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let me emphasize that I don’t think it’s wrong to like Morrigan and Isabela’s outfits, and as I said originally, I’ve come to enjoy their designs as I fell in love with the characters. I’ve defended Isabela’s outfit as allowing freedom of movement and distraction in fighting before, for example. I’m not gonna complain about sexy fanart of both of them looking fabulous in their default clothes.
But yesterday I saw more than one poster claiming that Matt Rhodes’s comments about sexist tropes being okay sometimes is totally true because look at Morrigan and Isabela! People like them! Therefore boob windows and battle bikinis are fine.
That is not convincing to me at all. Because they are not unproblematic, and personally I would love to see them appear in the future with more functional armor.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wearing skimpy clothes. But I’m ambivalent about defending a default of covered-up men and scantily-clad women. In character designs, I would really like to see them lean on these kinds of elements less, especially in combat. Sure, in origins I enjoy having everyone running around in their skivvies from time to time. These characters are attractive. I’d be a giant hypocrite to complain after replaying James Vega doing pull-ups as many times as I have, lol. But when you send Vega or Alistair into the field to fight, they’re wearing real armor. In the promotional materials, they are clothed. In the promotional materials, Morrigan is always in her string bikini, and Isabela is always dressed that way. There is no other option. There is no other way to see them than as sexualized figures. And for Isabela especially that’s where the vast majority of players’ understanding of her stops. That’s really, really frustrating.
"when you send Vega or Alistair into the field to fight, they’re wearing real armor. In the promotional materials, they are clothed.” «< this this this
and, as dreadwulf pointed out in another post, Isabela’s appearance in Dragon Age Origins conveyed that she was sexy and athletic without boob window (it had boob *plate* which isn’t good, but it more or less looked like standard rogue armour). It is totally possible to put your rogues and wizzies in sexy armour that actually protects. (I was about to type “maybe not so much warriors”, but then I remembered that if you’re a game art designer it is LITERALLY YOUR JOB THAT YOU GET PAID FOR to work that stuff out.)
Having said all that, I’m REALLY enjoying Gail Simone’s Red Sonja comics at the moment.
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