Get That Chick A Suit Of Armor!

Armor

Let’s talk about female armor for a bit. And by “female armor” I mean those amazing chainmail bikini tops and pieces of cloth that — somehow — protects the wearer from being impaled by sharp objects (ZING!) like spears, swords and arrows.

Now, from a personal standpoint the typical fantasy armor (or lake thereof) doesn’t offend me off nor make me feel objectified. To me it’s just fantasy. It’s fiction. It’s a tongue-in-cheek part of the lore. That being said, I definitely appreciate a badass chick in a full-fledged suit of armor, and I’d be lying if I said the appearance of the female character didn’t have an effect on how I perceive her. For example, when you have a female clunking around in head-to-toe metal-stuff you’re not constantly reminded that she’s female by her protruding chest — and, erm, what? I’m sorry, did that character just have a pivotal moment? Boobs. All I remember seeing are boobs. And did you see that ass?!

But seriously, if a character is having a climatic moment but all the camera focuses on are her Jigglypuffs, it can be hard to take the scene — and/or character — seriously. Like, why else would her ta-tas be bouncing about if it were not meant to be aesthetically pleasing? As in, catch your eye? OH DAMMIT I MISSED THAT PIVOTAL MOMENT AGAIN.

Anyway, regardless of your stand on female armor you should check out Repair Her Armor. The tumblr blog is “dedicated to show and change the looks of ridiculous female armors (and other outfits) that women tend to have in media; such as games and comics.”

Here’s an example of the author’s work:

armor 2

Peruse the site and let me know what you think!

 

 

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  • Rachel Lynn H.

    I agree. It is weird to see cleavage like that during battle moments. They look like roleplaying strippers, those women. Not females going into battle

    • britt5091

      MAYBE THEY’LL PERFORM THE “STRIP TEASE OF DEATH” AND CAUSE 50 POISON DAMAGE EVERY TEN SECONDS. Or something.

  • Karl

    Honestly, I prefer the stripperiffic version, thank you

  • ThePinkPhantom

    slender, toned stomach: -5 to hit, barely covered bosom: -10 to hit, nearly revealed nether regions: -16 to hit, the look on his face when she disembowels him after he misses her: priceless.

    • britt5091

      Oooh THAT’s how it works. 😉

  • Jaym Esch

    I saw that article- also one with female superheroes re-envisioned with more clothes on.

    I’m pro-less armor/clothing.

    I know, it’s not the popular / politically correct answer, but I always stand against what I see as an attack by conservative prudishness.

    Since these are games, and therefore not real, the “performance” of armor is unnecessary and it’s all about the style. Adding sex to the mix is never a bad thing- after all, sexuality is the fundamental human experience.

    I see the move to add more clothing in these instances as a further example of the hypocritical outrage coming from many (obviously not all) of the same people who protest 0.5 seconds of a nipple during a live TV broadcast… when in 2013, we should- as an enlightened nation of adults- have full nudity and sexual scenes allowed on basic primetime cable. Have kids? Don’t let them watch if you’re upset. Yes, you can stop them, because as a good parent you are in control… right? You’re offended? Watch a show that doesn’t contain the sexual content.

    See, one thing people need to understand is that not everyone gets to have sexuality in their private lives. Yet it is THE experience our species revolves around- love, and all its variations… including sex. Those of us who are without- and many end up that way through no fault of our own (Alone 4 Evarrrrr! #sigh) still require that vital component in our lives. The only way I get sexuality is through my pop culture experiences. My two seconds of seeing favorite actress X nude in her latest movie is the closest I get to a woman. And that’s true for millions of others, both male and female. Problems arise if you seek to squash the natural state (casual attitudes toward sexuality) and button everyone up. Then you create a void in millions of people’s lives that they need to replace, or suffer damages to their mental and physical health. That means sporting a conservative attitude towards these matters leads to an increase in sexual assaults and other societal ills. (Not that all deprived will act out in such a way, but statistically it would increase the rates.)

