Why I don't play League of Legends: sexualization
League of Legends gets a lot of publicity for its toxic environment, its gameplay, and its champions. But I don't see many people talking about the blatantly sexualized female characters. C'mon. It's pretty hard not to notice.
Miss Fortune, pictured in the header, has big breasts and a small waist. There are some women with such proportions, but the majority of women do not look like this. Breast size varies, so I can't argue against the size of Miss Fortune's, but her waist is ridiculously small as compared to the majority of women. The yellow line across her waist was copied and moved down to her leg. Keep in mind that it was moved down the leg to a part just above the knee, a smaller part. This waist line is actually a little smaller than that part of the leg.
Now take into account these two real life cosplays done by KNami and RayRayRaww on Deviantart.
The line across their waists was shifted down to the about the same point that it's on Miss Fortune's leg. You can see that, in real life, women's waist sizes are bigger than than that of their leg sizes, not smaller. They're bigger by quite a bit, too. Miss Fortune's waist size is just too small.
Her top doesn't cover much of anything at all. You can clearly see the tops of her breasts (I'm surprised she's even wearing a top considering how much she's exposing). Her stomach is clearly visible for everyone to see. Upon zooming in, you can see that her pants aren't even covering her skin properly either. There are gaps within her pants that reveal the entire side of her leg. Consider how far down her pants are as well. Her bellybutton is really high up and her pants aren't. Any lower and you would probably be able to see all of her business. Either that, or the proportions on her body are just as far off as they are with her waist. Again, it brings up the question of why she is even wearing pants if so much is being revealed.
She's even presented in a sexualized position. She's twisted so as to present both her breasts and her butt. There's a huge curve in her back. You can see the heavy make-up on her face with the red lipstick standing out even against her red hair and the heavy eye liner. She's even blowing on the smoke of her right gun, which forms into a heart. A heart. She is clearly made to be seductive.
What about the rest of the female champions?
Some Don't Qualify
I will clarify that not all of the female League of Legends champions are sexualized. Some of them are normal, like Kayle who is pictured left (even though you do get to look directly at her breasts). However, there are ones that are really bad. I tore apart Miss Fortune just to explain how bad it can be. Tearing apart every single one would take days and make this article much longer than you would probably care to read. Think about this though: right now there are 126 champions in League of Legends. Out of those, 42 of them are female. We can immediately cut out Anivia and Rek'Sai because they are not even humanoid characters. Orianna can be cut since she's a machine made up of clockwork parts. Annie, Lulu, Poppy, and Tristana can also be cut because they are children or childlike, and it would just be plain creepy if they were sexualized. That leaves us with 35 female characters. I've already mentioned Kayle as being relatively normal. Karma and Riven also fall into this category. We're now down to 32.
Many of the female champions are in-between. This list makes up 16 of the original 35. Some of them include Akali, Lux (pictured right), and Vayne. Lux has big breasts that are clearly visible to the eye; they are brought out to the front as one of the first things you notice about her character design. She has annoying and impractical boob armor. She has the impossibly small waist Miss Fortune has. However, she does not have a skimpy outfit. Nearly everything is covered. She is not wearing a whole bunch of makeup. You can't see her butt either. She's bad, but not as bad as some of the others.
Oh god why?
There are plenty more like Miss Fortune though. The full list:
Syndra, on the right, makes you question why she is even bothering to wear a top.There is no practicality in what she's wearing. She's basically wearing a strip that starts at her breasts and points downwards to her genitalia. Once again, her legs are clearly shown. Her waist is impossibly portrayed. You can easily see her breasts. You are basically looking up her skirt. It's terrible, just plain terrible.
Making it more obvious
Look at any of the popstar skins. Many in the community refer to them as porn stars because of their small shorts, tight shirts, and ridiculously high heels. Pictured right is Popstar Ahri. She's so skinny, you can see her rib bones popping out below her chest. She's wearing a lot of makeup. Her breasts are clearly showing. She's better off just not wearing the shorts because of how little they do for covering her body. If it wasn't for the microphone on the right side of her face I would be convinced she was going out to stand on a street corner somewhere.
