Fit-Shaming in Video Games: A Race to the Bottom…

Source(s):

http://www.cinemablend.com/games/See-How-Female-Video-Game-Characters-Look-Average-Women-73637.html

Recently Bulimia.com — a site developed to help fight the unhealthy eating disorder of its own namesake — has publicized a marketing campaign geared specifically towards young girls that depicts popular female video game characters in more rotund and portly shapes. And, as reported by CinemaBlend, the campaign totes that the ‘Before’ photos (the original, unaltered video game characters) depict “impossible body types”, whereas the ‘After’ photos (that is, the Photoshop altered, huskier renditions) are labeled as “normal”. Thereby, in an effort to curb eating disorders and some of the body shaming that many young women (and men) can be subject to, Bulimia.com has committed an act of body shaming called “fit-shaming”.

To blatantly label a fit, fighting-class female figure as an “impossible body type”, and to hold a less fit body type as the new ideal standard or “norm” blows the minds of LaughingMan, CineMax, and Katie B.

CineMax

A subversive excommunicated from [REDACTED] as a result of a failed coup d'etat, CineMax has miraculously managed to reach and find asylum in the Land of the Free. Here he spends his days working for Cheshire Cat Studios, all the while plotting his inevitable return to the motherland to once again foment the flames of revolution.

LaughingMan

The loveable lunatic with the foul mouth and the iconic laugh, Laughingman is the founder of CCS. With more coffee than copper in his bloodstream, he's a full-time website developer by day, and a gamer, editor, and fiction writer by night.

Katie_B

Katie B is a professional Flash animator from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She loves Stoicism, birds, and convincing people that the only good Silent Hill games are 1-4.

4 Comments on “Fit-Shaming in Video Games: A Race to the Bottom…

  1. Ah… the old “equality means ONLY for female characters” tag again… Jeez..

    Bu then again, why do people care about how physically accurate videogame characters in a game where there’s ninjas who can spawn fire, ice and rip someone’s heart out? I’ll never understand these internet white knights who tackle on “Oh, women in videogames shouldn’t be like that, they’ll hurt the feelings of those who aren’t perfect”.

    What I don’t get is what’s the purpose of said article. So, women aren’t realistically accurate in a videogame that involves magic and witchcraft. So? The Assassin’s Creed games introduce elements that don’t fit accurately in the time periods they depict. The Halo games present weapons that are accurately impossible. So what’s the problem? The answer is “Gamer girls who play videogames may become depressed because they’re not as perfect as in the videogame they’re playing”. Isn’t that the purpose of a videogame? Escape from reality? And what about men? I’ve been playing Halo since I was 4 (and that will probably come to a stop when Halo 5 comes out) and I’ve never felt bad or ashamed just because the master chief has a more powerful build than me.

    I just play games for the fun of it, not to cherry pick every problem it presents when compared to reality.

  2. I saw this shit on my Facebook the other day. Avoided it like the fucking plague because it is just ridiculous that some organization that wants to do “fit-shaming” by making these video game characters “realistic” in how they truly look like?

    Do these people realize that there are tons of people that can look like this? What’s it called again? Oh yeah, cosplayer, the people that eat a healthy diet, exercise every day and can achieve the looks of their favorite characters (Look at the Bane cosplayers and how goddamn buff they are).

  3. I have cosplayed as Tifa before and I have seen all sizes of people dress-up as the same character. And no one gave a shit because they had fun and they loved the character. I think a character’s personality is more important than their superficial traits (just like people in reality).

    To reiterate Max’s point: people find different things attractive. There women who are “chubby-chasers”, men who will only exclusively date “big, beautiful women”, and there is porn featuring overweight people. You can’t change what people find sexy.

    I am not sure about overweight being the norm in America though. I have lived in many different areas in the U.S. and I would say that most people are of thin or average build (not always necessarily “fit” mind you) but hey, that’s just my experience. You also have to take genetics, age, and diet into account. I have inherited a high metabolism and can easily shed weight but I still think it is important for me to exercise and eat healthy. Plus, I find it important to be in shape when you are younger and retain it b/c you never know what effects that aging has on your body. Your metabolism can easily change over time.

    TL;DR

    I think tolerance is the key word in any case.
    People should just be comfortable in themselves and take responsibility for their life choices.
    You should also never base your reality off of fiction.

  4. White and overweight women saying they are offended or put off by the slim Japanese characters in a video game set in Japan is like me saying that I am offended or put off by the lack of white female characters in Book Of Mormon :/ Ridiculous

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