    I don’t mind the violence, either, when it fits the story or theme. I would like to see less of the culture of gun-lust portrayed though… the statistical misrepresentation of gun fights as long, drawn out affairs of romance they truly aren’t, as this compounds the gun violence crisis we face. And then there’s climate change… oh, wait, I forgot this was about the armor… Pardon me, I get carried away on such matters. =P

    Yeah, I know, shame on me for my contrary view. Some of the women from my honors women’s studies classes I took in college would be upset. (You’d be surprised at how many would agree, though!)

    Oh- and so I don’t leave it assumed I’m applying this to the women only…. I’m not! If people want men running around naked go for it. Such things haven’t stopped me from enjoying great shows like Rome, Da Vinci’s Demons, or Game of Thrones. Equality in sex is great! (The reason it happens more with women is because the fit female form is inherently beautiful, whereas the fit male form is… well, you’ve seen penises. They’re pretty stupid looking. =P)

    Last point- I am absolutely fine with characters design with full armors/outfits, etc. from the start too… I simply don’t want to see ALL characters that way, or a movement to squash the occurrence from happening.

    • Christopher Tkachuk

      “Those of us who are without- and many end up that way through no fault of our own (Alone 4 Evarrrrr! #sigh) still require that vital component in our lives.”

      This is the most selfish and sexist reason I can think of for wanting women to be naked in media.

      • Jaym Esch

        Seeking a source to fill the deepest need of our nature, that should already be available in an enlightened society yet is lacking due to warped attitudes, is selfish?

        I most vigorously disagree, unless you’re also fond of not breathing, or not drinking anything wet.

        Nothing I said is remotely sexist, so that’s a toss out.

        • Christopher Tkachuk

          If you can’t find a woman for yourself there are probably a multitude of reasons, some to do with you, some to do with the women you attempt to go out with. However, your argument that I quoted is entirely sexist and selfish. It’s saying “Women need to wear little-to-no clothing in the media I consume because I’m lonely!”

          If you can’t see how that’s sexist, then you’re part of the problem here.

    • Ace

      Game of Thrones does not show sexual equality, it doesn’t hesitate to show a violently murdered naked woman, but we are extremely sheltered from the suggestion of a man’s penis being mutilated, I don’t need or enjoy either of those visuals, but even in the loving, consensual sex is pretty female focused, just because the popular vote leans toward women’s bodies being more beautiful doesn’t mean there aren’t people who want to see just as much penis, I sure do!
      The same goes toward video games, if women’s armor doesn’t need to be practical because it is not only fiction but fantasy, then why don’t I see more bulging metal and leather codpieces with a thong in the back? I’ll take some nice “300” style warriors dressed in little more than sweat and muscle, but I so often hear that games “aren’t made for women”, so it doesn’t matter what I want.
      “Conservative attitudes” are dangerous, they believe a woman’s naked body is perfectly acceptable in fantasy while covering most of a man’s skin, but in the real world people make a fuss over public breast feeding and blame women for being raped because of their clothing but men can go shirtless all summer long and let their asses hang out of their pants. Conservative or Liberal, I’m not seeing equality happening.

      • Derrick Daarud

        Honestly the only reason we don’t see 300 style bulging penises is a lack of a market for it. Also for some reason society views the penis as being more heinous to show than the vagina. Seriously every time there is a dick out in the open that isn’t in a porno shoot it is the talk of the town. OH MY GAWD THEY SHOWED THEONS COCK!