Ruining good characters
Earlier I included Riven as a normal character because she wasn't sexualized. She looked pretty much normal. You could argue the length of her skirt, but considering some of the other characters, I don't think it was worth mentioning. However, Riot decided to ruin her innocence when they released her Battle Bunny Riven skin, pictured left. I don't even know what to say about this. Her shorts are basically underwear. She's wearing high heels and a form-fitting top. You can now clearly make out a small waist. For crying out loud, she's wearing bunny ears and a cotton tail. Just looking at her makes me want to cry.
The male characters in League of Legends are not presented in this way. You could make an argument about their shoulder to hip ratio, or their muscles, or how some of them appear shirtless, like Lee Sin pictured right, but that depends more upon your focus. I personally view that as more the epitome of masculinity than sexualization of the male figure. They're not wearing tight clothing clearly meant to show off "certain features." There's no outline of their butts, chest, or legs. They're not wearing heavy make-up. They're not even sexualized. They're just there to be masculine and nothing more. The females are meant to grab your attention and they're meant to grab it with their bodies.
Where does that leave us?
The sexualization of females has been an ongoing plight for years. With Riot being a more modern game company you'd think they would know better, but clearly they don't. If this bothers you as much as it does me, we need to do something about it. Boycott Riot's games or keep pestering them about it until they do something. It's the only way. Make it known that this is not okay in such a wide scale. They should not be getting away with this.
DarkForest_2801June 25, 2016, 11:57 amOh
I cant believe I found this! It's a gem!
EXACTLY my opinions!!!
About those female characters and their skins (I thought absolutely the same about Riven, even BEFORE seeing your article. that skin is just horrible) I was like: "What the heck, is no one else noticing this?! no one else noticing how STUPID it is? how gross it is?"
Now I feel so understood.
I NEEDED this article.
Everything you said, I agree with.
DarkForest_2801June 25, 2016, 12:03 pmOh, and by the way, forgot to say this:
Dont bother with the others that clearly dont want to see the reality of how gross those champions and skins are designed. The world is going downhill anyway. But there are some like us who see it. There is hope :)
Silver_3402June 12, 2016, 1:39 pmjust to point out that miss fortunes body is shown at an angle so it seems smaller. if u were a little smarter u would notice that and not try to use that as a measurement for her leg.
SM0KIN ACEMay 10, 2016, 1:44 pmFrom what i read in your article (which is some of the most retarded stuff I've ever heard) you seem clearly disgruntled and very much intimidated. So what if these women are or aren't life-like, due to measurement (your own), and their unlikely body proportions. You think they are sexualized? What isn't? Its a video game, made up of not only impossible female proportions, but also of characters that could never possibly exist. So why aren't you complaining about them? Because you are a female who wants something to complain about obviously. This is the ONLY logical reason. If you see a movie trailer, and decide you don't want to see the movie, do you go make a long article about WHY you don't want to see it? No. You don't. Reason why: because you want to try to exploit something so meaningless to gain some small self satisfaction, because either daddy didn't love you enough, or too much, or you dated guys who didn't like you because you don't look like a model, or whatever your case. My suggestion is stop ranting about stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with you or your crappy-ass views, and possible retarded beliefs, and go on about your life and simply DO NOT play the game. Ever. Don't google stuff about it, or youtube new champions, or anything as the game so disgusts you because of your inability no non-sexualize things yourself, that you automatically believe everyone does, and simply dismiss your knowledge of existence of it and move on little tugboat, you will make it one day. I play this game all the time, and I do not appreciate you slandering it, because you didn't design the female champions to suit your wants and needs. Make your own game, with a bunch of fat Gragas looking women (which happens to be more realistic), give your man the download for it, let him play it, and maybe he wont want to look at games so often and start looking at his out-of-shape- girl that he loves but cant leaves cause he couldn't imagine hurting her. Way to go on that too, btw. I can do this all day, point is, your argument is redundantly stupid, and your views aren't needed, asked for, or cared about... so, off with you.
