Why Female Characters’ Boobs Are So Huge

“Because, Boobs,” a short cartoon from artist Nate Ziller, is mostly just for laughs, but it also makes an emphatic point.

Why do female characters tend to have such huge breasts? Because a bunch of dudes in a boardroom decided they should.

[via Laughing Squid]


  • The same reason why all the guys are good looking with big muscles.

    If you don’t like it, don’t buy the game/movie/book/comic/album.

    • Not always. I agree that the sexism is also there for men, but at least they tend to have practical armour.
      I don’t mind too much. Female outfits are often good for a laugh.

        • If it existed at all, female body armour was largely identical to male body armour.

          He was talking about practicality, not historical relevance. If you are going into battle, 3 leather straps and some fishnets are not a good idea. It’s silly when dudes get full steel body cover.

          • Ridiculous male images in popular games that featured ridiculous female images or armour.
            League of legends- Dr Mundo, Draven, Gangplank, Graves, Kassadin, Lee Sin, Malzahar, Olaf, Pantheon, Ryze, Shen, Tryndamere, Udyr. Some of these characters aren’t even melee combat characters, you have spell casters that are far more ripped that most men will ever hope to be. This list doesn’t even include characters that received the masculine touch for no reason like Malphite (a giant rock that was never EVER human and is some alien from far away world where his people live like bugs in a giant wonderful hive that lacks any sort of conflict and yet somehow he needs muscle definition and a six pack), Renekton/Nasus (Demi gods) and Sion (Who is Arnold Schwarzenegger, but as a years old corpse walking around with a giant axe and has little to no armour)

            This whole thing is getting out of hand, the reality is that if you want to sell something to a demographic you normally have to insult another one. Heterosexual males generally are going to be ok with the idea of a little sensualisation of women, while heterosexual women are no better.

            As for armour, if you wanted to be realistic they would all look the same any way as there is a lot of padding under most plates and you would find that normally they would just remove some from around the breast area to make room for the difference, however we live in a world where companies are trying to sell us images of the fantastic in hopes of standing out a little or just catching our eye for a moment and so we are just going to have to get used to the fact that products are always going to somewhat ostracise one or more groups of people.

            I am not saying it is ok, it is just how it is. Unrealistic images are everywhere and of everyone, we have to learn to deal with it.

          • Unrealistic is fine. But when 45%ish of people playing games pretty much never have anything made for them, there’s a problem in the industry. I think if at least a little effort were made to be inclusive, the fact that not everything can be would be less of an issue.

          • I think 45% is a little stretch, I think more likely 30% and while I understand how it could be degrading I don’t understand your argument of something not being made for them. Nobody should be FORCED to make something for someone else, that is how you stifle creativity for the purpose of what? Making a game for smaller demographic (of which you may not capture any way), hate to break it to you, but while game developers normally start their careers for the love of games, it normally ends in the pursuit of making ends meet.

            Indie view= What do I want to make?
            Contracted developer view= How do I keep these people in jobs?

            The vast majority of gamers are still male (while it continually does become a more level playing field it is not quite there yet) and as such it is only natural that people who develop games and their publishers should aim for that demographic.

            I welcome the day when there are as many women playing games as men (they are always the most interesting smack talkers for better or worse).

          • The survey stats indicate that game players are pretty much 50/50 now.

            However, the two demographics play quite different games. Given how women are treated in many male-targeted games, I can definitely see why that is the case.

            You may not see many women playing Call of Duty or Battlefield. They’re playing The Sims or Angry Birds instead. (My mother plays a heck of a lot of solitaire.)

            Those may be “casual games”, but they’re still games. The women playing them may not even think of themselves as gamers, but if they spend a lot of time playing games it’s fair to treat them as gamers for statistical purposes.

            (Edit) Quite possibly they’re put off the sort of game you like playing by the (perceived) need to talk smack. Quite a large portion of the population doesn’t find casual insults between strangers particularly entertaining. You’re shifting the games that women are playing away from the type of games you’re playing. It’s hardly surprising that you’re seeing fewer women.

          • What do you mean never? Candy Crush? Plants Vs Zombies? Peggle? Angry Birds? There’s plenty of inclusive games being made. Far more than the titles this article is referring too.

          • Vaegrand, 1755:

            ‘I am not saying it is ok, it is just how it is. Slaves are everywhere and everyone has one, we have to learn to deal with it. Now where’s my whip?’

          • Not entirely, that may be taking my words a little extreme. It would be more akin to:
            “I am not saying it is ok, but they are a company making a product for a demographic and if you don’t fall into it well shit happens…”
            Do you complain about male underwear being made for men? No? Then how is this different? Their games are designed for a group of people, exactly the same as a pair of briefs.

