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Just How Realistic Are The Poses of Female Comic Book Superheros?

comic book posesMany people have criticized comic books for their unrealistic portrayal of women’s bodies, and now Buzzfeed is picking up where blogs like The Hawkeye Initiative and other critics have left off.

A few weeks ago Buzzfeed’s female staffers decided to try to replicate the painful-looking poses that some comic book artists put their female heroes in.

The results were both painful to see and hilarious look at. None of the participants were able to fully replicate a pose because, as one put it, her organs, bones, and muscles got in the way:

How doing the pose felt: This shit is physically impossible if you have bones, muscles, and organs. Without those things you might stand a chance. Maybe if I go to yoga every day for a decade, I might be able to get it half right? I expected it to be a damn mess, and it was. It really was. Pretty sure I need to see a chiropractor now.

Apparently human bodies just aren’t built the way that comic book artists think they are (I guess they never took an anatomy class), so Buzzfeed ended up having to Photoshop the images to make them look more like the original artwork.

Buzzfeed also documented the photo shoot on Youtube. I’ve embedded the video at the end of the post.

Now, some might defend the poses as artist’s prerogative, and it is true that each artist has the right to their interpretation. But that doesn’t deny the rest of us the fun of mocking the artists when they draw something that is so hilariously wrong as to be physically and physiologically impossible.

And that’s I think it’s past time we realize that these poses aren’t good art so much as they are the Mary Sue of comic books.

For those not familiar with the term, "Mary Sue" refers to a particular type of character which the reader can clearly recognize as "an idealized fictional character who saves the day through extraordinary abilities. Often but not necessarily this character is recognized as an author insert and/or wish-fulfillment".

To be fair, superheroes are halfway to being Mary Sue characters in the first place, but these poses are worse by several degrees. They combine male wish-fulfillment with really bad artwork, and they deserve to be mocked for it.

P.S. Can you suggest a term like "Mary Sue" to describe these poses? Has someone coined a term already? If not, we need one.


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