Janet_1312November 25, 2015, 1:45 amI think this is more about your self image than it is about the games image of women if you didn't self hate so much you wouldn't have such a problem with a fictional character thank god for the ability to escape reality for a while & pretend yourself to be someone else Men in the game are just as sexualized as women
Riley _4449October 31, 2015, 10:27 pmNow that's just rediculous. You posted that the reason you don't play it is becase of the sexualization. You were obviously offended by it if it lead to your removal from the game.
Samantha WrightOctober 31, 2015, 10:55 pmCorrespondentIt's part of series. There are many reasons as to why I don't play League of Legends. Sexualization is only just one. Bad gameplay and a bad community are other reasons. I'm not offended by any of those either. In total, I'm offended by all of it, but not separately.
In other words, sexualization is not the sole reason for my removal from the game.
Riley _4449October 31, 2015, 9:18 pmIt's kind of funny that the extremely unrealistic muscular men aren't an issue for you, but when the women are showing a little cleavage thats a big issue. You want them all to wear full body suits? Sometimes I wonder why we put females in games at all. It seems no matter how the females are depicted a bunch of you will be offended somehow.
Samantha WrightOctober 31, 2015, 10:00 pmCorrespondentA little cleavage is fine. These women are showing lots of cleavage and lots of body that has no need to be showed.
We put women in games because a large amount of women play video games and we would like to have characters we relate to as well. That includes women who are not all sexual objects with skimpy outfits.
Honestly though, if you want to get technical, someone will be offended by everything. It doesn't really matter what it is. But offended is too strong a word to use for me. I'm disappointed, but not offended.
Will_1221October 31, 2015, 8:25 pmThis article is the worst example of slut-shaming I've ever seen! "Ruin her innocence"?? What are you, a Mormon? You think all women, even FICTIONAL ones, should be forced to wear burlap sacks to "defend their virginity"??
Samantha WrightOctober 31, 2015, 9:59 pmCorrespondentWhen did I ever slut-shame? I clearly stated that some women will dress like Miss Fortune and show themselves off sexually, and that is fine, but not all women do that and it is a bias to present most of your female characters in a game as one extreme and not properly represent the other. It's an unfair depiction.
Frankly, while you have me riled up, I never said that women have to wear burlap sucks and defend their virginity. Do not put something in quotation marks that I did not write and do not assume you know my view if I do not clearly state it. If women want to wear sexual clothing that is fine; it's not of my business, but, as stated, it is a bias to present women as such. It doesn't matter if the women are fictional or not. It's a bias that generally makes women out to be sexual objects that a good majority or not.
If you're going to disagree with my points, then so be it, but please at least read what I write, don't put words in my mouth, and form a decent argument with some basis behind it.
Skyler GAugust 25, 2015, 7:19 pmSo, let me first say that I find it extremely unfortunate that many people may criticize you for posting something like this. They might say that you are just uptight or are only going on your own opinion, but in so saying, they are doing the exact same thing. You are just as entitled to write an article about your opinion as they are.
Samantha, I definitely agree with some of what you say - blatant sexualization is not okay. However, as some have already mentioned, that is an opinion based on personal morals, and what is offensive to some is perfectly fine to others.
Since I don't like the sexy girl champions and don't agree with their style, I don't play as those champions. Period. A lot of people would call that stupid and chew me out for not being willing to play the champions who are the most "OP" at the moment, but I really prefer to play those champions that fit my play style and just my preferences in general. That sometimes means playing as a champ that many label as "bad," (because of course we should all only play what the pros in the LCS are playing, right?) but I have fun playing as big creatures like Nautilus and Skarner and sword-wielding melee champs like Master Yi and Aatrox.
