I don't have a lot to say about the whole topic of Jessica Rabbit as a mage. While I am very interested in people of various groups represented and treated with respect, the brawler genre - where mayors are fabled to have piledrived sharks - is not the first place I'd go looking for realism.
That's why I'm not really emotionally affected by the big breasted sorceress of Dragon's Crown
. I've heard much ado about how this misrepresents women in a game where men are more barrel-chested than Donkey Kong has barrels to throw. Why are we raking caricatures over the coals here? Jessica Rabbit got a new job, that's all that really happened.
Want to see a real monster?
Hint: Its over on the right.
As someone that grew up with gender dysphoria, I'm not above or immune to the glorification and fictionalization of the female body that the media perpetuates. I've had the depression and breakdowns that come from it growing up, feeling like I'd never even get close to any standard of beauty. Not all games strive to make the unreal more realistic, though it happens, but real world's media likes to take the real and turn it into a grand fiction. Not even the models in the photographs can hope to live up to to the doctored photograph itself. That sort of imagery is dangerous to people in that business and society at large.
This CEO apparently wants it that way. He wants kids to be ashamed of their bodies. He wants to promote classism, rejection and depression in a time kids are just starting to figure out who they are. Fuck that.
This is the kind of business where even knees are held to a higher standard. Yes, knees
. Did you know Forever 21 photoshops all of the knees of their models? Were they once adventurers? Is that why?
It begs the question what other so-called "imperfections" were modified. Some of these models have eerily similar hands and feet as well. Then there's the women of varying ethnicity that get whitewashed in the photoshopping process, so its not just body shame but a bit of racism going on there as well. Why can't any woman be seen as she is?
I mean, its one thing to photoshop out a pimple or make a lighting adjustment, but why an entire skin tone?
Video games might have their problems with sexism, but something they rarely do is promote body shame. Games are in the business of empowering
and treating the player like shit seldom ends well. Games could do a great deal more to promote different body types and we should get on their cases about that, pointing to games like Dragon's Dogma
where characters can be made to come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but we don't need to be getting worked up about some voluptuous mage - she's just one of the shapes.
While the Sorceress is a bit unrealistic, there are women that do exist in that ballpark. This is why you need to think before you go into Crusader Mode about sexism and body image - body shame is not cool no matter what the body type is. There was a time I found myself being rather callous about height and engaged in this kind of shame. I once made a joke in a college newspaper editorial about how the person behind our costumed mascot was too short.
It went to print
. The next day my academic advisor pulled me into his office and let me have it. He told me just how wrong I was for making that joke. Turns out the short girl inside our mascot costume took great pride in what she did and I knocked her height while i so hypocritically and pridefully
promoted school spirit in my editorial. She read that editorial and it made her consider quitting the squad entirely.
My advisor never told me her name, but I felt awful about it and very much deserved to. The following week when I had my next editorial opportunity, I did my best to make amends and say I was sorry, hoping the apology would reach her. I never found out if it did or the extent to which I had affected her, but I promised to myself I'd never treat someone that way again - not even as a joke
I of all people now know too well you have to make the best of what you're born with and not everything about your body can be changed. There are still days it eats at me, especially when I go to the mall. Its often a fleeting frustration, but if its not I play a game until those thoughts go away.
That said, I am hardly worried about Lulu 2.0 up there. If Christina Hendricks the Witch is a good fighter, I'll play her - but I have always, always favored the bow and will probably go with the petite elf ranger.
If anyone's knees end up photoshopped for what she does, I am not responsible.
And I went there. Again.