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Female objectification in games -League of Sexism- a rant

{Warning: the author of this post is by no means slut-shaming and is perfectly fine with people wearing skimpy outfits if they so desire. However, as the characters mentioned below are designed by other people (with a nefarious agenda in mind) they do not have agency over their own clothing and haven’t been described as such. Again, not slut-shaming.}

If you’ve been around on the internet for the past few years, then you’ve probably come across a free-to-play, MOBA game called League of Legends. Chances are you’ve downloaded it and have stumbled upon the glistening mannequins it has opted for in place of female characters, proceeding to puke your eyes out from the horror of it all. Now, quick disclaimer to any Leaguers out there, your game is horribly and sickeningly sexist and no amount of denial/stunning ignorance can disguise that. It might not be the only one out there and there are worse offenders, but it’s a good place to start. Actually, the staggering level of sexism on display is not my only issue with the game, what with there being next to zero representation available –queer or otherwise- but I digress (seriously though, there’s like 3 (5, possibly 6) people of colour in it. What the hell Riot?) You see, in LoL female characters’ bodies do not let themselves be hindered by the restricting laws of physics and/or anatomy. In fact, those rebellious sacks of over-sexualized flesh do all that’s in their metaphysical power to go against the very fabric of reality; from painfully-narrow waists, inhumanly slender figures and unnatural swivel-spines to abnormally large breasts, contorted torsos and presumably boneless extremities, LoL captures exactly what’s wrong with how women are portrayed in the gaming industry. One of the many things this game does wrong is, as usual, the amount of armor any female character is allowed to wear. Case in point, let’s have a look at Morgana’s current splash art.

Observe how the overall design has been carefully crafted to emphasize the character’s central and most defining aspect –from the manufactured waist and twisted spine, to the lack of any sensible clothing- boobs. Revel at how this skimpy, purple bra-like configuration of unknown material manages to cling itself onto Morgana’s body, without snapping off and decapitating nearby innocent wildlife (would someone with wings growing out of their back even be able to wear a bra?). Does this piece of definitely-not-objectifying art showcase her personality? Does it speak volumes about a brave young woman who dared go against a world of self-righteous fucks? Does it tell us of her internal struggles and battles with a system she saw as corrupt and could no longer be a part of? NO! What this displays, is a pair of tits stuck on an objectified, but otherwise intriguing character. Moving on, how about we take a look at Janna’s art hmm??

Oh god. Oh gaaawd. What on earth is that even supposed to be? A tiara, a bra, a set of gloves a pair of pants and some ribbons? Just how? Better yet why? On what plane of existence is this even remotely protective against enemy attacks? One would think that she’d go for hardened leather, or at least some robes, but this?? This is just obscene! It definitely gives new meaning to the phrase “paper armour”. The amount of bare skin on display brings to mind not a garment, but rather a large, partially see-through body suit with occasional areas of cloth. Meet Janna, a talented sorceress from humble beginnings, now-turned sex toy with no dress sense whatsoever. Comes with her own, personal tag-team of objectified women:

Miss “I have no spine” Fortune


Ah, here we see a very good example of –what is known in the gaming world as- an illuminati spine. You might ask, gentle reader, how she managed to remove all her vertebrae and replace them with a flaccid earthworm so expertly, but I know not the answer to that question. I also don’t know what the fuck is wrong with her trouser legs, because they seem to be held together with small pegs. And while we’re on the subject, is her bra supported only by that one strap? Seriously? I have a hard time believing that a leather ribbon could withstand the weight of MF’s ludicrous cleavage, or indeed anything that seems to resemble two water balloons trying to escape a linen fence. This is Miss Fortune, by the way, the extremely capable bounty hunter whose goals include turning Bilgewater into a strong and independent society, one which won’t be ravaged by pirates anymore. I don’t understand why they decided to turn such an awesome, strong female character into another femme fatale (this game has 8 of those already), but they did it and they didn’t care. Her splash portrays no personality and even in-game she does nothing but stand around, vaguely flirting with nearby shrubbery. This is objectification at its finest (which is to say, its worst) and we haven’t even started.

My-clothes-don’t-make-sense Leblanc

Presumably, this “garment” is either stuck on her skin with double-sided tape, or it is welded on with hot glue. Could it be possible that Le Blanc has enchanted her clothing apparatus with the ability to defy gravity? That would still not explain how her clone’s bottom half looks like she’s sitting down, while her top half is in a cape-shwoosh-y, dramatic battle. How is she even staying upright in that pose? In any case, I like the “sneaking away while fake-me dies” touch, it gives her a little character, senseless clothes notwithstanding.

Tight-leather-pants Vayne 

I don’t mind the heels so much, as I do the pose; how is it possible to dodge/leap backwards in this stance? I actually tested this sitting down and trying to twist my torso, whilst also keeping my legs in a “yo, I can fly with my farts” pose, made me hurt like motherfucking hell. Also, she is dodging backwards, which means that she will probably roll herself upright once she reaches the presumed-to-be-there ground. However, there’s a crossbow tied to her back which means this is a)really going to hurt/injure her (presumably LoL female characters can still feel things, like the impact of a wooden contraption with iron spikes slamming on their backs with large force) and b)is extremely dangerous because there’s a LOADED CROSSBOW ON HER BACK AS SHE LANDS AND IM PRETTY SURE IT WOULD END UP KILLING EITHER HER OR THE BATS FLYING AROUND HER.