          • Thank you for understanding what I was saying Pokedad.
            I wasn’t talking about history, I was talking about how female “armour” is often very revealing and not very good at deflecting attacks. Mind you, dragons crown has a guy in budgie smugglers.

          • As a dude it annoys me. I usually play as female characters if given the chance and I don’t want my avatar having crazy death armour.

            My Dark Souls character is female and wears +10 elite knight armour. My girlfriend saw my character at the beginning and then later on asked me if I had changed to a dude because of my dude armour. She was pleasantly surprised that all armour serves the same purpose no matter the gender.

      • Very little male body armour in game, anime or other fiction is ever practical.
        Female armour is silly and meant to emphasise sexual traits with a bias towards showing skin. Male armour is silly and meant to emphasis sexual traits with a bias against showing skin, that’s the only difference.

    • No one is complaining that they’re forced to buy something they find distasteful, that’s why I think the old ‘don’t like it don’t buy it’ argument paints the scenario as more black and white than it really is. At the end of the day, people don’t buy what they don’t like, so should that stop us from expecting better?

      • But how would that happen? Legislation over what’s permissable? Should it be a law that all females should have the same armour?

        There’s a long and rich tradition of scantaly clad females in fantasy literature. That’s why it’s called fantasy. It’s not real. You’re saying that’s wrong? And it should be stopped? Why. And how?

      • But that’s not what I was saying. Ever seen Dawson’s Creek? Those guys aren’t realistic at all. I’m not campaigning that they should be stopped because most guys aren’t that good looking and nice and willing to talk about feelings.

        I’m totally cool with it. It’s a fantasy and it’s not for me. I can dig that. And I don’t pay money for it. Which is the only choice most of us have in life.

          • I WILL NEVER LET GO!!!!!

            Dawson and Joey 4 EVA!!

            Hehehehe. We all watched it back in the day. It was a big deal.

      • Yeah, except that that’s untrue at worst, utterly incomplete at best. Ever seen a fireman calendar, or seen chicks lose their shit at a ManPower or Bad Boys show? Women DO actually like that overmuscled stereotype and not just the pouty pretty boy with lashes longer than theirs.

        Just like the stereotypical ‘blonde bombshell’ legs that go on forever stereotype doesn’t gel with the popularity of Sasha Grey. There’s a lot of tastes out there and going out feminizing a bunch of male characters to meet a perceived target is just as ignorant and sexist as anything else already happening.

        • And then saying that anything AGAINST that viewpoint is somehow immoral is just crazy.

          Where does it stop, when all male characters are ambidextrous stick figures and all women are wearing bhurkas? Is that progress?

          • That extreme always gets brought up in these arguments and I don’t think it’s the answer. I want diversity, if people wanna have crazy sexy stripper heroines, sweet, as long as that’s not the standard.

          • But when you state it, it doesn’t sound like diversity, it sounds like you want all attractive female characters changed to gender neutral ‘beings’. I understand that’s not what you mean, but that’s what I thought when I first read your answer.

            I understand better now. These arguments often go off on the extreme angles. It sounds like you’d just like a middle path. That’s a good idea.

        • The biggest joke is that David Willis, a man, is writing a female character and then using her to tell the audience what women want.

          He’s a giant tool, and not the useful kind. He’s like a Gary Larson cow tool.

      • I find it ironic that this ‘false equivalence’ is usually actually false.

        Assuming and asserting that all men depicted in comics/games/movies are ‘male power fantasies’ is FALSE.

        What i hate about that particular comic (that everyone seems to use in stead of using words to form an articulate response) is that it ends up making batman look very feminine, which is the OPPOSITE of objectifying a man and reducing him to just his attractive attributes. Instead it changes him into something completely different by removing the core attribute of masculinity into something akin to a feminine looking transvestite, which (according to the masses) is NOT attractive to the majority of heterosexual women.

        • I dunno. I remember my days of high school and uni and only a small (if loud) subset of chicks went crazy for the super built football player/gym freak type… and those girls themselves shared a certain mentality (vain, not particularly brilliant…) while every other girl went either for the goo-goo for the tall, lanky, big eyed guy out of Dawson’s Creek/Beverly Hills 90210 or the classic hipster.

          I guess what we can take out from this is that men’s objectification of women is much more stereotypical and simplistic: two pairs of big spheroids joined by a tiny waist (a pretty face welcome, but ultimately optional), while it’s harder to objectify a man in a way that will appeal to most women.

