4 thoughts on “Sexy or Sexualized No. 8

  1. The first is certainly interesting, given the era, but definitely strikes me as sexualized. There is not really a plausible reason for a woman in heels and stockings and skirt to be climbing down from a pier into a small rowboat. The colors and lines and positioning all tells us the important part of the picture is between her upper legs. Given the era, showing garter is pinup-worthy (aka fapping material). Even in our era of see-through outfits and undergarments sometimes being shown or worn without anything else, we “know” the tease is more than the reveal.

    The second I get a yes and no. The pose and obvious padded bulge certainly make that part of what we see, but in the end the bright color is the mark on his chest and his outstretched fist – not particularly sexual – and the reason for what is happening makes sense. (Well, as much sense as any cough magical girl transformation cough ever made sense in comic book / manga land.) My impression is magical suit going on, not coming off to reveal more, and he’s a superhero who will promptly be busy saving the world. Maybe not “real”, but at least not crafted solely to excite sexual interest.

    One other point of interest between the two is the detail of the background. The first has very little. We are supposed to only see and focus on her. There’s no horizon, no distant landscape, no distinction between water the boat is on and sky. The second has a lot of detail, and distraction. Someone spent time drawing in a planet (and not just a smooth sphere, but land and ocean and lights) with rings and symbol, moon, clouds, and stars.

    • The Green Lantern picture can as easily be read as coming off. It’s part of what’s interesting about having this question posed on this picture. The bulge is infinitely more noticeable than the lantern on his chest and I think the picture makes that point extremely well. The dude is definitely sexualized. We’re not supposed to think of his heroic powers or powerful suit or magic. The eye is drawn, willing or not, to the crotch and what’s left to follow is “what will I see if his suit comes completely off?”.

      I think the picture of the woman is on the sexy side. Old style pin-ups tend to get sexy right more often than not. It’s about teasing and leaving all the hot details to the imagination and this picture does it well. Also, sailors aren’t the only people that climb into boats so I guess I don’t see this as a strange setup. What’s the reason she can’t be getting into a rowboat? Her outfit? It’s perfectly casual, I don’t see why not. The rise in her skirt is also practical: you can’t climb a ladder with your skirt down, at least not without risking tripping up. I don’t know …I think the old pin-up gets sexy right.

  2. Funny just how different perspective can be.

    I agree that my eyes were immediately drawn to the Green Lantern’s crotch bulge, but the question of what it looks like under isn’t what came to mind because given the shape I assume protective cup, and the rest of the busy-ness in the picture quickly pulls my eyes other ways leaving the bulge to history. Oddly, the idea the costume was coming off rather than on never even crossed my mind – possibly due to the fact we almost never watch them (superheros/magical girls) change back into normal clothes.

    Meanwhile, a woman dressed like that getting into a rowboat is going to snag up her stockings, be constantly fighting to keep her skirt down if there’s any breeze, and either sit awkwardly or be intentionally flashing peeks. With a skirt that flowy, yes you could climb down. A-line skirts would be more trouble, but also wouldn’t pull up. I will agree that it gets sexy right, but that doesn’t negate the fact it is sexualized. She has no purpose in that picture other than to be a pinup, a picture to be aroused by.

    • These differing perspectives are what I like most about this series. Gets right to the heart of “what do YOU see in the picture” and makes lots of room to talk about sexualization. Thanks for commenting!

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