Katarina Metal-bra

Readers, meet Katarina; LoL’s biggest sex symbol. I’m not kidding, that’s what she is. In fact, you could say that she’s Riot’s trademark sex symbol. I can’t even begin to describe what’s wrong with how she’s presented in her splashes and the animations Riot occasionally makes. According to her lore, she is a rigorously-trained assassin, loyal to Noxus (bad guys) and very, very much devoted to her cause (which, I presume, is serving Noxus). However, she is constantly objectified in her splash art and in the LoL animations, to the point of obscenity. She is always depicted, like many other female champions, with a focus on her breasts, or thighs, or ass, or all three at the same time and frankly, it’s sickening. In-game we see her actual character and personality, but that doesn’t make her misrepresentation any less wrong.

Lux and the boobplates

Oh Lux, what have they done to you? I’m going to leave the “armour would never, ever work that way” speech for later and move on to her spine. As with Miss Fortune above, Lux seems to not have one. Her body is twisted in a way that is impossible to recreate and her legs seem to be supporting her weight, without actually touching the floor/ground. Ok, one of them might be, but do you honestly expect me to believe that anyone human can maintain that stance on one foot, without losing their balance? Because they can’t, especially not when wearing thick, steel armour and heavy boots. This was purely done for the boobs/thighs and maybe also to hide the fact that her arm is either broken, nailed back on, the wrong way around, or both.

Water boobs

Ok, this isn’t a jab on Nami herself, as it is on all mermaids in general. I ask you, why the fuck do mermaids have boobs? Don’t tell me it’s a fantasy thing –because frankly that argument is invalid and shit- don’t even tell me it’s because of how mermaids were initially conceptualized as. Mermaids. Don’t. Need. Boobs. The whole point of boobs is to provide a steady supply of nutritious milk to infants in their first few years of life. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think mermaids have even got the ability to conceive children the way humans do, as they are literally half-fish. Therefore underwater breastfeeding seems quite redundant at best, even if you argue that maybe they reproduce the way fish do, but I digress. My point here is that Nami’s chest is the only part of her that’s human and I think we can all guess why that is so.

Purple Boobs

syndra-classic

 

Character Designer A:

“We want to make a power-hungry sorceress lady who will use her dark powers to fuck shit up like nobody’s business. We want her every attack to feel really powerful, to deliver on that rising feeling of a power fantasy”

Character Designer B:

“Ok well dress her up in something that resembles a torn corset, make sure people can see some part of her thighs and make her boobs bigger than her head. Because nothing screams Powerful Sorceress like a scene from my favourite fantasy-style, Victorian porn film”

Character Designer A:

“K thanks”

The final boobs

Oh dear lord in heaven, please give me strength. According to the lore, Zyra was a weird, magic plant thing that took control of a traveling sorceress and yes she is Poison Ivy. I don’t understand why this keeps happening with Riot, but yet again her boobs are considerably bigger that her head, not to mention the other anatomy issues displayed here. I must say, this is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone actually walk like Barbie; creepily, mechanically and without using their knees. Keep in mind that she’s walking up –what seems to be- a hill and is (obviously) wearing high heels, so the entire weigh of her body rests solely on the toes of her left foot. And that’s not even mentioning her twisted left arm, or indeed the leaf-bra she is rocking. Explain to me again, how exactly would that not immediately fall off? Are the leaves clinging to her skin with tiny little tendrils, or are they simply held up by Zyra’s willing suspension of disbelief? How comfortable is Zyra with maintaining that pose? She seems unable to use any of her joints, her breasts must be giving her an incredible amount of back pain, her torso is –for some reason- thrust forwards and she has to look to the right, whilst also balancing her weight on one foot and extending her arms out in a sort of “OOoooo vines” style. Does she perform each move separately, like a mechanical doll, or does she calculate where and how each of her parts is going to go, then move them all at once?

And  Revenge of the Boobs

Hooo boy, this should be fun. Where do I start? Where do I even fucking start with this shit? The bondage outfit, the fact that her boobs are bigger than her fucking head, or the overall design and impracticality of the costume itself? Like, she runs with that thing on, she actually manages to sprint at her enemies without her “bra” completely falling off onto the ground. Why are there spikes on it? What purpose could those even serve in combat? What purpose could any of it serve in combat? Who the fuck actually went and drew this shit? I can’t fucking believe that a group of people, a group of living, thinking, breathing people came together and asked themselves “what would a mysterious, bloodthirsty assassin lady look like?” and then came up with this. I just… I can’t. I CAN’T. I HAVE LOST THE ABILITY TO CAN. I can’t fucking believe that what I’m looking at, what my eyes are perceiving right now, is a gimp. A FUCKING GIMP! Oh sure, riot is totally not sexist, they just dress up most of their female characters in either lingerie or straight up hardcore bondage suits. Perfect, can I have my stroke now please?

