What our favorite comic book superheroines would look like with realistic bodies
I know you won’t be shocked by this news, but it’s not uncommon for the media to portray an unrealistic “ideal body type” when it comes to women. Every day we see magazine covers and advertisements with impossibly pristine, thin, and Photoshopped models — and studies show that those images have a super negative effect on how we view our own bodies. (No, duh!) Another place to find unsettlingly unrealistic ideals of the female form? Comic books.
We definitely love the progress that’s been made re: animated films depicting more powerful female characters, and we especially love that we seem to be leaving the “damsel in distress” days in the dust, but there is still so much work to be done — particularly when it comes to comics.
Recently a few of our fave Disney characters were redrawn with realistic proportions, specifically waistlines. We loved seeing these stunning and more relatable depictions of the animated women we love, so we were SO excited when a similar treatment was brought to our fave comic book superheroines.
Comic book heroines have been entertaining us for decades with their abilities to kick butt and save the universe — but there’s an added element of fantasy to them that we could live without: their super tiny waists, disproportioned thighs, and large breasts. And while we love the idea of strong female characters in any capacity, the way brands like Marvel and DC depict them leaves a bit to be desired, which is why we were so into what happened next.
The folks over at Bulimia.com, a website devoted to educating and supporting people with eating disorders, decided to take matters into their own hands. They Photoshopped a few of our favorite comic book superheroines to look as if they had average-sized bodies. “We didn’t intend this project to be a commentary on whether or not comic books send the wrong message about body image,” a Bulimia.com representative told the Huffington Post. “Rather, our hope here is to show the extent to which superheroes’ body types (as is the case with their super-human abilities) are fictional. Our hope is that when viewers see these superheroes visualized in such a manner that they can identify with, they may feel better about themselves and realize the futility of any comparison between themselves and the fictional universes of Marvel and DC Comics.”
We have to say, we’re loving these re-imagined women, and hope to see more of them in the future. If we keep showing women and girls these totally unrealistic body types then it’s no wonder we’ll all keep feeling inadequate when it comes to our own very real bodies. Let’s keep this narrative flip going and make real bodies a part of even or fantasy universes.