Aug. 27th, 2012

starfire11: (Default)
I find it amusing that I never really noticed this as a problem until relatively recently... yet whenever I've drawn a female superhero of any sort of my own design in an actual attempt to draw a half-decent OC (which is more like a little kid's drawing than anything else, and may POSSIBLY resemble a fake person), I haven't given them heels. I typically give them flat shoes, thick boots, tennishoes of some sort...

What is the obsession with giving female supers high heels?

You can tell when they're drawn by guys. I promise I'm not trying to sound sexist here, but honestly? Any woman who has worn heels and who's considered what the average female super has to do on an average patrol would not give them heels. They would consider "what do I walk around in that's most comfortable?" "What do I run in that's most comfortable?"

I can assure you that the majority of responses to these would not include "high-heels".

A woman who does this anyway is either inheriting a character or is considering aesthetic/marketing appeal over logic.

These women are typically doing a lot of movement on a daily basis. If they're not running, then they might be walking or standing. All three of which are very painful in heels, even "comfortable" ones.

Comfort will heels is different than with other shoes. It doesn't mean "I slip these on when I want to feel happy". It's "these don't make me feel like I'm stopping on foot-long nails."

When I go to an event in heels, one of my first priorities after locating the bathroom, food, and greeting people, is finding something to sit on where I can rest my feet. Sometime after that is finding a place where I can take off my heels while not offending anyone. You do not dance in high heels. You do not run in high heels (and if you do, it's for short spurts and only when it's life or death, and even then, you're better off taking them off because you will kill your feet, even if they're shortish high heels). If you are working a job where you stand the majority of the time, your first preference will be to not do it in heels. If you have to, in order to maintain appearances, I pity you sorely.

If you'll notice, doctors do not work in high heels. Female soldiers (and male soldiers) do not work in heels, outside of (possibly) formal occasions. Gym teachers do not wear heels while working. Policewomen do not wear heels while working. Postwomen do not wear heels while working. People who work in grocery stores, at the cash register, do not wear heels while working. Athletes do not wear heels while doing whatever sport it is they're doing. The closest you'll get to that is golf and soccer. Cooks do not wear heels while working. Security and bodyguards do not wear heels while working.

Are we getting the picture here?

Why the heels? It's an aesthetic choice. There is no other reason, unless there's some cultural/ceremonial thing (which I've frankly never heard of, outside of Japan).

"It makes them taller and it makes their legs look thinner and thus nicer."


I'm going to ignore the aesthetic bit in here and address the former. While height/size is linked to intimidation in the animal kingdom (which includes humans), this isn't always a good thing for supers. They have to hide BEHIND things or beneath things. Being smaller or being able to fit more easily into or behind something, and being able to do it fast, are boons. Heels do not make this easy. Heels make this EXTREMELY difficult, if not impossible.

"It shows off their wealth."

While this may have been true way back in the BCE era, and kind of is now, how exactly does this help a crime-fighter? They kind of want to keep their identity SECRET. Identifying themselves as having access to money... is not such a good thing, especially if those heels are crazy. Plus, depending on what it is (say, pleather v. solid gold or something, I dunno), you could probably get it really cheap somewhere, so as a wealth identification symbol, it's kind of lame. What do they do, shout "ADMIRE MY AWESOME HEELS" and then punch the enemies in the face while they're distracted? I'd kind of think any half-intelligent enemy would notice this flaw and take big advantage of it, like find a way to knock the super over or something, or heck, melt their shoes. That'd hurt.

Christmas presents for the senshi in "Sailor Moon":

- five sets of combat boots
- five light armor suits that cover their arms, legs, torsos, necks, and hands in some manner
- bras
- hair ties and coupons to a hair salon with some helpful sketches on good fighting hair styles
- protective headgear of some sort

Christmas presents to the DC Comics Universe:

- boots for Wonder Woman that lack the killer heels, and possible pants of some sort, as well as a full torso leotard maybe made of light armor, and probably something that covers her arms. I love the typical costume, too, but really? I don't know about you, but I've run around in a bathing suit and a leotard for long periods of time. I wouldn't want to fight in either, and I CERTAINLY wouldn't want to spend most of my life in them.
- pants for Black Canary. Maybe some cream for the chafing caused by the stockings.
- pants for Huntress, as well as boots without heels, also a costume without a cape
- suggestions about hair ties and trips to the hair salon for MOST of the women in the DC universe - did you notice that almost every male super in that universe has short hair?
- Batwoman's newer boots look good (they just have normal flat, low heels), and I know the cape is part of the effect... but eh...
- a strong suggestion that Miss Martian stick with her newer costume in Young Justice. You know, the one with the pants, that's most likely easier to move around in than her miniskirt costume in season 1, and maybe even more protective and less embarrassing while she's flying
- I just... okay. Lemme put up some pictures for Superwoman/Supergirl.

Superwoman idea 4Superwoman idea 5Superwoman idea 1Superwoman Idea 3Superwoman idea 6

I understand that these are probably different women and thus not all Kara or even Supergirl or Superwoman (or at least the one I'm thinking about), but these are ideas. The one thing I love about the first two is that they feature in a world that is parallel to ours, where Superwoman is a female version of Superman and Batwoman is a female version of Batman.

What? Superwoman and Batwoman were supposed to be like that?

Uh huh. Sure.