Keep in mind that these are all normal skins; this is what these characters are supposed to wear when they’re out into the battlefield. This is what they fight in. One might wonder how the fuck they don’t instantly get sliced up into confetti by any sharp object whatsoever, the second they step out of their base. One might also wonder how the fucking fuck it is possible for some of them to engage in combat whilst wearing the most impractical clothes ever made in the universe. Most of that shit would fall off before you could take your first step, but apparently it’s the best thing they’ve got, because none of these ladies ever stop to say “Hang on, I am effectively wearing less clothing than a nudist’s dog. Perhaps I should put on something halfway protective before I either get stabbed, or die from hypothermia”

Then, of course, there’s also the skins. Now, I understand wanting to make a character dress in something silly and I also understand how it can be fun for cosplayers and people having a good laugh and all that. Having said that, a lot of the skins for LoL champions are ridiculously objectifying, not because of the clothes themselves, but rather the poses. Here, I’ll show you what I mean.

Popstar Ahri

This makes me concerned about Riot; I’m starting to think that none of their artists can do anatomy. I mean look at this, the spine is twisted and contorted so thoroughly that I can’t even wrap my head around it. Ahri’s hand seems to –and by all rights should- be placed on her side, but on closer inspection her side turns into her back. Do you see what I mean?? Her left leg is cocked forth as another means of objectifying her, but it doesn’t make sense because it means that –again- all her weight is placed on one leg. ONE FUCKING LEG. With that pose, I wager she’d go 0.2 seconds before losing her balance and falling off the stage. Her body looks like it has been run over by a truck several times and all this for what? So that we can get a better look at her boobs, thighs and ass? No Riot, just no. If you want to make skins that’s fine, but please stop defying the laws of physics when you do that. Almost every single one of your character designs look like Escher’s surreal paintings and not in a good way.

Battle Bunny Riven

Le sigh. Again, same thing. I could basically control+C control+V everything I said about Popstar Ahri and it would still apply here just as well. The spine is twisted, Riven’s sides and back seem to merge together halfway down and I’m not sure what that ribbon is for. Like, it’s wound tightly around her ankle, but it serves no purpose whatsoever. Again, this is less about the outfit and more about the pose, because –once again- she wouldn’t be able to maintain her balance and I don’t think anyone can hold their leg up like that for very long.

In all honesty, this is just sad. Female characters in games have their bodies constantly twisted and manipulated to project the greatest boob/ass ratio possible and appeal to the het, male demographic. Not only is this depressing, it’s also infuriatingly dumb. Listen to me, game developers out there, here’s something you should know when designing female characters in a fantasy-esque world: armour is made to protect the wearer and, as such, built to encourage glancing blows. This is why chestpieces have this certain curvature to them, so that an arrow, dagger, sword or whatever can bounce off and not pierce it on impact. However, sticking two, big half-spheres on that and calling it a day is gonna be both impractical and –probably- quite painful too. Think of it as someone wearing a steel codpiece, so that their testicles violently slam on the metal as they move around. Having said that, I have no real experience with actual armour design, or how it might work best for any given individual, and as such the above is speculation based on common sense. What I do know, however, is that boobs can be very uncomfortable for exercise and that this is why most women athletes wear special sports bras. Thus, having grown women perform ludicrous acrobatics in the clothing-equivalent of 2 sauce pans and a curtain is not only –for want of a better word- unrealistic, but also nigh impossible. Finally, here’s a few blogs that point out the awfulness of female misrepresentation in both League of Legends and other game/comics/movies, along with a hilarious video that sums this rant up quite nicely.

-The Fairy Wizard

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Posted on June 20, 2015, in Geekology, Rambles, Rants, Video Games and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 38 Comments.

  1. PrettyGrillLikeSona

    You’re just jelly. :o]

  2. I signed up, just to comment on this post. I am a 16 year old male, and I thoroughly enjoy the splash arts of the female characters in LoL. However you cannot seriously say that a game that is played by over 11.5 million people is affecting their mental state? There are 7.3 billion people in this world, so 99.9% of them have never played LoL (They may have seen it). I dont think you can argue that women have been objectified in the entire history of the human race, and still are to this day. The entire internet and the entire world is filled with women being objectified. And another point is that basically all champions in league that are male have a six pack, does that make me suicidal/self concious? no, because I understand that not everyone can be like that, although i am not fat myself.

    So basically, these have been designed for the fun of it, and possibly to satisfy the wants of the developers and players, we are after all all human.

    • The Fairy Wizard

      A couple of points:

      Firstly, while LoL is not responsible for all sexism in the history of the human race ever, they certainly have no serious qualms about perpetuating a tired, sexist narrative in order to appeal to a larger demographic (even though arguably they are improving, with new female champions that aren’t objectified etc etc)

      Secondly, yes sexism is real and it has been around for a good long while. This is a fact and as such, non-negotiable.

      The rest of the comment is a bit too incoherent for me to answer but I will say this: While the way men are represented in the League can also be problematic (as you pointed out) a) men are almost exclusively portrayed in situations of power or generally in ways that make them seem powerful and b) this is a post about SPECIFICALLY the sexism and objectification women face in the league and how that affects women in real life.

