WHY BIG SUPERHERO MUSCLES AREN’T ‘THE SAME THING’ AS SEXY CURVES
As a man who reads superhero comics, I confess that I share a commonly-held prurient interest in big-chested, long-legged heroes in skin-baring costumes that barely cover their naughty bits — or as I like to call him, Namor.
Sadly, Namor is pretty much alone in his category. Contrary to the perception that male heroes in comics are frequently sexually objectified, it’s my experience that even Namor is only rarely presented as someone to lust over. Yet I’m fortunate that my tastes run towards the Hemsworth end of the scale. Like many straight men, I admire the kind of buff dudes that are the staple of superhero comics, even though they are rarely sexualized. If I shared the tastes of most of the women I know, I think I’d find superhero comics an even more frustratingly sexless wasteland.
Big muscles are a male fantasy. That’s not to say that women aren’t ever into them, but let’s face facts; women have never been the primary target audience for superhero comics, and male heroes are drawn with big muscles anyway. Make no mistake; women are there. But those big muscles are not there for women. They’re there for men; straight men who find male power exhilarating. If women didn’t exist, superheroes would be drawn just as buff as they are today — because as far as most superhero comics are concerned, women as consumers do not exist.
Yet I’ve seen it said more times than I can count that male heroes are objectified, sexualized, idealized, just the same as the women — because they’re big and ripped and dressed in tight costumes. It’s an idea that’s completely tied up in the narcissistic notion that androphile women are attracted to the same qualities that men find appealing.
Talk to a few women, and you’ll find that’s broadly untrue.
I realized at some point in a long history of being around guys who call every attractive dude they see “gay”, an unsettling number of straight dudes feel super uncomfortable around what is clearly supposed to be a sexually appealing man. Even if there’s a complete absence of evidence that he’s even gay at all and he’s completely minding his own business and not interacting with them in any way, it’s like if someone is attractive enough that this particular subsect of straight dudes are aware that he is desirable they freak out with insecurity at the fact that he’s handsome and they noticed.
Best example of it I can think of was this one time sitting in a restaurant with some friends and this group of dudes who looked like Russian models or something in white tank tops and jeans walked past us and sat down at a table on the other side of the room. There was kind of a moment of silence while they were passing, and as soon as they got out of earshot a lot of guffawing like “Ha ha they’re SO GAY am I right?” followed. And it was just like… Why? Because they’re so hot that your brain unwittingly acknowledged them as sexually appealing people? That sounds like a personal problem dude, I dunno. But that kind of behaviour is so normalized and so totally accepted in at least North American culture that companies will bend over backwards to accommodate these guys. I have no idea what market share “straight dudes who are super squicked out by sexy men” make up, but I can’t imagine they’re as much of a driving economic force as they’re given credit for.
So like… People can argue about the physiques being equally idealistic up and down the block, catering to that audience that freaks the fuck out out like they just saw a big gross bug when they see an attractive man presented in an alluring way are always going to push this false equivalency angle instead of acknowledging that if men in comics were on average actually as sexualized as women in comics regularly are, everything at your LCS would look like a Glen Hanson pinup
Sometimes I feel like I failed. Like life got the best of me.
I wasn’t enough. I was too much. I didn’t do right.
But sometimes, after these feelings make themselves known,
i step back, look at what, and who, I am, and remind myself that I am good.
I am good.
10 tips for college,
from one depressive socially anxious perfectionist to a site full of them:
- say yes to adventures and spontaneity and things that happen outside in the world. it’s scary easy to fall into a mind-numbing routine that makes you hate the things you love, especially in winter.
- challenge yourself — you’ve got to stay motivated — but keep a voice in the back of your head that reminds you not to ruin yourself.
- say no to things you don’t have time for. you’re not obliged to devote your time to anyone or anything. do this early, so you don’t have to go through the discomfort of quitting later.
- you’re probably more drunk than you think you are. drink some water, pal.
- making mistakes helps you learn. it’s not how you learn everything, but it makes you approx. 78% more likely to remember the lesson. so go out and fuck up in a legendary fashion. it’s all gonna pan out okay.
- do your best not to automatically take your phone out in situations where you feel uncomfortable. try a little sink-or-swim.
- remember that some people really do suck. not everyone is good on the inside, so watch out for genuine douchebags, and remember, they don’t all look or act the same. what’s important is that you don’t let this scare you, because you don’t need fuckheads like them in your life anyway.
- you have a lot to do, so do assignments earlier than you need to. good time management pays itself back in happiness and satisfaction instantly.
- i promise, i swear to god, you don’t need to educate everyone or fix everyone.
- do it on your own terms. do it all on your own terms.
I have to admit, I’m kind of flattered that The Authority would go to such great lengths to get rid of me. You know, it kind of makes me feel special, but I’m not dead, I’m not satisfied, and I could hold a grudge And I’m sick of The Authority protecting their little golden child, Seth Rollins. I’m getting kind of sick of The Authority all together so tonight, I am the authority and I’m not leaving this ring until I get my hands on Seth Rollins because I never get tired of punching Seth Rollins in the face.