In this parallel world, they're done at least SOMEWHAT the right way - which is that their costumes mimic their original male counterparts in, well... every way, as far as I'm aware. It's not the same general cover scheme or a borrowing of some parts. It's THE SAME COSTUME, except it's on a woman and thus for a slightly different body shape.

Why they couldn't have done this before is beyond me. I understand character identification (which is most certainly NOT the primary concern creators had back in the day) and keeping characters individual... but honestly? You could have given them the same costume and made the color schemes different. That's kind of what they eventually did ANYWAY.

No. Those characters were designed when every woman portrayed for entertainment never wore pants, and mostly wore a miniskirt if she wore anything.

So anyway. If Supergirl/woman could have a design change... something like any of these could work. I still don't like the capes. I think they're kind of dumb (although we're talking about characters who wear leotards and have their underwear on the outside of their clothes, so, sigh). If you think about it, another thing soldiers and the police share (outside of formal occasions) is that they don't wear capes while they work. Getting tangled up in them or caught in them and all that stuff.


And then everything made sense. Forever.

The last three designs (minus the white cape) are probably my favorites. They don't REALLY feature outside underwear, and they're nice to look at. They kind of scream LOOK AT ME I'M A TARGET, but we're going off of Superman, so, well... The multicolor one kind of looks like it has some sort of skirt thing on it, but that might just be sewn into the pants (or it could be). There's also still the hair problem, but that could be fixed with ties and creative hair styles. Power Girl would also work well with something like this, or something like what Nebeziel styled, which would still make the character recognizable while giving the costume semi-feasible functionality.

I'm not one of the crazy "women should be modest!" people. I swear I'm not.

I'm looking at functionality here. I've lived over twenty years as a woman, so I have experience with female clothing and footwear, and I'm also somewhat well-read, and I'm always eager to learn more.

If you want any proof, I have a weird stance with the "head coverings" a number of religions order their women to wear. No, it isn't just the Muslim community. There are plenty of Christian communities that do that and it just... I don't like talking about it. Most likely because I'll offend someone.

I understand that it's part of their faith. In understand that it's typically part of their culture.

I don't understand WHY it's part of either. Men have no such restrictions for the most part. Why should the women? What is so awful about being a woman that they have to hide it?

That's my problem more over "it's a sign of oppression". To me it feels like women are being shamed by their culture into believing that there is something about them that they must hide by simply being female. It also cuts people into two gender groups: men and women. I don't know anything about how they handle people who don't fit into those two categories, but until I see something about them, I can't imagine it as anything good.

ANYWAY. It's more of a "this makes more sense as a costume for fighting and patrolling, and it will also garner you more respect (which also sounds like the "modest is best" dogma, which annoys me, but, well... who exactly are you impressing when you wander around in a metal bikini? Unless that's like... your thing, I guess) and it will be comfortable and, well... you have a smaller chance of dying. And stuff." End quotation.

I simply do not understand the obsession with high heels. It... annoys me. Intensely.

Why does this come to mind NOW?

Because I'm doing this stupid PowerPoint (which I actually enjoy and find intensely amusing except I'm never posting it because I've found some things out about Takeuchi and the early drawing days and I feel kind of bad about it, but, well...) and I keep coming up with certain things, and, well... I feel like I'm one of those people saying "women should be modest!"

When that's not what I'm doing, really.

I love it when I walk up to someone and ask them if something I think might be uncomfortable is annoying and they tell me "actually, this is my most comfortable x and I love wearing it".

I think that some of the costumes in comics are gorgeous. Wonder Woman looks amazing in her costume, as do Huntress, Black Canary, the newer Batwoman... and I apparently don't know that many female heroes in the DC universe, which is very much concerning me at the moment.

Honestly, I've always thought Supergirl's costume was impractical and kind of silly, but I wished I could wear it and look good, and I've always loved how beautiful she looks in it. I've always thought that Sara Pezzeni wearing the Witchblade was gorgeous. And that her outfit was completely ridiculous when it turned into basically webbed metal hands grabbing her boobs and all of her skin showing because FOR SOME REASON she's constantly naked when she's wearing it. I understand it ripping clothes, but it could just as easily cover them.

It just hurts to learn more about them and realize that... these things were made, yes, to make them look good.

But not a kind of good I think the people they are would appreciate. Not just the woman, but the sensible, intelligent person. The warrior. The protector. The person who wants to do what they can, but who can't be taken seriously because they've got boob holes and run around in mini skirts or are known to flash their underwear at bystanders as they pass by and who have NO ARMOR ON of ANY kind to protect themselves in a fight and UGH...

And maybe some of this came out of the fact that I was one of those girls who wished I could grow up to look like "insert female superhero here" (and also learn the kick-ass moves and get the men and become really smart). And this lens has been ruined by that. I can't look at the women as people. I look at them as posters for "what I'm not and what I wish I was". It's part of the reason I could never look at things like Sailor Moon for the story or what I felt was wrong with it. I looked at Sailor Jupiter and thought "I wish this was me. I want to BE her."

And now I'm... not them. And I probably never will be. And I care more about those things I didn't think about before. And I've read a lot more.

It's part of the trap they get other people to fall into. People who are in it for the skin value. Not the story. It's what spawns idiots like the troll from the other day. Who don't see the prejudice or the insult. They just see the action hero.



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