Don't get me wrong - I play my main champions in appropriate roles. I'm not gonna take Nautilus mid or anything outrageous like that. But I do stick to my guns and play MY champions. I see many people with champion mastery levels on tons of different champions, but I have levels on only about ten to fifteen, and of those, I only play about five to seven of them frequently.
Now, if I do end up liking the play style of a girly champion, I get a skin for that champion that more closely aligns them to my style and taste. For example, I like to play as Lux occasionally, whom you mentioned in the article. I have purchased her Steel Legion skin, because I honestly think it looks awesome, and it is also quite modest. In fact, you could even describe the suit she is wearing in that skin as unisex - not revealing in any manner. Same goes for champions like Riven; if I were to ever play as her, I would get her Redeemed Riven skin instead.
The point I'm trying to make is that a boycott of the game isn't necessary and isn't the answer. The answer is in what the players prefer. Some say that "sex sells." While that may be true in some cases, if Riot were to see that more people were buying the less sexualized skins for champions, it would send them a clear message. While that may or may not happen, I take pride in my personal choices of champions and skins and applaud you for posting this article.
Samantha WrightAugust 25, 2015, 7:50 pmCorrespondentBoycotting may be a bit extreme for some people, but it is an option if you have find the issue that distasteful. I personally don't play League of Legends for a variety of reasons, not just sexualization. Your method of expression is just as valid as any other though. I'm not really here to say how to go about change. I'm trying to get the issue out to more people as a priority over anything else so change can be accomplished by boycotting, only purchasing certain skins, messaging Riot, or the genius idea that someone else probably has about to fix/change this issue.
I'm not necessarily against sexualized characters anyways (I don't think I made that point 100% clear in my article). I understand that there will be woman who act like that and dress like that in their everyday life. Sexualized characters are accurate to a certain extent of the female population. There's more to the female population then that though, and I wish more would be portrayed. Having one or two "sexy characters" could be just as effective as having all of them portrayed that way since there still would be "'sex to sell." It may not work that way, but it might and someone should try it out.
I'm glad you read my article nonetheless and commented with your own interpretation and opinion. It's quite fun and interesting to see what other people have to say.
shox_rebootAugust 23, 2015, 11:52 pmColumnistI don't want to poke around too much on this...issue. It's an easy one for things to get out of hand.
Certain females you've put there being like Miss Fortune are some I feel are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Cass for example...only thing womanly about her is her breasts (something all women have). Morgana, same deal. Nami looks more like a fish than a woman.
Besides, these champions...Katarina, Miss Fortune, Ahri (fox thing), Caitlyn...they're designed right down to their physical attributes to fit their background. I'm not saying they have to be so attractive, but there is no reason for them to have a...I don't know, big waist? It doesn't fit. They're supposed to be fit...not unfit like...I dunno, Gragas or something who just sits around and drinks all day.
Secondly, male champions are not NOT sexualized either. I can argue that Varus with his perfectly toned upper body, or Jayce being...well, Jayce. Yasuo, Ezreal, Lee Sin, Pantheon....I can go on and on. Males who play this game don't all have those toned bodies, jawlines, facial hair etc.
This is not just me thinking this, there are plenty of us who play this game that notice it. But at the end of the day the splash art is just splash art. Skins are just skins (Riven for instance, that bunny skin of hers is a fan created one that made its way into the game due to fan service by Riot). Once you're playing the game you'd be hard pressed to notice anything other than how badly your team is doing.
Riot Games is a business and its doing its best to attract more and more people. This may sound harsh but you don't get much interest if you present your target audience with anything deemed as 'unattractive' or 'unappealing'.
Lastly, 'realistic body proportions' are subjective. What you see as a 'realistic body' is not something everyone else sees.
Just trying to show you that there's two sides to this. You're not completely wrong. But you're not entirely right either.
