Samus Aran Is Now Smaller and "Sexier"

This artist was trying to draw concept art of Samus Aran and found that the Metroid heroine’s size and shape have changed since her earlier adventures:

I got distracted doing my Western Metroid concept art project for school when I was trying to find out Samus’ height. Turns out in some official art for Super Metroid (1994) she’s described as such:

The Power Suit hides a strong, muscular woman. Samus is nearly six feet, three inches tall and weighs nearly 200 pounds.

Then it lists the exact numbers as 6’3” and 198lbs. That’s what’s “hidden” by the suit, not with the suit, as some people on the internet seem to be suggesting. If you look at the illustration, the suit doesn’t add much to her height anyway.

Samus now stands at 5’3", though, and you can see at her Wikipedia entry that she has also been redrawn as less muscular, with bigger breasts; even the recent illustration of her power suit exaggerates her hip-to-waist ratio.

Sad. Samus Aran used to be the original badass video game heroine, and—in my youth, at least—she was only minimally sexualized.

Via Fuck Yeah Warrior Women.

A Defiant Dance of Power

Lots of people are up in arms about Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime show last night, criticizing the artist for objectifying herself and characterizing her performance as “stripping” or “pornography”. Here’s a fantastic response from David Henson:

Beyoncé’s performance Sunday night in New Orleans wasn’t about sex. It was about power, and Beyoncé had it in spades. In fact, her show was one of the most compelling, embodied and prophetic statements of female power I have seen on mainstream television.

That a Black woman claimed and owned her power during the misogynist, consumerist celebration known as the Super Bowl only highlights Beyoncé’s brilliance and boldness.

More than anything, while I was watching the recorded video of Beyoncé’s act, I kept thinking, “She looks like she’s having so much fun.” People want to be able to characterize all similar events as having similar morality; because some women dance on stage in minimal clothing to provoke lust or because they are letting their sexuality be hijacked by men, Beyoncé must be doing the same thing. But maybe Beyoncé has no interest in your sexual response to her, and she certainly doesn’t need to exploit her sexuality for her own survival. She’s a sexual being, as God created her, and last night she owned that sexuality on stage, flanked by a multitude of other talented women and absolutely zero men. I think the message is clear.

Repainting Celebrity Barbies

You know how when Mattel puts out a doll based on an iconic celebrity or a movie character it never actually looks like that person, but just one of Barbie’s generic friends? Portrait artist Noel Cruz has proven that an accurate recreation is simply a matter of some extra effort and a lot of talent. He “repaints” dolls, transforming them from “Well, I guess that kinda looks like Diana Ross” to amazingly realistic representations of the people they’re supposed to be.

Beautiful work. Incidentally, how much better was Jezebel’s Hurricane Sandy emergency blog than their actual website?

Women of the 112th

Emily Nemens, a New York-based illustrator, has painted portraits of every single women in the current Congress.

“I want to honor the breadth and diversity of women in power, as well as bring attention to certain disconcerting characteristics about them… the rainbow of power suits, the big hair, the gaudy jewelry and toothy smiles … and, of course, the fact that they collectively are only 17 percent of Congress.”

Via The Mary Sue.

The Nude in a Pornographic Age

Peter J. Leithart of First Things analyzes the morality of the nude in art:

We no longer have a visual idiom that enables us to depict the beauty of the human form without arousing lust. Combatting pornography requires not the suppression but the revival of the nude.

Via Christ and Pop Culture.

Episcopal Priest Under Scrutiny for Nude Photography

The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri is investigating the Rev. John Blair upon discovering his hobby of nude and erotic photography:

Blair was not hiding his art. In fact, he could hardly have been more public about it. The 40-year-old priest declined to be interviewed, but he describes himself in several places online as an artist. Much of his photography is of adult female models in classic nude poses; his work has been shown in local galleries and art shows.

Unless you categorically consider nude or erotic art immoral, this is the worst anyone has to say about Blair:

Blair became a priest in the Episcopal Church in 2000. In 2004, he became rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church. He resigned in 2007 after being accused of what diocesan officials called “an impropriety,” though the diocese found no evidence to support the accusation.