Letting Life Lead
This is Samus Aran.
In 1986, when I was 13, I played a game called Metroid at the house of one of my mother’s friends. I was hooked from the start. Alas, I never did get to finish it so I didn’t know that this game broke ground and stole the hearts of pubescent boys and validated game girls every where until almost a decade later. Samus is female.
She’s a beast. Think six foot tall Amazon fused with the Williams Sisters. She’s better than Ripley in the Mech Suit. She doesn’t wield a wimpy magic lasso either.
Unknown to me in 1986, when someone finished the game in an hour the reward was a big reveal that Samus was a woman. Fantastic! Um. Why is she in a bikini?
Okay, in 1986 I can forgive the pixelated bikini because it was the 80s and their market was pimply-faced boys who spent all their time trying to beat games in an hour (There were no multi-game saves. You kids today are spoiled). It took weeks of training to get to that point; a gaming marathon. The chance of actually seeing a real pair of boobs much less getting anywhere close to the vulva was quite low. If there happened to be a gamer girl that the gamer boy knew, everyone knew that such a worthy opponent didn’t have boobs or vagina. Such was the way of the world of my youth. If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing Metroid, I encourage you to take a walk with the Angry Scholar and to learn what it was that made playing Metroid such a fantastic, memorable experience.
Anyway. She’s a woman! In your face!
It’s the 21st century now and I go and to a Google search recently to see what’ been going on in the franchise because I’ve got a five year old daughter and three year old son that I would like to introduce to some of the joys of my childhood. What do I find? Renderings of Samus with a wasp waist, huge boobs, long coiffured blonde hair, and sexy poses. All I can think of is a bunch of pimply old men who never left their computers are still drawing the fantasy women in their head.
Let me clarify by saying, I’ve nothing against big bosoms or blondes. Big or small, bosoms feed babies. If you got big ones that give you back pain, shout out. You do look good in cleavage though. Bitty ladies can’t hold up anything with their girlfriends, but you can rock the backless and sleep on your stomach so there’s that. We ladies have boobs, butts, hips, and waists. But listen up to those folks who are drawing half-naked women (especially comics). If a badass like Samus is pointing her weapon at you, she’s not going to be giving you a sexy smoky look with her hips jutting out and giving a Charlie’s Angel flip to her hair. She’s going to shoot your face off and be happy for it.
When she’s done saving the word and melting off your face, is she going to get out of her suit and sashay around flashing her perfect derriere? Hell, no. She’s going to stuff her face in the dining hall because fighting works up an appetite, then she’s going to go to bed (alone), and when she wakes up she might shower off the stink. She doesn’t have time to shave her legs or get a wax. She’s a motherfucking mammal; deal with it.
And don’t think I have anything against sexy. Sexy is fine. Especially if she is deliberately using her wiles to distract and infiltrate and make you underestimate her abilities. Then she’ll poison you, because it won’t do to be covered in blood if she stabs you in the throat. It might break a nail, too. Manicures are expensive. That sly lady will play the vulnerable game to the fullest advantage. Samus is a six foot tall beast, that has an armor suit, and genetic enhancements. She doesn’t need to play vulnerable. I find it exceedingly entertaining when a male character plays that role and then turns out to be a deadly assassin who can get the job done without soiling his suit–so don’t say that I can’t appreciate the power of wiles. I can see Charlize Theron playing Samus because of her role in Monster–I think she’s got the chops to go warrior.
Start putting women in the strong poses that males always take because the effect is amazing. None of them are posed in a way that make me feel like they want to seduce me or undress me with their eyes unless I go looking for that specific type of image. If males were drawn the way nearly all female character’s are drawn there would be a lot of awfully cold Tarzan men with their testicles trying to find warmth in their body cavity (I’ve got issues with the super muscle bound — but that’s for another day). I don’t think people realize how ridiculous it is.
Look, I won’t object to a sexy batman showing off chest and sultry come hither look in the right context. But when he’s in the middle of a fight — no. There’s a time and place for being naked. Big boobs need support — ever tried to run when you have unsupported boobs? It hurts. When breasts hurt, there is absolutely no touching so back off before you get your fingers broken.
So animators, artists, and gamers. Give the ladies some respect. For the love of all that is logical in the world, put some clothes on Samus! A skintight unitard (which might be practical with a built in sports bra when one has to fit into a custom made suit of armor) doesn’t count if I can see the queen. I don’t see your ass saving the universe in a speedo.
See more art collections at John Kutensky blog. Some renderings give me real hope.
The Literary (or Junk) Writings of Leslie Muzingo
Poetry, History, Mythology
Confessions of a White Trash Hoe
Learn to Live
Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry Journal
TinyPurpleMe: Part Two
Illustrated Short Stories
Essays and reviews on narrative in games and new media
My reflections of life in general.