          • In many ways it’s the same, sure the blonde, big boobs, tiny waist thing is the ‘standard’ for male fantasies of women (as told to us by the media), but not all males like that.

  • I think the answer is that when you’re creating a fictional character with any attributes you choose, men in particular are prone to create what they find pleasing, often at the expense of reality. It’s a little immersion breaking when a majority of female characters have exquisite lingerie model breasts, which I’m a fan of looking at. But throw in some flat chested women, or sagging boobs, just like in real life.

      • What this guy said. If it was more balanced wouldn’t male characters be idealised for men and female characters for women? Instead both depictions seem to favour males.

        • Only in this genre. Widen your viewpoint. there’s plenty of stuff for women out there. Twilight? Any soap opera in existence?

          But of course if you pick a male oriented fantasy world, you’re going to find things skewed to the male viewpiont. If we looked at the demographics of those who purchased skyrim, I’d say they’d be clearly skewed to male purchasers.

          • Only in this genre. Widen your viewpoint. there’s plenty of stuff for women out there. Twilight? Any soap opera in existence?

            Are yousaying if women don’t like how they’re portrayed in games they should go read Twilight or watch a soapie?

            Otherwise, calling attention to genres in which men are objectified doesn’t really justify how women are represented in games. The old “men are objectified too” platitude might be true, but it’s besides the point.

            But of course if you pick a male oriented fantasy world, you’re going to find things skewed to the male viewpiont. If we looked at the demographics of those who purchased skyrim, I’d say they’d be clearly skewed to male purchasers.

            I feel like Skyrim was a very gender neutral game, not leaning towards appealing to men in particular. The men and women you could play as were very ideal, but the women didn’t look like strippers and the men didn’t look like candidates for a firefighter calendar.

          • That’s not what I said.

            In response to you saying that both viewpoints seem geared to the male, I said, that there’s plenty of stuff out there for women as well. As in, there are plenty of stories out there where the depictions are drawn to the female ideal.

            Skyrim is a fantasy game. Traditionally geared towards males. Just look at ANY cover of a fantasy novel from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Crazy armour is not a new thing. I don’t see why it’s such a problem when it’s A FANTASY!!

            And why is that ‘true but beside the point’? It’s the other side of the same coin, why should it not be discussed in this kind of discussion. Are we going to tackle male fantasies first, like they’re some kind of problem, before we can look at female fantasies? You seem to want ‘balance’ as you said in an earlier post. Why? Why is that a good or desirable thing?

            There are things out there for women, there are things out there for men. I don’t watch ‘Love Actually’ and then complain about how unrealistic it was. It’s just a story and it wasn’t made for me, so I enjoy it for what it is.

            I’m not arguing that armour that exposes all of your weak points isn’t stupid. It is. But as far as I know magic also doesn’t exist and neither do dragons. Both of them are in Skyrim. Is that a problem too? I just don’t know where you’re drawing the line, or even why? Women aren’t being raped or victimised in the story line. There’s plenty of strong female characters in the game. I just don’t think that this is a real problem at all.

          • That’s not what I said.

            Phew, you can never tell by tones on the internet. I was gonna be all like, are you for real?

            And why is that ‘true but beside the point’? It’s the other side of the same coin, why should it not be discussed in this kind of discussion. Are we going to tackle male fantasies first, like they’re some kind of problem, before we can look at female fantasies?

            If you want to discuss it, I’m your man. I’ve been incredibly troubled by male depiction in media, especially since it’s more of a silent issue and while the ridiculous standard put forward to women (perfect breasts, waist, hair, etc) is more or less attainable through enough bulimia and plastic surgery, the standard guys are held to is so nebulous and unattainable, you have to be a leader/servant stoic/comedian strong/sensitive good boy/bad boy, large armed humble/proud Indiana Jones/James Bond, provider action hero that never fails and always succeeds. For some guys, losing their job completely invalidates them as a man, and that’s totally ridiculous. The pressure for guys is enormous, and it needs to be discussed a LOT more than it is.

            In my opinion it gets overlooked because guys haven’t in modern history been under much persecution. Women still get payed less and they’ve only been able to vote in Australia for about a hundred years I think. Women’s struggles have been more visible and tangible, so the temptation is to somehow rationalize that males, as the more entitled gender, shouldn’t have the social pressures that face them addressed.

            The bottom line is, I hate it when the response to someone pointing out troubling depiction of women is simply “men are objectified too so your argument is invalid”. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Both subjects need to be discussed, but I was talking about women in particular, I don’t see why men have to come into the conversation. But if you want it to, I could talk all night. I’m raising two boys, and it’s something I’m really passionate about, but I feel like it’s dragged into the depiction of women discussion for the wrong reasons.