        Conservative attitudes are inherently opposed to equality because that would require a change in social law. Liberals are atleast open to change. But Politics is a shell game

    • Densoro

      Thing is, the presentation of cheap sexual thrill like incomplete armor has nothing to do with expressions of love — or even expressions of SEX. The nuances of attraction — tone of voice, cadence, facial expression, lighting, interpersonal chemistry and emotional attachment — can’t be replaced by something as simplistic as ‘lol you can see half of my boob hanging out.’ What really limits sexual development is this idea that sex is as simple as seeing another person’s bare skin, because it doesn’t allow for things like artistic nudity, for the understanding that a person’s naked form is beautiful even outside of having sex with them, that it can be appreciated in other ways. They live their entire life in that body, so admiration for it should be shown in just as comprehensive a way.

      And the fact is, it IS 2013 — so the internet can provide you with all the sexual stimulation you need xD

      The problem remains that ordinary women playing these games want an avatar that they can respect — that can earn them some basic respect while they play. But instead of getting an armored badass who can take a punch, they get some squealing 19 year old anime girl in lingerie. And by the same token, guys such as myself who want to play as somebody beautiful and elegant are also stuck with the half-covered D-cups.

      If I wanted to design the most attractive female fantasy character possible, I’d fully clothe her, because nothing gets me going like a woman who takes her combat seriously, and who has more character traits than ‘looks good at the beach.’ That gives me somebody I can get to know, somebody with a mind, somebody who knows that there’s a time and place for everything — take the boobs out when you want them loved on, but dress for the weather when you’re going about your day. Just like a real human being.

      Also, I think you’re biased in regards to beauty xD I agree that penises look weird (though chances are, people who like penis disagree), but the rest of the male body has just as many curves as the female one, just in different places. That’s what makes anatomy so beautiful in the first place: the natural shape, the form and the function. S’what I mean about truly appreciating a person’s body. Yes, sex is natural, but so is everything else about them.

  • Christopher Tkachuk

    Armour on women characters in battle, please, unless their entire story or mythology is built up around them using their form to distract before a kill. Same goes for men.

    There’s something to be said for suspension of disbelief, but suspension of disbelief can only go so far when you know about science. Science says the “sexy” armours are a death trap, quite literally. When a character is SUPPOSED to be wearing heavy plate, they should be shown wearing heavy plate except in a few rare circumstances. Those circumstances are in the case of more fanciful RPG’s in which it allows a certain customization to the player. An MMORPG like SWTOR, for example, would allow these circumstances, no matter how ridiculous it looks for a slip of a woman with a lightsaber and a gold bikini to go up against a rancor. However, in a game or media with a more serious style, a woman’s armour should be representative of what actually works.

    It’s not a conservative thing, it’s a dignity and a realism thing.

    • Derrick Daarud

      It is a conservative thing, these characters live in fantasy realms where Magic enchantments on their armor gives them super strength. If realism was to rule the fantasy genre we would have to get rid of anything that glows cause that would be a target for archers, Warriors could not have Pauldrons the size of bear skulls because that would block their vision and they would not be able to lift their arms above their neckline. Also we wouldn’t have women on the front lines because unless they are Brienne of Tarth the sheer difference in force generation that a man could put out compared to women in a single blow would mean that Male characters would win in Melee combat every single time. History and science is not kind to women in a realistic Fantasy setting.

      • Christopher Tkachuk

        Yup. Totally a conservative thing. That’s why in the SAME ROLE a female character will be scantily clad and a male will be wearing full plate. So the woman absolutely has to be wearing some chainmail bikini but the guy has to be wearing full plate mail because… magic? Even your argument makes no logical sense.

        Your entire argument is predicated on MMO logic, of which stats vs. looks there is none. In terms of a logical world, you know, with rules about things (even magical worlds with rules) being consistent is important. Why would the woman wear a chainmail bikini into battle in the first place? What, the distraction factor, of which there is proven to be so little as to be negligible? Magically enchanting a chainmail bikini so that it can protect like full plate still provides no explanation as to why a woman warrior would wear such in the first place.

