Geek Girls Rule! #208 – Body Shame in Nerd-dom.

So, the concept art for White Wolf’s new product was released briefly on Tuesday, and I’d show it to you but apparently in the face of all the criticism flung its way, they’ve taken the gallery down.  The gallery in question featured a bunch of apparently Photoshopped or traced over photos of runway models, with “gothy” clothes on them.  It was brought to my attention by a follower on twitter who was dismayed by the fact that every single woman pictured was apparently a “size zero” or smaller.

Several of us jumped in to discuss how much bullshit that was for several reasons.
1. All body shapes and sizes can be and are hot.  Period.  As I’ve said while giving several talks on body acceptance and Health At Every Size at various conventions, I already get more ass than a toilet seat, if I were conventionally thin, when the hell would I sleep?
2.  A lot of White Wolf’s fanbase are and have always been fat goth girls who ROCK the hell out of corsets, and chubby goth boys who are hot as hell.  They are fabulous as they are, and do not need their hobby shaming them.

Supermodel: 1600s. That is about what I look like naked, with slightly bigger boobs. Sadly born 400 years too late.

3.  A lot of these vampires are supposed to be centuries old, and I have news for you, body shapes go in and out of style just like clothes.  Super thin has only been in style for the last decade or so.  So, all of you saying “We evolved to find X sexy” can just shut your ignorant faces.  Hell, look at Marilyn Monroe in the 1960s, or Mae West in the 1930s.  This picture over to the right features one of Rubens’ favorite models, with 50 inch hips.  Supermodel 1600s style:  Let’s hear it for the fat girls.

Anyway, in the course of the discussion, several guys let it be known that they also found the depiction of men in a lot of role-playing games disheartening as well, particularly in games with modern settings.  Where are the chubby, bearded and awesome adventurers, who aren’t dwarves?  Trust me, I know plenty of chubby awesome dudes who have no problem getting the ladies, or dudes, whatever they’re into.  But still, they would like to see themselves reflected in their hobby, just like women would.

So, here’s the deal RPG publishers, and, oh, everyone in media:  Let the art in your products actually reflect the diversity of what people look like.  Short, tall, thin, fat, muscley, not-so-muscley, white – well, we’ve got that covered I think, brown, Asian, African American, actual African, Native American, Indigenous Australian, etc…

Seriously, thin white bimbo being rescued by Conan look-alike is totally played out.  Trust us.  Branch out a little, you might be surprised.

And granted, I know that part of the problem is that a lot of art schools

Chubby awesome guys like these two fine gents.

will not hire fat life models, so a lot of artists just don’t know HOW to draw the chubbier form well.  They don’t.  I artist modeled before I met the Geek Husband What Rules, when I was body building (and profoundly eating disordered).  After I quit starving myself and compulsively over-exercising, I couldn’t get hired anywhere.  So, here’s a plan, go find a chubby friend and ask if you can draw them, nude, dressed, wearing costumes, whatever, and get a feel for how we stand, how we sit,  how our bodies move, and then start drawing us.  Because doing it badly is almost worse than not doing it at all.


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6 thoughts on “Geek Girls Rule! #208 – Body Shame in Nerd-dom.

  1. Yeah, I tend to struggle against how I feel, body wise. I may be a guy and I try not to let it get to me and be healthy, plus I have a sensitive lower back so I do have to try and lose weight, but good lord, it can just hit you hard when all you see are the super buff dudes. I find it strange as hell whenever someone compliments me and says that I’m good looking, it feels so out of the norm.

    One of my favourite pro-wrestlers of all time was Mick Foley a.k.a. Mankind, Dude Love, and Cactus Jack. He wasn’t this big, buff dude, and he looked more like me than any of the guys sporting six-packs.

    And the most I’ve seen even guys who were slightly chubby in pop culture? Super pathetic Nice Guys(tm). Yeah, thanks a whole lot there, you arseheads.

  2. This is an awesome project. I’m not sure about body TYPES but more women and more POC. I’ll bet if people reached out to them about body types they’d work on that as well.

  3. Just as a note, a lot of art schools and life drawing meetups have “seen the light” — when I took several terms of drawing at Shoreline CC a couple of years ago, we had a very nice diversity of model shapes. So it’s worth it to check.

    Or, you know, go look at pics of gorgeous big women on tumblr ( is my favorite), which is what I do. Um, except I keep forgetting to draw them….

  4. I really love your website: don’t you ever stop! Well, not if you can help it. Just discovered it yesterday when I was searching to see if anyone still played the Amber RPG, and was surprised that there was even that convention you attend. Also was glad to read the Anne McCaffrey segment…it was Lloyd Alexander who helped me “survive” the same sort of things as you: you’re fortunate, because you got to meet her, but I never met him and he died in 2008. As to the topic at hand: these guys who draw all those comics and probably now for White Wolf, they probably don’t even know any women; and most of them don’t even attend life drawing classes. Most of the ones (classes) I’ve been to have had all sorts of models (including me!). I really appreciate the sensitivity of your comments and the thought that goes into them, and you should know that. I hope you keep up what you’re doing.

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