with just the torso twist and had the arms by the hips instead of up the way they are. It isn’t natural or comfortable of course (this is, keep in mind, coming from a person who can, and does, often browse the internets while maintaining a floating middle split), but it is physically possible for me, even with the intense exaggerated curve of the spine and position of the lower half of the body.
However, I am unable to imitate Cassie’s full pose. And Wonder Woman’s, considering the even more exaggerated swayback? It isn’t difficult, it isn’t uncomfortable. It is impossible.
To further demonstrate, this is me doing a fairly extreme torso twist:
As you can see in the picture, I can position myself so that my upper half and lower half are, well. My chest is facing the floor and my knees are pointed towards the ceiling. I’m not sure how clear it is in the picture, but my shoulders are pretty much in line with my knees. And yet, the way Cassie’s torso is situated, coupled with her arm placement, how Wonder Woman’s shoulders are pulled back as she pushes out her chest while twisting her lower half in that direction? Nope. Can’t.
Now I’m sure there are some people out there who probably are able to mimic the way these two (and so many other female comic characters) are positioned above. I’m also pretty sure that there aren’t many, and that these characters can’t. Regardless of the fact that they were drawn that way. I’m going to go ahead and say they can’t. And non-super female characters, who have to work at what they do? Have an even less chance of being able to achieve this position.
Also, and go ahead and brick me for saying so, but I’m so turned around by how bad the art and positioning is that I really can’t find them sexy or anything. Which, you know, was probably the whole point of them being drawn that way. I guess some people find torso dislocation sexy? I’m not one of those people.
Just seriously. People. I understand artist license. I understand exaggeration. I understand suspending disbelief.
But if a martial artist who is also a contortionist can’t mimic a pose you use constantly for female fighters, there might be a problem in, you know, your choices on basic anatomy. I can’t be the only one who thinks this.
Edit: And I have now written a follow-up. More personal opinion-explanations ahoy.