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BuzzFeed Commentary On Body Dysmorphia in Comic Books Misses The Mark

BuzzFeed Yellow released a Youtube video the other day (Dec 10, 2015) entitled "Women Try To Pose Like Female Comic Book Heroes”. It was immediately picked up by ‘The Mary Sue’ and has now started to make the rounds. I can only speculate on the motivation of the creators, but I imagine the intent was to keep the dialogue open on the over-sexualisation of women in comic books by using body dysmorphia in the medium as the talking point. You be judge. Here’s the [LINK]

Certainly body image, particular for today’s youth, is a valid concern. I would agree that images of photo shopped models, often female, or CGI physically enhanced male actors (much of the inspiring definition on the gentleman in the movie “The 300” was thanks as much to technology as to the gym time)  which are presented as realistic, and therefore attainable, is a problem worth addressing. What removes comic books from this conversation is that no one views them as representative of reality.  

While I would agree comic books do have a history of over-sexualisation of women, using body dysmorphia in comic books as the talking point is akin to PETA using the trials and tribulations of Wile E. Coyote as an example of the mistreatment of animals.

Notable by its absence in the video, and as suggested by its gender specific title, is any mention of the depiction in comic books of the male physic in unattainable proportions and ridiculous posses. The anatomical representation license the video is commenting on is equal opportunity and started long before even the likes of Popeye and Olive Oyl. The art form has never been about realism and generations of people are aware of this, excluding, apparently, the folks at BuzzFeed.

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