  3. JellyFish Waffle

    I am female 😮 I love the art. Idgf about the women being sexualized because the men are also sexualized and I know cause I sexualize the men all the time xD Examples of Male champs I sexualize on a daily basis!: NASUS (don’t judge me), Jihn, Twisted Fate, Hecarim (don’t even ask), Rengar, Pantheon, Talon, Mordekaizer. Its okay though I also think Sejuani is sexy as hell and so is Illaoi (I sexualize her LOTS) I don’t see a point in complaining about sexualization because anything can be sexualized.

    PS: I forgot to add Swain and Blitz into my sexualization list.

    • The Fairy Wizard

      Ok so this is one of the weirdest comments I have ever gotten but imma reply to it anyway to the best of my abilities.

      I’d like to emphasize that there’s a marked difference between fans sexualizing characters in their fic/art/fantasies about furry assassins, and an actual company designing champions with the explicit intent of depicting them in hugely objectifying and sexualizing ways, in order to appeal to straight male gamers (especially if those objectified champions are almost exclusively female). And I’ve already explained why oversexualizing female champions for the sake of titillation is a boo-boo bad so I won’t go into it again here. What I will say is that while a lot of things can be sexualized, that… doesn’t mean… that they should? Like, it’s generally not good if you’re relying heavily on female objectification to sell your product.

      • JellyFish Waffle

        I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with it. You seem to only be offended by men finding the characters sexy and also the game itself is Fantasy. The game is not supposed to be realistic. Your getting upset about things that are harmless when there are so many more things out there in this world that are MUCH more harmful. I will never get why someone creating sexy female game characters is so offensive to some people. Now, I understand that this stuff your upset about is your opinion and I respect that but What offends you and what makes you upset does not bother every other male or female out there and also believe me men are also sexualized everyday and the main reason we don’t hear about it is because feminism is a much more known and popular subject. If a girl sexualizes a guy it is okay but if a guy sexualizes a girl it is not okay. I just see no harm in finding things sexy or attractive. Just because I find someone sexually appealing to my eyes does not mean I am going to rape them, it means I find them to be very pleasing to the eyes and I see no reason why that should be a bad thing.

        I also believe that the people who create the game have the right to choose how they want the characters to look or what race their characters are. I once wrote a story and every character in it was Asian, Was it because I hate other races? No I just didn’t really think about it or care cause I seen no harm in it.

      • The Fairy Wizard

        I’ve already replied to comments like this but oh well, here we go again:

        Ok the whole “it’s not meant to be realistic” argument doesn’t really work here and can’t be used to excuse the blatant objectification of women. And there is a huuuuge difference between someone being “Sexy/Sexual” and “Sexualized”. A person can choose to be sexy, but can’t choose to be sexualized. When you look at someone you find attractive you’re not oversexualising them. But when you exploit people of an entire gender so that you can promote and sell your product to a demographic of cishet men then that ain’t coolio dawg.

        This is not a “harmless” phenomenon, this is an actual, real problem with our society and the way media portray women across the world and I’ve already explained why.

        (Also btw no one mentioned “rape” in this entire discussion so I’m not sure how that came into play) Even if men WERE grossly over-sexualized in the media (which they most certainly are not), it’s still not the same. Sexism and Misogyny have deep, old roots in our society and they compose a system of equally deep and long oppression of women, which Riot is perpetuating in order to appeal to a larger demographic (even though recent evidence would suggest they’re slowly getting better). Yes it’s “their right” to do what they want with their intellectual property, but that doesn’t mean they are exempt from criticism, nor that they are undeserving of it.

  4. You mentioned 12 female characters out of 40.

    Annie: a pyromaniac child with a flaming bear (no boob)

    Anivia: a giant ice bird (no boob)

    Akali: a green assassin (some boob)

    Camille: a fully mechanised assassin with blades for legs (some boob)

    Diana: a fighter with the power of the moon (some boob)

    Fiora: a duelist fighting for her honor (little boob)

    Illaoi: a beefy cultist summoning her god in battle (little boob)

    Irelia: a fighter who took up arms after her hometown was defeated (little boob)

    Jinx: a sociopath blowing up shit and being a nuisance (no boob)

    Kalista: undead helping people get revenge after being betrayed by Hecarim (literally no boob)

    Karma: a mage who defended her hometown after her elders refused to fight (little boob)

    Kayle: fully armoured immortal (little boob)

    Kennen: fully clothed yordle who uses lightning for her attacks (no boob)

    Kindred: twin essenses of death, literally a goat and a wolf (little boob)

    Leona: fully armoured zealot following the sun cult (little boob)

    Lissandra: evil queen who’s taking over an entire region, partially made out of black ice (little boob)

    Lulu: certified insane yordle who likes to say “This tastes purple” (no boob)

    Orianna: an automaton modelled after the dead daughter of the craftsmen who made her (little boob)

    Poppy: a hardworking yordle who travels the world looking for the hero worthy of the hammer that she carries (no boob)

    Quinn: Fully clothed warrior who hunts with her companion, a giant eagle named Valor (little boob)

    Sejuani: fully clothed warrior riding a wild boar from the icy lands (little boob)

    Shyvanna: a half dragon who transforms into a full dragon upon reaching 100 rage (little boob)

