Fangirls, I know we’ve discussed the importance of having female role models in the nerd related media before. Today I would like to talk about body type representation, because it’s something that can be extremely difficult to find for someone of my size.
I’m at a weird weight, for me. I’ve got big thighs, an ass, boobs, and a bit of a tummy, plus I’m kind of tall. Im a body shape that isn’t necessarily catered to in any light; plus size selections are usually too big, but “regular” clothing is sometimes too short. At ConnectiCon, I bought a Super Art Fight short that I was told would fit me; a gender neutral small. I didn’t believe it would, but I put it on the next day, and though it was tight, it fit me, and I looked damn good in it. But usually I wear extra larges in the women’s department, because my chest makes it hard for things to fit right.
All of this goes for my girl Ashley, too. She’s of a very similar build to me, except she’s got a butt that I can’t compare to. And she has a similar issue with pants, skirts and dresses; her butt makes it difficult to find things that don’t ride up but also aren’t too baggy. The other day, she and I were talking about this; about the fact that we’re quite happy with our bodies, but it’s incredibly rare that we see ourselves in any media, much less that of the nerd variety. And it’s frustrating, because there are a lot of women shaped like us.
One character, who I really associate with, is Kim from Zodiac Starforce. ZS is a comic that comes out next month, and I don’t know all that much about it; hell, I don’t know that much about Kim. But as soon as I saw a picture of her, I felt the need to cosplay her. Because guess what Fangirls? Kim is built like me. Almost exactly like me, and the fact that I can see this powerful magical girl in a comic, and see myself in a comic, makes me so damn happy, I could cry.
It’s a very small victory, though. I adore Kevin Panetta and Paulina Ganucheau, and all of the ladies from Zodiac Starforce, but they are one of many. I’ve read a fair few comics, and Kim is the first character I’ve seen who looks like me. Sure, Power Girl has my height and chest, but she’s incredibly slim. Garnet from Steven Universe has big thighs like me, but she has such an itty bitty waist, and is probably 7 feet tall? I can’t really associate with that! Merida from Disney & Pixar’s Brave has my wild mane of hair and thick waist, but she’s super short. It’s so hard to find a character that has almost all of the same traits as me, so it’s incredibly gratifying to find one who comes so close to me.
I love comics, movies, and books. I want to be surrounded by them at all times. But I really think companies should remember that their audience isn’t full of women shaped like Wonder Woman and Thor; there are many other shapes that should be included.
All this having been said, there are a lot of ways representation needs to be improved other than body types for women. There need to be more body types for dudes, more genders than just cis, more people of color, and many more things. Body type was simply something that Ashley and I were discussing at the time.
For those of you keeping up with our videos, next week Ashley and I will be talking more on this subject.
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