Sexy or Sexualized No. 9

I present you with Katarina from League of Legends! Caveat: Riot has really done a great job in recent years of acknowledging the shortcomings of their art and in diversifying it. They won’t be getting rid of sexualized characters …something that continues to be problematic. But I think they’ve been trying to be more inclusive. That said, equal opportunity sexualization isn’t a great solution.

Is there anything inherently wrong with sexualization?


Sexy or Sexualized No. 7

Gotta love the Hawkeye Initiative. It takes something people are undecided about and makes it so clear to see.

The past few weeks it’s seemed difficult for us to tell when something is simply sexy, and I guess that actually makes sense. Sexy is subjective. It’s about attraction. I may find something attractive that you don’t. But isn’t there a commonly or popularly understood definition for sexy too? Sure. We can tell when a picture is trying to be sexy in our culture. It still might not attract us in that way though.

Sexualization on the other hand …well. It’s like looking at Greek columns and knowing an Ionic from a Corinthian.

Sexy or Sexualized No. 6

You’ll need to click each one to see the full picture.

Even after all the hoopla, the new Lara turned out to be rather well done. It took some time for the marketing photos to come out, but when they did she looked like a real action hero. Seeing the old next to the new is a really big contrast. Now the only question is: sexy or sexualized? Or both?

Sexy or Sexualized No. 3


Remember: the question isn’t whether you personally find these character sexy or not. The question is: what is sexualization and what does it look like?

The more I go over these photos (I’ve started somewhat of a collection), the more easily I can see what sexualization looks like. It seems tangled up in our quest to want to be be attractive for one another and it questions what it means when we self-determine what shape our sexuality takes …and when that sexuality is being assumed and imposed.