    Sivir: a descendant of an ancient bloodline who’s blood was used to wake a buried city (some boob)

    Soraka: a celestial half-goat being who heals injured people (some boob)

    Sona: best grill 2016 ( i main her ;D)

    Taliyah: a fully clothed stone mage who is searching for a teacher to teach her how to harness her powers (little boob)

    Tristana: A yordle with a cannon (no boob)

    Vi: A fighter with giant mechanised gauntlets (some boob)

    Disclaimer: I am a girl and i have no problems with how females are protrayed in league, especially the newer champions, which are more diverse than the older ones

    • The Fairy Wizard

      A lot of your examples include champions who are literally not human or champions who are children. I should like to think that Riot isn’t the type of gaming company to sexualize children. Some other examples are about champions that were literally not released when this article was written so I dunno why you even bothered mentioning them. Also, Kennen is a boy.

      Akali,Fiora,Irelia,Karma and pretty much every female champion you’ve listed under the category “little boob” is objectified in their splash arts and/or skins by being drawn with unreasonable spines and an impossible thighs/butt/boobs ratio. Generally speaking, if you can see a characters boobs through their armour or if said character is unreasonably scantily clad, then there’s a good chance their design is objectifying. Shyvanna, for instance, is sexualised a whole bunch in many if not all of her skins (and arguably her splash).

      Aside from those, I will admit that Diana and Jinx (even though she’s wearing nothing but belts) aren’t objectified in splash arts or skins (at least so far)

      I understand that you like some of those champions because you think they’re cool or because you like their story, but the thing is that many of them are objectified a lot (especially Sona). And while you may be a girl and ok with this (yes the newer female champions are a lot better and that may be good reason to assume that Riot is trying to move away from objectifying designs for their female characters) there was another person in the comments very much like you who was affected very negatively by Riot’s decision to objectify those women.

  5. holy shit, its a fucking game. games arent realistic and never have been. are males bodies all super muscly? no. do we complain? no. so piss off.

    • The Fairy Wizard

      I think the two would only be comparable if all male characters looked like this
      I dunno about you but I'd be all for it.
      (by the way it’s interesting that this is coming from the community of gamers whose masculinity & perceived heterosexuality was so fragile that they campaigned to have Mobius redesigned because he was -and I quote- “too sexy”)

  6. As a so called “girl gamer” and a teenager, I have noticed that many of the female characters are overly sexualized. For a long time I’ve wanted to cosplay for example Sona, but due to her flawless body figure I’ve stopped myself. I either feel like I’m “too fat” or “my breasts are too small”. However, I grew to understand that there is nothing wrong With my body, but the oversexualizing of videogames instead. I mean… Her boobs are almost falling out of her chest and I honestly dont know how she can stand upright with a waist that small.

  7. Don’t get me wrong, but wouldn’t the activity these women go through in their daily lives produce an hourglass figure?

    Nearly every woman in LoL is pushing their bodies to the limit, day in and day out. Lux was a thin and a rail nerd, then joined the military, sounds like she would have a petite figure. Vayne in an albino who spends her nights climbing buildings, and rolling and jumping from roof top to roof top, that seems pretty taxing on her body too me. Riven is an exiled recluse who is constantly on the run from Noxus and carries around a heavy slab of metal and I can’t imagine her diet is all that plentiful. Katarina was raised to be an assassin, her body was a weapon of the state for Noxus, she was made to be tone, slim, fast and deadly, despite a lack of personality. Syndra was raised by vegan Buddhists, I can’t imagine her diet or Buddhist training would build much fat. As a child Miss Fortune was a black smith, constantly busy forging iron with a hammer until Gangplank killed her family, now she hides behind a sexy determiner to cover the fact that she is a sad, lonely little girl.
    I can’t think of a single female champion in LoL who’s daily life would afford them the opportunity to get fat, and those who do happen to be magical shape shifters.

    • The Fairy Wizard

      Thank you for mansplaining how human bodies (don’t) work Jimothy. We here at Fairy Wizard HQ are equal parts delighted and horrified at your liberal use of reason.

      As a globally dwindling independent freelance group of sensible people, we would also like to point out that biology and anatomy are things that exist for men and women alike.

      Please know that at least 2 of our key members have died after reading your comment, muttering the words “God fucking damn it” before passing away. We could have all been spared great loss and strife had you only googled pictures of actual women athletes. Just so you know, when women exercise they tend to build things called “muscles” across their bodies. I know, earth-shattering concept.

      Literally all the situations you’ve described mean that those female characters should have had a fairly sturdy build. Like, you know being a blacksmith requires actual physical strength? Would a male blacksmith be skinny and bony? Would he have a spine-breaking, organ-suppressing hourglass figure?

      Honestly this comment is so dumb, so so so terribly horribly dumb. For future reference, when people exercise (by climbing buildings, running on rooftops, undertaking intense military training or carrying a giant fucking metal sword 24/7) they build ~*MUUUUUSCLE MAAAASS*~. Their bodies get more muuuuuusculaaaar. They get fit. And while it is true that a greater calorie consumption is required in those cases, not eating enough would make a person weaker and thus unable to partake in any physical activity. So no, there’s no excuse for Riven -the unstoppable, angsty, white-haired war machine of the Leauge- to be “slender” because of “not eating enough”. If you want to argue otherwise, please remember that fruit, vegetables and walking piles of meat do actually exist abundantly in nature.