        • Derrick Daarud

          “Even your argument makes no logical sense.”
          “Your entire argument is predicated on MMO logic”
          wait what?
          If a chainmail bikini and the plate armor gives the same quality of protection (going to assume through magic) most people would actually choose the bikini since freedom of movement would be paramount it would also give much more room for customization like wearing furs over it or being much more cool in a hot climate. There logic for wearing the bikini is that all you actually wanted? Oh wait now we logic for the guys to wear the full plate they dont like the way the bikini string makes their ass look.

          You also seem to glaze over the main point that women even in full plate in a more realistic world would be beaten every time by their male counterparts. The only actual way to depict a female in a more realistic fantasy setting isn’t to give her full plate unless she is like Brienne of Tarth a much bigger and stronger girl. Or you restrict them to roles that favor dexterity, finesse over ferocity. My question to you is simple do you want to restrict the game creators to more realism and thusly restrict what roles female characters can play or give the creators free reign to explore what amounts to fashion design and let female characters be what they want. Because a lady in full plate and a woman in a chain mail bikini are equally illogical in a more realistic world.

          • Christopher Tkachuk

            The logic here is ridiculous. If you could impart the same quality of protection, through magic, to any material… why use either? Why not use comfortable and practical clothing? Something that would be flexible and useful? Chainmail bikinis would chafe terribly. If a chainmail bikini is used for freedom of movement… why not use something better, like, oh, expertly fit leathers? Why use a bikini? Why use objectifying clothing at all?

            You seem to glaze over the fact that the ENTIRE justification for chainmail bikinis and similar ridiculous armours is either “Magic!” or when that doesn’t work “Artistic freedom!” while providing no internal supporting logic in the world itself. Why would a man wear plate mail when he could get the same protection through from enchanted dextrous leather clothing and be able to move faster and easier? Yet it still happens with stunning regularity that the same level of protection is divided between plate on the male side and chainmail bikini on the female side. A man fighting in a chainmail speedo is as equally valid as a woman fighting in a chainmail bikini in a world where magic provides that both protect as equally as full plate.

          • Derrick Daarud

            just using a little MMO logic. Metal is needed for the enchantments to work. There, now they can’t use Leather that is fitted to them it has to be metal. I am making this up on the fly so it isn’t going to be a perfectly fleshed out world. Now it is really down to how you want to fashionably wear your enchanted metal armor. I choose to wear my pants as a cock sock (this isn’t going to be fun.) and for my chest piece I choose a half shirt. Yes in this world I choose to have my character wear less than a chainmail speedo.

            The overall point I am trying to make is that these fantasy worlds don’t necessarily make sense in the real world. they don’t even make sense in somewhat real worlds. The rules of these fictitious realities are like putty in the hands of the development team. It is a consistant theme in while leveling in games that somethings do not look like they should provide equivalent protection but they end up providing somehow better protection (MMORPGS are the ones usually guilty of this.) It is a part of the normal leveling up process and adds to the fiction that these peices are more about their enchantments than what they actually look like. Hell World of Warcraft has a system where you can give the stats of your much better armor to far lower level armor (Which definitely looks lower level.) This system is essentially in the lore of a well established franchise now. So it literally does not matter How much armor your character is physically wearing they can have the equivalent armor to a tank. By the rules of an already defined franchise a metal bikini can have as much armor as the male equivalent. What isn’t fair is that there is no speedo option for Male characters without getting rid of your actual armor.

          • Christopher Tkachuk

            See, you made up a rule on the spot which is ALREADY contradicted by any fantasy MMO that you can play. Take World of Warcraft for instance. You can enchant anything you want, be it cloth, metal, leather, whatever.

