I’m not a big fan of staring at something hideous, shocking as that may be. Yeah it’s funny for a while, maybe even provides an interesting chance to role-play or twist a situation around. If I could I’d make my main character uglier than a horses ass in a dating sim, just to make sure nobody loves me for just my looks. of course the problem there is that I then have to stare at my ugly face for a extended period of time and quite frankly, I’m just not all that fond of playing as someone ugly or my idea of ugly at least.
I get it, we have a lot of ridiculously proportioned people in media and they propose an impossible standard…but then I found that has a hint to the problem in it’s very description. These aren’t ludicrous ideas of the human physique they are usually impossible ideas, bodies that bend in such fantastic ways despite not being made of jelly. As human beings we are allowed to have fantasies and ideals to ogle and aspire. The problem arises when people think that anything short if that ideal is the most hideous thing in the world, that and the fact that comparing to ideals in all aspects of life is really meaningless.
Some people look at themselves and think that being able to have even the slightest bit of tummy to pinch makes them ugly and gross, someone I once had a crush on felt she was fat when she was in fact a very healthy weight. What boggles my mind is why you would compare yourself to something that is clearly altered, we all know that the images on a magazines cover are airbrushed and edited. Maybe then we don’t all know, perhaps some education is required to inform the younger minds that the images they compare themselves to are fakes.
I’ve never compared myself to these ridiculous standards simply because I see it logically: this is a wish for the human form and nothing more, the attempts to reach it such as the “Size 0” body size is horrifying and grotesque, it is simply an extreme that holds no value. I know that I’ve always drawn a very thick line, like Grand Canyon thick, between reality and fiction be it video games or otherwise. Yeah I like to look at the attractive girls on my team, no it hasn’t warped my mind as to what a person should look like or act, they are characters in a video game, roles in a movie or book. There may be a problem with the frequency of these portrayals but that doesn’t mean they are inherently the problem or even wrong.
What baffles me is the desire to put forward this idea of the attractive “average” person, to promote seeing beauty in the more likely physique of people. While I approve of the concept it seems that everybody insists that the creators of various mediums must push forward this idea while the parents of those who suffer from these delusions of beauty and the human form continue their normal lives.
Maybe it’s just me but I’ll be making damn sure my son or daughter are aware of the differences between a normal persons body and a ideal persons body, the staggering lengths people go to reach them and the damage caused by doing so. They will know that this character before them is a fantasy, a person who cannot be real by the limitations of your very body, boobs like that just don’t work on a frame like that, plus the proportions make it look comical.
I don’t like overly-sexualized anything, it just has a bad taste for me. Personally I prefer a striking balance between sexuality and depth of personality, sexuality should be a part of the puzzle not the finished thing. I see people getting angry and shouting hateful words about something that is sexualized, as if sexuality is something that cannot be incorporated in a character of any merit. Do I think that some of these people have a misunderstanding? Yes. Do I suspect some of these people have terrible body images and don’t like seeing attractive members of the same sex? Sometimes, it might be true and it might not.
It most certainly can be true though.
Without thinking I have made my party an all female group beside my main character in my gaming experiences. I didn’t consciously choose this because they were attractive I did it because they were the least irritating and most functional. However, on a deeper level it probably played a decent part. If I think a character is attractive and I can tolerate or perhaps even enjoy their personality, they get special treatment. Shocking I know. Sometimes I may even think that the visual appeal is strong enough to outweigh all the negatives I may find, unless it hits a very specific nerve of course.
If a character has a nice personality but a visually unappealing design? Well I’ll appreciate the personality for sure but I’d rather have the good looking people around me all the time. I have been called vain for doing so. I say it is vain to prioritise personality over body and body over personality. Not the dictionary definition no but I think the mentality of putting one aspect above anything else is the mentality of vanity and it fits for me. I don’t wanna play the ugly character and I don’t like looking at ugly people, the word “ugly” can be very circumstantial as is the word “attractive” so frankly it’s pretty hard to design around, character design can be very damn tricky.
If you or someone you know compares real life people to fictional ones, the problem is not that the fictional people exist. The problem is that you don’t have the basic observational skills to draw a line between what is an ideal and what is actually possible. I don’t think attractive people in fiction will ever go away and in the hilarious hypothetical that they did? Well we will just compare ourselves to the normal attractive people with bodies we might not even be able to achieve, it is a destructive mentality. I don’t like it when someone is portrayed as a purely physical form unless that is what they are suited to be, people very rarely fit that requirement but occasionally it might work.
I like women so damn much I couldn’t write all the words down in a lifetime to explain it. I like surrounding myself with attractive characters and that is damn well fine. I like watching an anime with cute girls doing cute things, however I know that what I see isn’t real and to attempt to achieve it in reality is futile.
I’ve never felt bad for liking and enjoying the female form but dammit that is surprising sometimes when there is so much hate on having anything sexy or attractive in anything as it promotes “an impossible standard”. Yeah, impossible. That’s exactly why I don’t hold anyone to that standard and no one should. We just have a lot of people who compare themselves to the result of the human imagination and a lot of people who feel it is okay or normal to compare the average person to the result of the human imagination.
The problem isn’t that there are attractive characters, the problem is that there are far too many people who hate what they see in the mirror. These kind of people existed before magazines and media gave us fictional people to compare to, let’s solve their body image problems before we start pointing fingers at anything else. Please.
What games have starred some really good looking characters to you? Have you ever realised you are being somewhat biased because someone is attractive, video game or otherwise? How do you think we can get at this issue of terrible body image in young people without just removing all the better looking people? Thanks for the read and I’ll see you later.