One might assume, since I'm a heterosexual male comic book fan, that I'm OK with the way artists draw curvacious women. You'd be wrong.
It's bad enough advertisers and Hollywood (and heck, even society) "promote" the idea that women must conform to a ridiculously high standard of beauty, fitness and sexuality. Look at any comic book art and you'll quickly realize illustrators are doing an even bigger disservice to women.
That, in turn, makes it seem like all readers are horn-dogs who consider females sexual beings who should have toned fannies, slim arms, flat tummies, birth-bearing hips and large breasts.
When I interviewed licensed therapist Rebecca Roy — who is featured in "Run's House" on MTV — about this phenomenon Tuesday, she stated the obvious that comics are based in fantasy. However, she also pointed out some things that are refreshing to hear. Roy said the voluptuous women depicted in comics, even an "average woman," come from an "aggressive sexuality."
She agreed with me that the way women are drawn probably come from the fulfillment of artists' dreams.
"It's extremely exaggerated," Roy said from her Beverly Hills, Calif.-based practice. "Even the secretary has big boobs. … That's the whole comic book (thing); it's all fantasy."
Here's what I had to say on the topic in my Jan. 25, 2007 "Cary's Comics Craze" column: It's a sad fact that comic book artists have been drawing women with impossibly curvy figures for decades.
Roy and I also talked about the infamous Bond girls. For years, I have been stunned to hear how actresses have claimed to be adding a new perspective to the female characters, whom everybody else knows are largely 007's sexual conquests. Even worse, these actresses sound like they actually believe what they're saying! In fact, they sound more like they giving the company line.
"They are still playthings," Roy said, referring to a Bond girl as "a side character." The psychotherapist went on to briefly to discuss Vesper Lynd from "Casino Royale." Roy believes she "had a little bit more going on." (Too true, since Bond [Daniel Craig] will be hunting down the secret organization in this fall's "Quantum of Solace," which forced her to betray him and then had her killed in "Casino Royale.")
Next, Roy touched on Maggie Gyllenhall as Rachel Dawes in "The Dark Knight," whom she considers an unusual casting choice since Gyllenhall's "subtle" sexuality and beauty don't match the typical supermodel looks.
(For Gyllenall's take on Dawes, click here.)
"She has an interesting sexuality," Roy said.
Psychotherapist Rebecca Roy shares her thoughts on superhero films, gender bias in society and female empowerment in my next "Craze" column, which will appear in the Reflector next Thursday. To learn more about Roy, go to www.theindustrytherapist.com.