            The point I am trying to make is that even video games and MMOs need to have some sort of internal supporting logic which makes sense inside that universe. Often in cases where these sorts of armors are portrayed, the logic seems to be “LOL BOOBIEZ” rather than anything that really makes sense. Any good storyteller or group of storytellers tries to remove as much inconsistency in their universe as possible, and just because you CAN make a woman wear next to nothing doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

          • Derrick Daarud

            I didn’t make up a rule which is contradicted by any Fantasy MMO I just described the World of Warcraft Transmogrification system. Where you can give the stats of your fancy higher armor/level items to lower level ones but they must be the same armor class (Cloth, leather, mail and plate.) There are also universal enchantments which can be applied to any piece of equipment regardless of what type of material it is made of. This is a system that exists in the Lore as created by the Dev’s so that people could make their character look how they wanted without sacrificing performance.
            The point I am trying to make is that Video game logic is flexible according to what the developers want it to be. Yes any good group of story tellers will try to make their universe’s rules as concise as possible. But they achieve this by either getting rid of the inconsistency or creating a extra set of rules or circumstances that made the inconsistency possible.
            It is a matter of whether you pay attention to how they explain it. if you don’t know the lore Chain mail bikinis will bug the crap out of you.

  • Super Apartment Bros

    It definitely distracts from taking a character/event seriously, just like in real life! There’s a proper way to dress, and then there’s just dressing for attention/fanservice.

  • lilylips

    What I don’t understand is at conventions WHY females always have to pick the skimpy looking versions of the avatars and outfits with them. And if it doesn’t have a skimpy look they make one to show off or make a female version of a male character to do the same super skimpy. People have lost thier minds all they can seem to see now a days is that sex sells. And that is why in comics games and movies outfits get smaller and smaller they don’t care as much anymore about a good story even.

    • Christopher Tkachuk

      Some women choose the scantily clad, some don’t. It all depends on whether they like the character and that look. It still doesn’t give men or women a free pass to ogle or shame them for their choice.

  • Derrick Daarud

    Holy Moly now this is a conversation! Alright so I am Ok with scantily clad fantasy and comic characters simply because I believe in artistic freedom. That as artists charged with creating a world of infinite possibilities we are allowed to break conventional rules for what we find to be alluring.

    Not to shift the argument but Most of the artists in charge of these games are dudes as men outnumber women in the gaming Industry by a significant margin. So what the often Male artists find alluring is the scantily clad form of a female. It has nothing to do with disrespecting the female form in fact we are literally drawn to it.

    On to the other big reason why this sort of Over-sexualization probably is not going to change any time soon. Players like it, not just male players but female players as well (I am mostly talking about games here.) I have been in several role playing and raiding guilds where girls will play up their femininity because they simply like the attention (Roleplayers do it with outfits and they aren’t always girls. Raiders tend to do so by being flirtatious on vent.) And it is ok to like attention! HUMAN BEINGS LIKE GETTING ATTENTION.

    Alright now on to why artists make women scantily clad warriors. It is because they are trying to visually sell that the character is both a bad ass and that she is sexy. Both are qualities that are actually important to both genders Men like to look at sexy women and women like to be sexy and everyone enjoys a badass. The problem comes from a lack of overall direction of a character you can have a badass sexy female character who is wearing just as much metal as a man if you write her to be that way or even exclude her sexuality entirely if the writing is there but in the case of MMO’s the player defines who that character is in their own head. So the only input the creative team is left with is armor choices. which takes us back to paragraph 1.

    Mind you this whole thesis of mine relies on a relatively short development cycle both games and comics tend to gravitate towards this sort of thing early on in their history. The more established a franchise is the more likely they are to move away from hyper-sexualized costuming. Just look at Warcrafts armor sets you could almost make a graph of how many metal thongs there are with Vanilla having the highest number and Mists having the lowest. Artists get bored of designing scantily clad women and start adding a little normalcy. Soul Caliber eventually got Hilde. Comics stopped using Liefield so much. Ms. Marvel became Captain Marvel and stopped showing so much leg, Wonder Woman got pants!

