What makes a male pose dynamic? What makes a female pose dynamic?
As I mentioned in this post, “A B&B [boobs and butt] pose for the sake of consumption means that it’s okay to portray women as objects for sexual satisfaction in the public sphere. It’s to the point where I’ve read that redrawing a B&B pose into something more sensible makes the pose less ‘dynamic’.”
I received a comment in response to that post wherein a reader said: “all of your redraws are far less dramatic than the previous drawings. They lack the energy and dynamism and are far more static.” (And I’m sure they are, since I meant only to critique the unnecessary prevalence of B&B poses. I’m hardly a professional and my intent was never to undermine or belittle true professionals, only to make a point.)
After a while, I started wondering what exactly is expected out of a “dynamic” pose between genders – because it’s clear to me that they’re vastly different.
I started with this cover image:
(source: Escher Girls)
Obvious anatomical problems aside, I’ve seen this staple over and over again. I can’t seem to get away from it. Essentially, the most common pose for women is the ‘S’ curve, which will generally be some sort of variation of this:
- No guts
- Always arched back/Broken spine
- Accentuation of the curves
- small feet
- Pointed toes
This is a basic battle stance for a woman. (And as demonstrated in my previous post, now it’s taken even further.) The ‘S’ shape is very clearly defined in the above cover image.
(By the way, this was really hard to do, as I kept having to cinch her waist more and more, and I don’t think I could muster the will to do it again.)
So, what would said cover image look like with male bodies?
I see no problem with this. What’s wrong with this? Yes, it’s not realistic to jump down and attack with the legs folded in like that, but the pose IS possible, and, well…yes, it’s going to be very problematic when they land and actually try to attack from that position, but…
It looks good, right? Got them ‘S’ curves, and comic books are for entertainment purposes anyway, so who cares if it’s not realistic? It just has to be sexy. The male readership will just have to get over their whiney selves and deal with this. It’s not my problem if their male superheroes are sexualized or portrayed ridiculously.
Does that sound familiar?
You might have read at least one comment lashing out against women (and men too, of course) who complain that their female superheroes are simply serving as sex objects for the male readership.
Let’s be honest. What would that cover really look like with two men? Based on the formula given, something like:
(hahaha what is composition. what is anatomy. what do you mean I got lazy. this is why I’m not a professional artist)
How dynamic is it to face the camera front-on and flat? For a man, very interesting. Powerful. Cover shot. For a woman, it’s lacking energy, isn’t dynamic at all, and is static.
It’s as if “dynamic” for male superheroes translates to “bold, strong, confrontational, dominant,” and for female superheroes “dynamic” translates to, “sexy, curvy, suggestive”. Sexualized media has altered how we inherently view the roles of males and females in society.
That’s why a huge fanbase takes issue with the guys who say, “So what? I want to look at sexy women, and it’s a comic book, it doesn’t have to be realistic.”
Well, we want our female superheroes to be on the same bad-assery level as our male superheroes, even if the B&B/’S’ shape pose in question is possible or explainable.
There needs to be less of this:
(source: Escher Girls)
And more of this:
There needs to be fewer breasts and butt cheeks to the camera:
(source: Escher Girls)
And more, uh…
Well, we could stand to see a little more of that.
But if that’s the case, we might just see more of everything.
(source: Barnes and Noble)
There is a time for sexy, but it doesn’t have to be all the time. Society generally refers to that as porn, and our favorite female superheroes deserve to be treated just as responsibly as their male counterparts.
(Again, I’m not a professional — I study art because I enjoy it. The point here is not about the
lacking quality of the sketches or semantics of my arguments, but the message.)
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