Overly-sexualized female gaming icons photoshopped to have average body types

These pictures are what our favorite female characters in video games would realistically look like, without companies over-sexualizing the female body.

Most of the time in media, women are held to almost biologically impossible standards, where most are told that beauty is for the skinny and the busty. We come face to face with this reality in magazines, television, movies, and even video games as they become more and more realistic.

Even though everywhere we look we see these dramatized depictions of women, our recent culture has fought back, and most of these interpretations are facing heavy criticism.

We are beginning to see a slow change in society as companies are starting to bring on normal sized models to show off their products while influential figures are preaching a more natural-looking beauty to young girls across the world.

But what about something that hits close to us as gamers? In video games, we barely see any plus sized women, and generally in all games beautiful women are still portrayed as comically skinny and busty.

Games have been becoming increasingly more realistic in every area except body types; how come the women in games aren't given realistic body types? Bullimia.com asks that question and has recently posted a set of photoshopped pictures of what these iconic female game characters would look like based on the average weight of an American women. 





With these images, Bulimia.com argues that the unrealistic body portrayal of fan-favorite characters can lead to young female gamers setting unrealistic benchmarks for themselves. Skewed images of fictional bodies could lead to self-doubt among girls along with negative obsessions that can lead to bulimia or anorexia, disorders that are already very frequent for women. 

In the end, these game developers and publishers have the power to change how they want to show off their female characters in-game and on their cover art. Just a tiny difference can lead to a huge revolution world-wide, as the effects would be experienced by millions of gamers, and the first company with enough courage to do so would surely be warmly received by the community.

And, just to point out, these characters are still as beautiful either way. The changes are pretty minimal.

Published Jul. 24th 2015
View Comments
  • Tilmitt
    What will you do once you have castrated every man
  • Y7_1846
    Meanwhile, men are set super unrealistic standards by games but no one gives a damn. I mean you get beheaded or fall off a 60 floor building and you're supposed to survive that. And you're supposed to know parkour, have accurate shooting skills, ski without a mistake all while having a perfectly sculpted muscle mass. And you can survive for weeks without food, toilet and shower!
  • David Fisher
    Featured Columnist
    Someone on 9gag just posted a bunch of cosplayers who displayed the "unrealistic proportions" that the bulimia page suggested. Here's the link if anyone is interested: http://9gag.com/gag/apB2yzE
  • UptownFunk
    Holy crap you guys, this was a campaign from an anti-Bulimia organization to help women from not being bulimic. How the crap are any of you against this? Most of this comment section is basically further affirming that people with bulimia should just keep on purging.

    Good job, jerks.
  • Capt. Eliza Creststeel
    Average? Some fair thick girls there and that's coming from an Amazon.

    So will these games of the future allow you play as a 300lbs basement living Momma's boy who's weakness he has a heart attack after 30 seconds of excersion?

    Sorry but some of these attempts to swing the pendulum are downright silly.
  • IntCel
    And I agree with some comments, men are portrayed the same, unrealistic way, although the nature of these ideals does require men to focus on workout, while the ultra skinny female ideal suggests more diet than workout, which leads to malnutrition.
    But all in all, games are entertainment for humans, which are not very different from the fecal-tossing monkeys they visit in the zoo. Give them guns, beer and modern imbecile mass-media entertainment and you won't even notice a difference.
  • !Xabbu
    Just want to point out that the photoshopped characters run a higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and a slew of other health problems, especially if they are based on the average weight of a country with an obesity epidemic.

    First sentence of Ashley SSS' third paragraph hit the nail on the head.
  • IntCel
    What a nonsense! Super slim and busty does not equal healthy! Neither does slightly more voluptuous equal unhealthily fat.
    There is a difference between healthy, feminine curves and an excessive fat depot on the belly. The USA may have an obesity problem, but that does not make every American automatically obese!
  • OrganisedDinosaur
    Ugh... I think everything I want to say has been said. To sum up however.
    1. Men are portrayed in precisely the same ideal manner.
    2. These characters are mostly ultra fit (fighters, soldiers and the like).
    3. Those body types are sure as hell not average where I am from (and I am not my ideal weight).
    4. THese modified images go too far the other way: That GTA girl would have much larger breasts if she was that weigh.. because that is how anatomy works. Her original image actually has perfectly realistically sized breasts for her size. The modified image increases weight and DECREASES breast size it would seem...
    5. Most importantly, this is fiction. If you are offended by fiction you need to rethink your life. Be happy with yourself and these things won't bother you.

    To sum it all up, I shall quote the wonderful Stephen Fry.
    “It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what."
  • Jackson Ingram
    I love this article! Body types in video games are so unrealistic, even for a fantasy setting. It's time for everyone to learn that you can be fit without being paper thin. You can be muscular, stocky, and yes, even chubby and STILL be healthy and capable. Just look at MMA fighters. They feature several different body types that can all obviously kick ass.
  • Autumn Fish
    Featured Correspondent
    I understand that people who are logically "healthier" and fit deserve to have body types to match. However, the same should also be said for other characters in video games.

    As a medium that spends an abnormal amount of time focusing on action and combat, it is pretty normal to see and play as slimmer, healthier body-types. However, what the industry desperately lacks is the diversity of body types where they would logically fit in.

    So yes, an expert martial artist generally has an excellent body. But why do women who are met with drastically different roles have to have the body of an expert martial artist?

    Imagine the common "sexy librarian" image, and then think about what librarians actually do. They keep books — which means they are probably also an avid reader of books. I have met people of all shapes and sizes who read books. Why can't we have a somewhat overweight librarian who can never seem to get her head out of a book? Why does every character have to look good for video game's sake?

    There is NOTHING wrong with having good-looking bodies in a video game. There's something wrong with having a lack of "other" bodies in mass-media as a whole.
  • Jay Ricciardi
    Very well put!
  • Jay Ricciardi
    I think it's an excellent point that games are often praised and touted for realism and yet body types, for men and women, are often miles away from being realistic or even sensical.
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    I always fail to see the problem with that in the first place though.
  • Ashley SSS
    Associate Editor
    So if we're going this route, we may as well make all the bulk dudes into flabby dudes too, right? Because equality and all.

    I don't believe anyone has the right to demand creators change their vision for the sake of making the thin-skinned comfortable with themselves, when instead they need to be working on learning to love themselves and not letting the portrayal of fictional characters affect them personally.

    Furthermore, the average weight of American women is higher than most other countries -- to say our weight standards are healthy is, frankly, absurd. And why would women who are clearly FIGHTERS like Helena from DoA, Tifa, and Christie (who are all martial artists) be overweight? You don't stay flabby when you're fighting all the time.

    I always feel like these types of "edits" are just to make the unmotivated feel better about themselves, and I say this as a woman is pretty well overweight (60lbs over, used to be 140lbs overweight). Being unhealthy is not something to be proud of and revel in, it's something you should strive to undo for your own long term comfort and to prolong your life. People who are overweight from adolescence into their 30's and above aren't comfortable, they have back and joint problems among other internal issues. Those issues just compound as you get older, and it gets more and more difficult to rectify them.

    Instead of projecting onto game characters, people need to learn to look at themselves and fix what's wrong or learn to love themselves for who they are instead of pointing the finger elsewhere and feeling threatened by fictional characters. These changes are unnecessary, and from a basic human level (not an "OMG my feelings are hurt" level), offensive.
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    This, so much this.

Cached - article_comments_article_25712
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