Over at Old School Gamers on facebook there have been a few posts going up about the impracticality of boob armor.
Interestingly, to me anyway, the arguments all seem to run along the lines of the functional impracticality of said armor rather than the sexualisation/objectification of the female depicted.
You can check out the Tor.com article It’s Time to Retire “Boob Plate” Armor. Because It Would Kill You. here.
Now personally, as a sex starved adolescent, I grew up on a steady diet of fantasy art like this:
And of course this:
So I think that the female fantasy figures that were sculpted in the 80's and 90's were following this paradigm. As a dirty young man, who is now a dirty old man, it didn't particularly bother me or strike the "too unreal for fantasy" nerve. Although I have never been one to question fantasy, or sci-fi for that matter, too carefully. It is not in my nature to try and poke holes in an adventure or campaign, but just go with whatever the story entails.
But I digress. I think there are really two main questions. What is the way to sculpt a feminine figure without over sexualization, and what influence do women and girls have on the miniature market?
I'm not a sculptor or particularly talented artist, and as can be seen by my various posts showcasing boobs I'm pretty adolescent in my outlook about nekkid women but I do have an opinion on this.
First and foremost I have a strong opinion about fantasy. I don't demand it to be real. If it were realism I was looking for my rpg character would be a coopers apprentice trying not to die of exposure or malnutrition, not a Half-Orc Warrior with a giant axe running around beating ass.
In my fantasy I want to look like this:
|Sorry dude. Just trying to make a point.|
Two women who I follow paint female figures very well and I hope that they might chime in and give their perspective. As a solo gamer I am doubly insulated from the women of the hobby and therefore don't have an inside view of the subject. The two women are Anne of O'Leary miniatures and Elaine from Atomic Floozy. They both are good painters Anne's style is perhaps more flirty, if you will, and Elaine is a gamer who tries to field all female forces. Tamsin of Wargaming Girl also comes to mind but I can't think of anything but male figures that she has done, being a hard core wargamer. I don't mean to call you ladies out you just happen to be women whose efforts I respect was curious what opinion, if any you had on the subject.
I've already gone on longer than intended so I'll try to wrap this up. The last thought is what I would like to use for gaming with my daughter. Personally I want to give her empowering role models, not sexpots. There's nothing wrong with being sexy but it can go too far. As an example lets look at some figures from Hasslefree of Kalee I came across today.
Next Football Kalee:
Kalee again sans armor:
Pretty much the same vibe for me as the last one. I may be a hypocrite, but that's how I feel.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is that maybe we dudes need to get over the Sears underwear/ National Geographic mentality about our miniatures while still being able to acknowledge our fantasy art roots.
If you made it this far:
And a palette cleanser:
Let me know what you think.