When it comes to video games of animated movies, for the most part I'm willing to suspend my disbelief when it comes to body proportions. Whether it be Disney Princesses or Lara Croft, animated female characters tend to have the brains and brawn to kick butt, paired with large bosoms and the tiniest of waistlines.
Overall, these images can be pretty unrealistic and can alter our view of the female figure. Not to say that they're impossible to have, but they're certainly not bodies that we see in everyday life.
If you find that the iconic video game characters of your childhood don't stand up with your ideas of beauty or body positive images, Bulimia.com, a website dedicated to fighting eating disorders, is on your side.
The website took to photoshop to prove how unrealistic these characters' body proportions might be by editing them to match the body type and measurements of your average woman. They are taking a stand against developers and according to their site:
If video game creators are going to pride themselves on accurate digital representations, then it’s time for them to get real about women.
Check out their edited images below:
Lara Croft, Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness
Jade, Mortal Kombat
Sonya Blade, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
Bikini Girl, Grand Theft Auto V
Christie Monteiro, Tekken 5
Cortana, Halo 4
Helena Douglas, Dead or Alive 5
Nabooru, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Rikku, Final Fantasy X-2
Tifa Lockhart, Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy
In Bulimia.com's conclusion, they bring up some good points:
The difference between the original video game heroines and their more realistic interpretations is hardly subtle. In these images, unfeasible waistlines expand and arms and legs grow wider. Perhaps the changes are especially noticeable since most of these characters are so scarcely dressed.
Video game designers and their companies have complete control over the female bodies in their games. So why is it they so often opt to make these characters into unrealistically idealized versions of their human counterparts?
Of course, this doesn't just go for the women, although it's more often highlighted. Male characters are also often distorted to have unrealistic body proportions that give audiences a skewed view of reality. Sure, being in shape is one thing, but ass-kickers come in all body types, including ones that weren't represented in Bulimia.com's photos.
Heavy or thin, most of these characters are totally badass and awesome already, they don't necessarily need humungous muscles or breasts or to be highly sexualized to make us think so.
This is not to say that being fit, healthy, or thin is anything to be ashamed of (of course! That should go without saying), but if you ever feel down because you don't look like a video game character, it's not worth getting upset over! Maybe it's time we hold a mirror up to the media to get a good look at what kind of message we're sending out into the world.
**Holy shit edit: Okay, people, I did not make these images and in no way am I saying that being thin is unhealthy or unrealistic. Living a healthy and active lifestyle is extremely important! Don't we all know that already?
Furthermore, the aim of this artist, or at least what I got from it, was not that these characters would have been better off at a heavier weight but just that men and women who do struggle with their body image shouldn't turn to eating disorders to try to look like video game characters with exaggerated proportions.***