      Sidenote: You do realise Gragas is fat right? He seems to have no trouble fighting, so why can’t we get more, chubbier women in the league? Representation of Plus-sized characters is also important, ANY meaningful representation is important.

  8. Nothing racist but… Are you a muslim extremist or do you just like to blame every girl that shows a little piece of skin? All your arguments were based on “SHE HAS FUCKING HUGE BOOBS” “SHE DOESN’T WEAR AN HEAVY ARMOR OR A COAT” “SHE’S TOO SEXY” or “WTF IS THIS POSE?!”
    The fact you can’t do a pose doesn’t mean noone can do it, and we don’t all want girls to wear 5 pairs of socks, 3 coats, a hat, heavy iron boots, many scarfs, and gloves.

    As other people said this is a GAME and players want to see something that looks cool like Nidalee, Diana, Kha’Zix, Rengar, and all those champions that make LoL so awesome!

    • The Fairy Wizard

      Woooow, just wow. I’m not even sure if I should reply to this one. Future hint: if you start ANY interaction with a sentence along the lines of “I’m not a racist but…” then there’s a good chance you’re teetering dangerously close to saying something highly offensive.

      In any case, as I said before, there is a big difference between being sexy and being sexualised. The reason why I talked about the specific poses chosen for female champions was because I wanted to point out why riot chose to depict them like so (i.e to objectify and sexualise them). I also wanted to highlight the petite, hourglass figures -which are ever so prominent in their game- and the unrealistic standards they set for women. Of the four champions you mentioned only two are women (which is what this entire rant is about) and guess what, Diana is a non-objectified female character in the game. I don’t understand why or how you think that sexualised female characters with enough clothing to maybe cover one fifth of a person look “cool”. Like, have you considered that such representations of women in media might negatively impact people’s perception of them and society as a whole?

      This isn’t even getting into Riot’s consistently cisnormative representation of women (which is hurtful because -surprise surprise- some women actually DON’T have boobs. I know right, revolutionary thinking right here) but that’s probably a discussion for a later date.

      • So shirtless musclemen with perfect bods smirking directly at the camera are okay, but a woman that is in shape and not a child or an animal is H A R A M?

        Also “Cisnormative” is just a buzzword in your usage. How is it outrageous that most of the female cast is biologically female? You are TRYING HARD to be upset.

        For you, anyone that isn’t sexualized just won’t count because it doesn’t fit the narrative you are pushing. Anyone that IS sexualized can’t just be a sexy character, but rather some strawman for this magical concept of “all women” in your eyes.

        Your posts disgust me.

      • The Fairy Wizard

        I mean if you want to write a long, intrtospective analysis on toxic masculinity and unrealistic male body standards perpetuated through League or other media then go ahead. I’m not sure why you brought it up here though, since this post specifically refers to *women* and thus wouldn’t be the ideal platform for that discussion. I’m also not sure where you got this notion of “shirtless men smirking at the camera” within LoL because as far as I can see there isn’t a lot of that happening.

        Cisnormativity is -believe it or not- an actual, legitimate Real Thing™ that exists within League and outside of it. I would advise you do more research on both gender and biology (maybe starting with this) before talking about them.

        Amazingly, just because not every single woman in this game or other popular media isn’t constantly objectified, doesn’t mean female objectification isn’t a serious issue.

    • i love you dude xDDD

  9. Wow Miss fortune doesn’t do anything but stand around, wow.

  10. The last overly sexualized female that was released was Elise. And that was in 2012. All I’m saying is that your argument is outdated. Riot isn’t going to go back and change existing champions. But they also aren’t going to continue to objectify women. Examples being Nami (Your argument on her is idiotic, Most mermaids in lore are SIRENS. Meant to lure men in to kill them!) Quinn, Lissandra, Kalista, Rek’sai (Technically still a female), Illaoi and now Taliyah. All are Modest and more realistic (excluding Rek) The only Champions that border on being “too sexy” are Vi, and maybe Kindred If you are being picky (But shes a lamb so I’m not sure how you would judge that) I wouldn’t say Jinx is over sexualized because her physic actually matches her body type. Yes she is wearing a revealing top, but when I see her personally I just see a crazy chick who wants to blow stuff up.

    Honestly this post you made pissed me off. Its a Video game. A VIDEO GAME. Nothing about it has to be realistic! I honestly had to try so hard to keep from my comment just being me screaming at how little you must’ve been thinking when you wrote this. As a female artist It pisses me off that you can’t seem to understand that every splash is a piece of art that people worked hard on! No matter what female champion you are talking about they are all strong willed and powerful. So fucking what if they’re sexy. So fucking what if they are contorted into impossible positions. Its a Video Game. Not real life.