    I enjoy both types of designs but one should not replace the other because it would just be censorship. Ladies and gentlemen who do not like Scantily clad bad asses, You should be pushing for more ladies in the gaming industry as well as more niche fantasy genre who leans towards woman having more armor. Do not try to change what is already there. Painting over another artists work to hide intended half nudity is like chiseling off a greek statues penis and putting a leaf where it used to be, It is a dick move : P But luckily we live in a digital era where that kind of bible thumping slut shaming does not ruin the original. Though the blogger did a good job with the Liefield stuff…His art work is terrible.

    TL;DR everyone loves sexy ladies and respect the original artists work. Support Ladies in the gaming industry.

    • Christopher Tkachuk

      Your argument boils down to: Everyone objectifies women and treats them like objects, so it’s OK!

      • Derrick Daarud

        Really? So in your mind if you depict women as being sexy it is objectification? I also feel like reminding you that I am not talking about real people here. They are fake people who are created by artists. I stand by the artists right to depict their make believe people in whatever manner they please if that happens to be a lady in sexy armor then that is ok.
        What you also glaze over or fail to comprehend is that I am saying is that it can be changed without violating other peoples creation. By getting more women in the gaming industry you can have fantasy games with Women wearing functional heavy armor.

        • Christopher Tkachuk

          A woman being sexy and a woman with her bits hanging out is absolutely different. The first can be a wide variety of things and can be portrayed through entirely non-objectifying means, while the second is a cheap thrill and entirely objectifying. While some characters are written as such that they would have their bits hanging out and dress provocatively, in many cases it would not be true to that character and yet that is how they are dressed by an artist.

          What you fail to realize, here, is that while an artist has the right to draw however they wish, anyone else has the right to criticize said art, for good or for ill. Just as you have the right to defend said artistic creation, I have just as much right to say that objectifying women in any way is wrong and that by continuing to say that it’s OK is only perpetuating the problem longer.

          • Derrick Daarud

            I actually do think that female characters should have less of their bits hang out and a bit more writing applied to them so that they are more interesting (Sexually or otherwise) instead of depending on character art to define them. But I am a sucker for a good character.
            I think criticizing Art is absolutely a paramount right. Be my guess criticize away. I am not trying to restrain you from critiquing game art, I just don’t think it should be changed in game to fit your opinion (which happens a lot.)
            I also have the right to criticize your criticism in that I don’t think that bikini style armor is objectifying of women. Because these aren’t real people and they exist in a world that bares no resemblance to reality and thusly have no real impact on how I view real women.
            You are right Objectifying women is wrong and is something people have to work to curb on a daily basis. I just don’t see this type of fantasy work to be guilty of objectification.

          • Christopher Tkachuk

            That’s the problem. It’s a guilt-free way for many people to objectify women, because they are representations of the female form. It’s like saying “this picture of a model isn’t objectifying her because it’s a picture!” which is obviously inherently ridiculous.

          • Derrick Daarud

            yeah but we aren’t dealing with a model we are dealing with whole cloth fake people. Something that never was real and will never be real. When you start to claim abstractions of people have the same impact as the actual person it blurs the line between reality and the absurd.

            for example “That kid is drawing a picture of a stick figure with giant C’s for boobs. That stick figure has no personality at all She is just a pair of tits to that little misogynist! Timmy go the to corner and think about all the bad things you did.”

            There is a very distinct line between real and fake. You can take a picture of a model and copy it a thousand times. You can trace the picture, it doesn’t change the fact that she is a real person you are objectifying.

            A drawing as you said represents the female form, It also represents the elf form. and as much as you try to make it realistic by rendering it giving it ultra realistic skin textures it will never be a real living being. In fact the more realistic you make a fake person the more it creeps real people out It is called the valley of the uncanny. In our gut we know the difference between a real living person and a make believe person. It is the same reason why Call of Duty doesn’t turn people into killers. Scantily clad women in a video game don’t make you see real women as objects for your gratification.
            Unless you believe that Video games make people violent?

  • Douglas Reiner

    reminds me of ivy i think her name was from soul calibur lol.

    • Mandible

      Speaking of soul calibur, Hilde had full armor.