Sunday, February 19, 2012

5 Most Sexist Superhero Costumes

I stumbled upon this blog about female superhero costumes and absolutely fell in love with it. The author, a man, discusses the ridiculousness of how men have twisted comic book characters into porn stars by their disgustingly sexual attire. Some of these costumes literally made me laugh out loud.

#5: Power Girl- With the same superpowers as Superman, this lovely lady should be the example of female empowerment in the comic world, right? Wrong. Power Girl’s costume is a white leotard with a rectangle cut out in the chest, simply to show off her breasts. Many excuses have been made as to why she has such an unnecessarily revealing outfit including “it is a distraction to her enemies (that are aliens and robots??),” “she couldn’t think of a symbol to put on her chest,” and “she’s a beautiful woman who shouldn’t be ashamed of her body.” Could the artists make it more obvious that they just wanted her boobs showing?
#4: Starfire- This one is just absolutely insane. I don’t even have that much to say about it because there should be no reason for this kind of nudity in comics. Starfire is an alien who wants to discover the love that humans experience: an excuse for her to sleep around. That is their excuse for her slutty behavior and lack of clothing. Pathetic.
#3: Wonder Woman- The original Wonder Woman costume is debated whether or not it is sexist, but this article discusses a specific storyline in which Wonder Woman is dressed as a Star Sapphire who controls men through a Green Lantern-like ring and the power of “love.” It is a ridiculous concept in itself, but the funniest part is the costume they “paint” on her body. There is literally just as much skin showing as not!
#2: Sue Storm- Sue Storm’s costume looks like a bikini that has a “4” cut out of the chest. The most annoying part about this outfit, however, is the fact that the males in the Fantastic Four have full body suits while Sue is wearing practically nothing. There isn’t any reason as to why Sue should be dressed so scandalously; she is engaged to be married to Reed Richards and therefore should probably NOT be dressed like a stripper.
#1: Namor- This was my favorite part of the article. Namor is Marvel’s version of Aquaman. He basically just wears a scaly speedo everywhere and shows off his enormously unrealistic muscles. The author of this blog post points out that Namor is an excuse for men to be allowed to draw women as super-strippers because “Namor doesn’t wear clothes either!” This, however, should not be an excuse at all because: 1. Women are not turned on by men who look like “semi-trucks,” and 2. This is exactly what all men fantasize about THEMSELVES. Namor basically gets laid whenever he wants, which is also evident in the costume: don’t even bother putting clothes on! This proves that Namor is not victimized in the same way that all of the superheroines are by their costumes, and that the target of comics are still (and probably always will be at this rate) men.

 I recommend reading the entire article; it is THAT good (and the costumes are THAT hilarious). There are even more comments about the storylines that go behind these costumes which bring up really good points!


  1. #5 PowerGirl - its funny that only a *girl* wasn't creative enough to think up a chest symbol. Also, if she ever DID happen to fight any male humanoids... they'd definitely be distracted.
    #4 Starfire - why blame Starfire, or her creators, for her desire to love? It happens all the time in the "real world!" Girls want love and think sex is the easiest, fastest way to get it (guys can think this too, of course). Being an alien, she's just MORE clueless than the rest of us as to how to acquire love. This may not be sexist, but instead, scarily realistic.
    #3 Wonder Woman - and the skin they DO decide to cover is on her arms and legs and face! This is like anti-clothes! Pretty ridiculous.
    #2 Sue Storm - I agree.
    #1 Namor - 1. Speak for yourself! Also, Namor's muscles are not nearly as unrealistic as other heroes'. He's slim. He swims. 2. I'm sure girls fantasize about looking like Wonder Woman - or did I misinterpret all the self-conscious tweets during the VS Fashion Show this year? Namor isn't victimized, and neither are superheroines; they're blatantly praised for their strong deeds, minds and bodies! True, Namor is promiscuous. But so is Starfire. Don't forget, girls like sex too. It's a biological pleasure.

  2. These are absolutely ridiculous. I came across an article the other day on this topic too, and the sexuality of Starfire in particular. It's long, but worth checking out if only to see the illustrations. The way she poses in the comic is blatantly seductive, aimed and the reader, and in my opinion, even pornographic.

  3. Emily, I checked out the article you commented on and I agree the illustrations of Starfire are overly sexualized. I think the author makes a great point in arguing the difference between women's sexual liberation and male fantasy. These illustrations are geared towards the male imagination rather than how a free woman would want herself to be portrayed. The author also brings up the double standard that still exists, which is that men who get around are thought of as "studs" while women are less respected. This can be used to explain the fact that these pornographic comic book drawings of women are offensive and not representing women's sexuality in a positive light.

  4. These costumes are needlessly scandalous, but they're what makes being a superheroine. Superheroines are supposed to be idealized as very strong, and, more importantly, very attractive. The more of that attractiveness that get shown off to the reader, the more the superheroine sticks in the reader's mind. This could all go back to how Wonder Woman dressed in the 1940's. If she had a full-body suit, like Superman, readers may think that she's a female Superman. The more her that is revealed, the more that the reader is attracted to read.

  5. Firstly, Nice find on the blog. Honestly, what makes me most annoyed (besides the obvious objectification of women) is that Starfire, who is one of the most naked, was my favorite character on Teen Titans - a kid's cartoon. I don't know which came first, but I'm guessing the adult naked alien. It's then interesting that She's the character they picked for a kid's show, though she was really innocent in the cartoon.
    On the other point of Namor is that his isn't the only male outfit to over sexualize men too. True, he is naked. But there really aren't many costumes that don't make the superhero's fantastic muscled body to be the focus point. A man doesn't have to be naked, super-tight spandex shows his muscles just fine.

  6. Maggie, that was also a huge "flip out" moment of mine when I was reading this blog. I watched Teen Titans as a kid and remember Starfire being the one I related to most. How freaky is that? Nickelodeon took a sex-crazed superheroine alien and made her into the most innocent and relatable characters on the show. I'm pretty sure that was a really big mistake on their part, probably not meaning any harm, but it just comes off as being a really bad idea. I would not advise any young girls to turn out like Starfire.


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