            I’m not arguing that armour that exposes all of your weak points isn’t stupid. It is. But as far as I know magic also doesn’t exist and neither do dragons. Both of them are in Skyrim. Is that a problem too? I just don’t know where you’re drawing the line, or even why? Women aren’t being raped or victimised in the story line. There’s plenty of strong female characters in the game. I just don’t think that this is a real problem at all.

            Once again, I think Skyrim is a great game. I don’t think it’s exploitative towards either gender. It’s my favourite game of this recently passed generation. It’s one of my all time favourite games ever.

          • I like Skyrim, but it’s a bit… aimless. I spent a long time getting it fully modd’d on my PC, and then just kinda… whiled away the time until other things took my fancy.

            Then I had the bright idea of moving steam off my SDD, i didn’t realise it would take all the games with it. So my fully modd’d skyrim is gone, and it took SO much effort to do that I just don’t know if I have it in me anymore. I don’t want to play vanilla because I’ll lose my character. Ummm. I don’t think you would like her. She’s not a realistic depiction of a female. No massive boobs or crazy armour, but she’s at least a 9/10 and I guess that’s objectifying women?

            I don’t know where you can draw the line. I think our society is heavily affected by the stories we tell. Find me a roid user these days, and I’ll show you someone who likes early schwarzenneger, stallone and van damne films. But on the flip side, I like those stories, because I can see them as they are, escapist entertainment. I don’t want to watch a film about an average person doing average things, that doesn’t interest me. And not many film makers will make that film because it won’t sell well. They make the stories that sell and that means they add things like good looking people, because it increases the sellability. It’s just human nature. The best thing you can do is make your sons aware of it, and make sure they have their own skills that they can have confidence in. I have a son and 2 daughters myself.

          • @rowan

            Fantasy is really important and I believe it’s really healthy. I’m not at all opposed to scantily clad women. My wife and I consider ourselves feminists, and we spent New Year’s Eve at a strip club (don’t worry, the kids were with a sitter). My wife and I are both sexually attracted to women and we had a lovely dance from this one girl (I let her choose of course) and she pretended to be all in to is and we enjoyed ourselves and she got paid and it was all fantasy.

            It’s no different to going to the opera where Hansel and Gretel are the victims of neglect or a revenge movie where an actor mopes over his dead family. You’re paying for a fantasy. I’m all for that. I don’t think it’s bad in general to wield an erotic persona and use that to erouse.

            But fantasy is incredibly influential and it informs reality a lot. I personally find fiction really profound. So I worry about fiction that is not balanced.

            I almost always prefer to read/play/watch female characters. And my ideal female characters are strong, somewhat tomboyish, intelligent and not sexualised. So as you can imagine, video games have provided slim pickings in this department. 15 years ago a vast majority of women in games weren’t strong or independent or capable or modest. They were objects, prizes, eye candy.

            I think it’s gotten WAY better in the last 10 years. There more and more diversity in how women are portrayed and that’s pleasing to me.

            I want to be able to go into a game store and choose my fantasy. Sometimes I DO want to play that realistic game, where there’s a lot more grounding and sometimes I want something ridiculous. The problem for me is when a gender is skewed a certain way and pigeon holed into certain roles, appearances and functions. And the video game industry has been HUGELY guilty of this for both men and women.

            It’s time for the industry to grow up. Devs who want to make titular characters that arouse need to be comfortable in their skin and journalists need to stop bashing them. And Devs who want to make more realistic games need to have the courage to present women who don’t look like mannequins and artists need learn how to render flat chested women who have middle age spread.

            I want my kids to grow up playing games that represent the bouquet of artistic expression, not just ones that are designed to exploit their hormones. Fiction speaks really loudly and it often sends the wrong message

          • @ Shadow

            Well said man, well said. I don’t agree with all of your points, but we’re two different people, we’re never going to completely agree. But you’ve stated your opinion well and I respect you for it.

            And I’m all for middle aged female character with flat boobs but not as a protagonist. Just not a story I’d be interested in following personally.

