Just Sayin’: Skimpy armour isn’t the devil

I like skimpy armour. There, I said it. I like armour that’s flattering to the form and still fantasy-friendly. Before you grab your pitchforks, hear me out. I’m not talking about female characters wearing straps of leather and pretending it protects them in some way, but y’know that Conan guy? Yeah, I think the bare-chested look with the loin cloth works for a big sword wielding fella, and why shouldn’t that be an option for the ladies too?

Realism is a wonderful thing in armour, and something I have a great deal of respect for. Breastplates without boob curves look fantastic, and even better if they don’t impale the poor women wearing them. However, I’m not averse to the infamous “boob window”, or characters that require a great deal of manoeuvrability wearing clothing that doesn’t restrict their form. While I’d probably prefer my rogue to be wearing form-fitting black leather that covers the majority of her body, with a hood to match, I’m not going to turn my nose up at a bit of cleavage, or a midriff displayed here and there.

I realise that some people will feel this makes me a bad feminist, because skimpy armour is there to objectify and overly sexualise women, however I don’t entirely agree. While yes, games like TERA are fairly renowned for their armour that borders on the ridiculous, I do feel that we’re conflicting here a little. To quote Dani Colman in her post The problem with false feminism (or why “Frozen” left me cold):

I don’t have a particular problem with women being sexualised on screen, either: as long as they aren’t objectified, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with celebrating that the female body can be a beautiful thing that is very appealing to show off.

Feminism states that women should be entitled to wear whatever they want in the real world. Shouldn’t women in the gaming world have the same options open to them? At least within reason.

Just sayin’…

  • Dahakha

    Yep, agreed. I love dressing my female characters in skimpy armour sometimes too. There should always be that option. But it should be equally easy to find more modest and/or practical and/or functional armour. The problem in many games at the moment is that it is damn hard work – if possible at all – to find the latter. It’s mostly the skimpy stuff.

    Same with that quote you included. A lot of women would not find it a problem to see women sexualised on-screen if it is at least trying to be appropriate to the story. But the reason there is a problem is that it is one of the *only* ways women are portrayed, i.e. it is the default.

    The ones who condemn you for liking skimpy armour or tastefully sexy ladies, THEY are the bad feminists because they have lost touch with the idea that women have varied tastes and interests.

    • Completely agree; having more options is, in my opinion, NEVER a bad thing. It is a massive problem when only one of the options is available, especially if that option is only skimpy. It does leave a bad taste in my mouth because it’ll fall on the side of “objectification” a lot more easily.

      Thank you for this comment, I completely agree with everything you’ve said here. It should definitely not be the default, but I feel like as we improve overall, it’ll become more acceptable to celebrate the female form without it being skeevy.

  • Here here. 🙂 I don’t mind a little bit, if it makes me feel pretty, so long as the options are there with transmog, wardrobes, costumes.. and that the options aren’t ALL bra and pants. And .. I get really tired of armour being full-bodied for the dudes but bra and pants for the ladies. BUT. Totally agree with you.

    • Totally agree with you. I really hate it when the male option is fully clothed, but the female equivalent is just glorified underwear. However, pretty armour that fits the form? Looks great!

      Maybe transmog/wardrobe options are truly the way to go! I honestly don’t know why more games don’t include this feature.

      • I know right!! I think all MMOs I currently play have options. Even better when you can dye your armour as well.