Samantha WrightAugust 24, 2015, 10:10 amCorrespondentJust because a character is fit doesn't mean they have to wear skimpy outfits or they all have to have ridiculously small waists. Do they need to be fat? No. I'm not saying that. They don't need "big waists," as you put them, but fit does not mean ridiculously small. Kayle is probably extremely fit, especially considering she has to wear that armor and run around and fight in it. Does she have a skimpy outfit or have to show off every part of her body? No.
Some of them are supposed to be more sexualized. I understand that. Elise comes across as more of a succubus-like character, so it makes sense. Some of them are still unnecessary though. For instance, does Miss Fortune really need smoke coming out her gun? Is that really necessary?
How is Morgana not sexualized? Just because she's not womanly doesn't mean she's not sexualized. They're too separate things.
As I said, I view the males as an epitome of masculinity rather than sexualization. I know guys don't have muscles like that. I hang out with guys all the time to know. As a female though, when I think of sexualized males, I do not think of a guy with so many muscles he doesn't know what to do with them. It would be like giving every women a slender figure. Is being skinny sexual? No. Does every women look like that? No. There are people who view masculinity like that sexually, but it's not as common or pronounced as the women just showing everything off for the sake of showing everything off.
Just because the Riven skin was fan made doesn't make it any less wrong. Riot still decided to put it in their game and show her off. I have to disagree about not noticing the skins or the way characters look in game. There are some people who are obsessed with the skins and take it upon themselves to collect all that they can. They look to show them off and purposefully show them off. They know exactly what the skin looks like. In-game is a little different. You're not noticing it as well if you were scanning through picture on League of Legends website, but you still subconsciously know they're there. You know you're playing as Battle Bunny Riven or Popstar Ahri. You chose to use that skin for a reason.
How are realisitc body proportions subjective? I mentioned that some women do have waists that small. That's fine, but most do not. It's completely unrealistic to portray all of these women in such a way. Where's the diversity? With so many female characters I think it's only fair that there's more than two or three that don't fit into the bill. Some things are just too extreme and the body proportions are one of them. I just want bodies that at least somewhat resemble a typical female population.
Will_1221October 31, 2015, 8:36 pm"As I said, I view the males as an epitome of masculinity rather than sexualization."
They're the EXACT SAME THING. The fact that you don't recognize this is a clear example of your own gender bias. Some of the men are literally showing more skin and wearing less clothing than the women. Large breasts and butts with a small waist are the "epitome of femininity". Sexualization, by definition, is nothing more than the exaggeration of gender. Exaggerating male qualities is no less sexualizing than exaggerating female qualities. Shirtless, well-muscled men are inherently sexual. Stop being sexist.
Samantha WrightOctober 31, 2015, 10:07 pmCorrespondentGender and sex, contrary to popular opinion, are two separate things. For example, someone can be the epitome of masculinity or femininity and not be sexualized. A women who wears dresses all the time and is obsessed with make-up and clothing and shoes, is not sexualized though highly feminine. Just because a guy is the epitome of masculinity by being muscular does not make him sexual. That just makes high highly gender-ized (I'm going to pretend gender-ized is a word for the case of this argument).
Many of the men are wearing little clothing, but, frankly, that's a standard. For centuries, men have been getting away with wearing no shirts while women have been kept behind clothing. It's customary for men to be able to do such a thing whereas for women it is not; women are still supposed to be coy and not reveal anything. So, yes, you are right in the fact that many of the male champions are shirtless, but they are shirtless because it is a normality that many don't care about anymore. If you see a man shirtless on the sidewalk, no one is really going to stop and stare. However, if a women is on the sidewalk shirtless, everyone is going to stop and stare. In essence, what I'm trying to say is, men can get away with being shirtless because it's acceptable for them to be shirtless and show off skin. They have that luxury while women do not, so when women do show off skin, it becomes a much bigger deal.