    • The Fairy Wizard

      While it is true that in recent times Riot have been dialing back on the sexualization and objectification of their new female champions (as you have kindly pointed out) this doesn’t seem to have stopped them from producing skin after skin that does exactly so. I don’t think saying “OMG Riot can’t just change the champions” is a good argument, because that’s exactly what re-skins and re-works are for. They don’t even need to do that much initially, just slowly phase out the splash arts that are incredibly objectifying (though actually considering how there are so many splashes depicting objectified female champs twisted in impossible ways, that might be a lot of work). I never said that the splash arts took no effort to produce, I merely complained about how all that effort went into one place: Riot making sure to sexualize their female characters. There could have been so much more, but instead we ended up parroting already existing and –frankly- stagnating fantasy tropes. You mentioned Nami and how she’s a siren supposed to tempt men, but why? Don’t we already have like, a bunch of champions that do just that (See also Elise, Ahri, Miss Fortune, Le Blanc apparently, Evelynn etc.) do we really need more? Riot could have taken that overused trope and spun it on its head, making a champion that might have been more interested in -I dunno- raising awareness about water pollution due to extreme arcane activity near the fields of battle and how that affects the surrounding ecosystems. Ok that might not be the best example but the potential is still there. Yes I know that’s a video game and yes I know a lot of people think that means we shouldn’t care, but the issue lies with the fact that this type of treatment exists in EVERY video game (or at least the overwhelming majority). And when we see female characters depicted in ridiculous ways in games, with their painstaking nano-spines and massive cleavage and perfect, spotless, smooth skin, we are affected. We begin to dismiss it as the norm, since it is literally everywhere we look. Because the expectations that we’re given by movies, books, video games, comics etc affect the expectations we have in real life. It is ingrained within our collective consciousness that that’s what women SHOULD look like, that’s what women must STRIVE to be (no matter how ridiculous) and anything less is imperfect and unacceptable or at least not as good. Which is not to say that women who are sexy, who like being sexy and sexual in their lives (note that there is a difference between “Sexy” and “Sexualized”) aren’t cool –far from it- they can be just as awesome as anyone (see also Isabela from DA2). It’s just that depicting ALL women in extremely sexual ways is just… wrong. It’s misrepresentation for the sake of titillation and a wider appear to the cis het male audience (for that is the demographic which most if not all gaming companies try to appeal to). Riot is not the only one doing it, almost everyone is, but they are some of the most popular ones and I don’t think they’ll be stopping any time soon. Still, one can hope.

      • As far as I can see this is just a rant, it has no meaning. Based on what you said your reality is warped into an eternity of victimization. It is not the pictures fault for how you feel. You have simple chosen to feel that “all” games make the female characters look sexy. It’s simply mind blowing how someone who wants to prove the simplest things to be “evil” and they cancel out all opposing information. The game creators were not meaning to give people sexual pleasure by seeing the champions they simply wanted to make them visually pleasing so people would play them. Tell me, how many people play urgot? It isn’t just women that they do this to. Notice Taric’s majestic af hair and his body. How almost the men are physically fit or have humorous personalities. No one in marketing is going to put up the most visually pleasing thing in their game. That would be bad marketing. Now if you want to directed your ranting somewhere I suggest the society itself and the expectations of everyone. Why is it that gentle men must hold the door for wemon. Why do women get to go first. Why are girl gamers always depicted sexually and have naked. It’s the morals of society that are the real problem, not the way certain girls are depicted in a certain video game.

      • The Fairy Wizard

        Most of this comment makes no sense, to the point where I wonder if it isn’t supposed to be “ironic” to some, ambiguous respect (but I am intrigued by this new startling phenomenon of men holding the door for “wemon”). Regardless let me address the last few lines of somewhat coherent words : Yes dear, the patriarchal society in which we live does have myriads of issues. Yet at the same time, society is influenced by the media that surrounds it. Which is not to say that LoL is exclusively to blame for sexism and female objectification worldwide (since those issues have much deeper, more complicated roots) but Riot is certainly not helping matters.

    • You forgot poppy and Tristana. He’s saying that every female champ in league is “too sexy” but when you look at them, they just look like children (If he dares to say they are sexy…)

      Ps: excuse me for my mistakes, english isn’t my mother language :/

      • The Fairy Wizard

        I mean, no? That’s not what I said? Yes there are female champions in LoL that are thankfully not sexualised (Talyah for instance), like obviously that’s a good thing. I’m not saying that they’re ALL sexualised, just the crushing majority. And again, there’s a huge difference between “sexy/sexual” and “sexualised”. Poppy and Tristana are yordles -i.e not even human- so frankly I would be shocked if they too got the same treatment as most of Riot’s other female champions.

  11. If you read the lore of these characters you will find that most of them have a reason to dress like they do.
    Ahri used to lure men with sex to steal their souls.
    Miss fortune uses her looks to her advantage.
    Zyra is literally a plant so she couldn’t care less about modesty.
    Le blanc is a deceiver.