          • @rowan flat chested women are my thang, Gwen Stefani, Gwenyth Paltrow etc is the kind of body type that gets me hot under the collar. My wife is a card holding member of the Itty Bitty Titty Club. What can I say, we’re a niche market, but a market none the less =D

            But really, I don’t care how big a protagonist’s breasts are, it’s their story that’s going to intrigue me, I would never shy away from a character because they are well endowed. I’m just saying that a world like Skyrim populated by a more realistic array of men and women’s body types adds to the suspension of my disbelief. Gimmie fat, skinny, long, short, tall, ugly, pretty, people. Wandering through The Land of the Mannequin People is kinda boring (or at least put in some back story about how a wizard made everyone look that way 😉 )

            And that’s the power of video games. They can be as realistic or as fantastic as the developer can imagine. It was frustrating how you had this limitless medium that was stuck in a visual (and sometimes thematic ) rut. So, It’s good to see over the last 5-10 years how things have been slowly balancing so that not every game looks like a cover of a Heavy Metal comic. For years it was like “oh look, another perfectly chiseled soldier and another sizzling vixen, gee I haven’t seen that before.” It feels like we’re getting some real diversity now. You’ve stuff like Bayonetta turning up the sexuality and Tomb Raider turning it right down. Y’know, a world in which you and I can both find what we like.

          • I think that’s why the ‘fratboy’ or ‘dudebro’ mentality exists. They’re brought up with the idea that being a “man” is the most important feature in their lives and maybe it’s the only point to having one (as well as what’s in their pants being a measurement of it). So they easily fall into behaviours such as binge drinking or going double over the speed limit in front of their friends because they think they have to.

            Honestly, I don’t think CoD would be as popular if it didn’t make guys feel like their manly.

      • Man, I’m so tired of seeing that line… Hot amazon warrior women are sexual objects for guys! Ripped dudes aren’t a sexual object for women, though… they’re power fantasies for men!
        So hyper-exaggeration is ONLY for guys, huh? I really have to call bullshit on that.

        It’s a shame that stylization and hyper-exaggeration has such powerful visual impact and a broad spectrum of styles to it, allowing artists to go to town instead of having everything take up residence in the uncanny valley or boring old realism. But since it’s ONLY for guys, it must be bad.

        • These guys haven’t met any of the women I work with. I work in a gym and I can tell you many, MANY of my female coworkers don’t mind a beefy dude.

        • Yeah, I dislike this attitude that things that titillate men are dirty and wrong. And I think women should be empowered to inhabit the role of the sex-goddess if she wants. I really wish Australia would legalize prostitution on a federal level and see it as a valid profession and not some perverted thing.

          Sometimes I think we’re really in the dark ages.

          • Prostitution is legal in every state and territory. The degree to which it is regulated is set by the state because the legislation doesn’t fall under residual powers to be governed federally.

          • Huh, shows how much I know. I assumed it was illegal in SA where I live. I need to get out more. Either way I hate the stigma that surrounds the profession. They’re sex workers, get over it.

          • Yeah, there’s a really big stigma against it, which is bullshit. Legalising prostitution was very beneficial for this country. It made human trafficking harder, it killed a lot of the revenue streams relied on by organised crime (drug distribution, people smuggling, brothels), and made the general health and well-being of the Australian citizens better overall. On top of that, it meant the government took a big chunk of tax income from a previously cash-based grey/black market.

            From memory, SA doesn’t have legal brothels, but sex workers can work as private companies. the reason we can’t have one law governing the whole lot is to do with the constitution. All laws pertaining to *insert big list* fall under state governance. Anything else falls under ‘residual powers’ and is looked after by the federal government.

            If you are interested in how all of that works, there’s a famous case in Australian law called Tasmanian Dams. It set the standard on the idea that federal law always wins against a conflicting state law and also spells out whether this or that issue is covered by state of federal legislation.

        • Yeah, I’m still confused as to how people can’t see that the hot amazon warrior woman can also be a female power fantasy.

  • Read most books or magazines the ideals are still the same there as they are in games, its just a different focus group.

  • Why do male characters tend to have such big chiseled He-Man muscles and washboard abs? Because a bunch of dudes in a boardroom decided they should.

    Why do men feel oppressed at this grossly unrealistic and heavily exaggerated representation of men?
    They don’t. Because they know it’s just that- grossly unrealistic and heavily exaggerated. We know that 90% of the time we’re not going to see someone with a Zyzz-like body walk down the street, so why bitch about something that isn’t likely to happen in the real world? And someone like that does walk down the street? Who gives a fuck?

    Why do some girls feel oppressed at grossly unrealistic and heavily exaggerated representations of women?
    Because the ones that do tend to hang out on Tumblr and bitch about “thin/fat/male privilege” alot, have Special Snowflake Syndrome and blame everyone else for their insecurities. Most girls in the real world don’t care about these representations because they know big boobs aren’t the be-all end-all of women. Guys don’t care either because they know not all girls have big boobs and frankly don’t care.

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