Comic books get plenty of grief for being sexist. Hardly surprising, given how much ammunition they give their critics.
Just look at the costumes that some of the most popular superheroines in the comics world wear: Why do so many of them dress like strippers? These skin-tight, cleavage-barring, go-go boot costumes hardly seem ideal for fighting super-powered villains. Why not armour and helmets?
And then there are the breasts. It’s hard to find a superheroine published by Marvel or DC today who hasn’t tucked a pair of basketballs into her uniform. It seems as if every comic is written for (or by) a 15-year-old boy with raging hormones.
Don’t use the argument that all characters in comics, male and female, boast exaggerated body types: Spider-Man’s package isn’t nearly as pronounced as Power Girl’s cleavage. And not one superhero has a window exposing the top of their private parts.
The comic world has made some strides though, and the new Ms. Marvel comic published by Marvel features a teen superheroine with a perfectly normal body type – as well as the character being smart, funny and likeable, too. But there needs to be more Ms. Marvels before it can shed its reputation for sexist superheroines. And it definitely needs fewer superheroines who look like these 10..
10. Emma Frost
Since 1980, Marvel Comics’ Emma Frost has been wearing nearly nothing, whether she’s been a foe to the X-Men or a member of their team. Frost’s snow-white costume is instantly recognisable, mostly for how little there is of it on top. In some versions, there’s precious little of the costume down below, either.
You might think that Frost is a step in the right direction for female superheroes. After all, she has become one of the X-Men’s most important members and a leader of the team. She’s also an incredibly powerful hero.
But there’s still that costume. Critics complain that far too many superheroines dress like strippers, and Emma Frost more than proves their point.