    Men are also sexualized just as much as women.
    Braum has unrealistic proportions
    So does Darius
    And garen
    And Draven
    And Graves

    • The Fairy Wizard

      If you are referring to how body standards are as unrealistic for men as they are for women I 100% agree. However, men in LoL -while possesing ridiculous builds and pauldrons the size of the moon- are not objectified to the level women are. Think of how many different male body types there are, ranging from Ezreal skinny to Garen “I can’t believe my muscles haven’t ripped through my armour”. Additionally, men in LoL are always depicted in very powerful stances and expressions, in a way the women rarely are (not to mention how their equipment consists of more than a metal bikini and a pair of skin-tight pants). How many different body types have you noticed within the female percentage of LoL’s champions, besides skimpy-with-a-ridiculous-breast/butt/thigh ratio, because there aren’t that many (with the possible exception of Illaoi). And I don’t think that the lore is an excuse. Yes, Miss Fortune and Ahri are supposedly very comfortable with their sexuality, but that doesn’t excuse de-spining them and twisting them into impossible poses to benefit the male gaze. And what about Evelynn, or Lux, or Katarina or any other champion in the game that gets the same treatment? I don’t see how their lore justifies their -frankly irresponsible- attire.

      • “Only three people of color” So I guess Illoai, Yasuo, Master Yi, Lucian, Ekko, Lee Sin, Xin Zhao, Shen, and Karma don’t count?

      • The Fairy Wizard

        Oh dear, I need to edit that. At time of writing, neither Ekko nor Illaoi had come out, so when I said three I meant Karma, Lucian and Xin Zhao and I guess I forgot about Lee. I’m not sure about Yasuo, Yi or Shen though, because their skins do not explicitly portray them as people of colour (Yi and Shen have most of their skin covered up). I guess you could argue that Yasuo is meant to be a POC, as his design was (possibly) inspired from Musashi Miyamoto, but even so the number doesn’t rise that much.

      • What does a male character have to show to be oversexualized in a game, in your opinion?

      • The Fairy Wizard

        I’m assuming you meant cis male character, the answer to which would probably be this and/or this

      • 3 people of colour…. boy oh boy am i going to have fun with this.

        Excluding monstrous champions : Aatrox, Alistar, Amumu, Anivia, Aurelion Sol, Azir, Bard, Blitzcrank, Brand, Cho gath, Dr mundo, Elise, Fiddlesticks, Fizz, Galio, Gnar, Hecarim, Heimerdinger, Ivern, Kindred, Kled, Kog maw, Kha zix, lissandra, Malphite, Maokai, Mordekaiser, Nautilus, Nocturne, Nunu, Orianna, Rammus, Reksai, Renekton, Rengar, Rumble, Shaco, Shyvanna, Skarner, Sion, Tahm Kench, Teemo, Thresh, Trundle, Twitch, Udyr, Urgot, Vel Koz, Vladimir, Warwick, Wukong, Xerath, Yorick, Zac, Zyra.

        Excluding champions showing no skin or coloured skin (purple/blue etc): Corki, Evelynn, Illaoi, Jax, Jhin, Kalista, Karthus, Kennen, Kayle, Lissandra, Lulu, Malzahar, Master Yi, Morgana, Nami, Pantheon, Poppy, Rumble, Ryze, Shen, Soraka, Swain, Syndra, Taric, Tristana, Varus, Vayne, Veigar, Vladimir, Xayah, Zed, Ziggs.

        Champions who we can assume is white based on their lore:

        Ahri, Annie, Ashe, Braum, Caitlyn, Darius, Ezreal, Fiora, Garen, Irelia, Janna, Jayce, Katarina, Lux, Quinn, Vi, Sona, Talon, Zilean

        Champions of different nations and their corresponding real life counterparts:

        Akali (Ionia) (Im including her because if you actually looked at her original art she was supposed to fulfill the “ninja assassin” stereotype, so japan)
        Cassieopeia (Shurima – Egypt)
        Ekko (Zaun)
        Draven (Noxus)
        Gragas (Unknown)
        Jarvan IV (Demacia)
        Karma (Ionia)
        Lee sin (unknown but i would guess thai from his muay thai skin)
        Lucian (wanderer)
        Nidalee
        Olaf (Frejlord- Viking fantasy)
        Sivir (Shurima – Egypt)
        Taliyah (Shurima- Egypt)
        Wukong (China)
        Xin Zhao (probably chinese too)
        Yasuo (Ionia- Japan)

        So unless your definition of POC is just black characters i think you can see there is a lot of diversity in league.

      • The Fairy Wizard

        I do find it rather bizarre that you excluded Illaoi and Jhin since they’re as PoC as you can get.

        Also, I think you missed another comment that said the same thing you’re saying, the part where I edited this post and the part where this article is over 2 years old. Most of the champions you mentioned in your list are either super white (like gragas and olaf? Seriously? The uber ginger viking and the also ginger dude with a white-ass German skin?) or didn’t exist when this article was written. And I didn’t include sivir and cassiopeia because they both have skins that are super white so until riot decides whether or not they are PoC, I’m going to err on the side of caution. Adjusting for updates and the new champions that weren’t around back then, the total tally comes down to Karma, Akali, Lee Sin, Lucian, Yasuo and Xin Zhao. That would be 6 PoC at time of writing. Is there some more diversity in the league now? Yeah I’d say there’s a bit more (coughexceptforqueerpeoplecough). Was this the case almost 3 years ago? Not really no.

  1. Pingback: Yesterday, games critic Anita Sarkeesian published a video about female body diversity in games. – Adventures Gate

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