How many artists are using teenager logic to show that their characters are mature thinking women?
Most of us will know the obvious answer to that question. Most artists seem to design costumes by the "less is more" style of fashion, where being able to show off skin indicates an autonomous thinking being (the logic being that with no one watching your clothing choices, you obviously don't live with your parents) to them. But I realized it was worse than that when answering this comment:
It was almost like the more she grew up, the more she [b]matured[/b], Arisia wanted to show more of herself rather than hide behind restrictions.
So, I answered him as I would a teenaged girl who thought that:
Except that's not a sign of Maturity, Zeb. That's something teenaged girls do to make themselves seem older. They wear less to make themselves look older. The artists have been doing this, drawing her with less to make her look older, using a young girl's logic, without adding any mature woman logic to balance out the costume.
Look, I'm not saying that a mature woman wouldn't dress revealingly. But a mature woman would dress appropriately for the work she does. That's a miniskirt she's wearing to fight evil.
And a mature woman would dress to emphasize certain personal characteristics, but not to the detriment of the rest of her body. That costume emphasizes the breasts, and makes the rest of her body into an afterthought. The combination of light-colored, front-loaded top and dark, short, tight miniskirt imply that she is not comfortable with her shape, particularly her hips and breast size. Again, teenaged girl characteristics. These are tricks to compensate for a small bust and large hips. I know these tricks because we tried them in High School (though, within the dress code standards). There was another set for girls who felt they were top-heavy, broad-shouldered with skinny hips. A whole list of ways to make your waist smaller. Teenaged girl tricks.
This is not a grown-up costume. This is something a teenager thinks is a grown-up costume. Honestly, if they were going by your train of thought, a bikini would have been a more suitable choice (though still eye-rollingly exploitive). Freedom of movement and complete comfort with body image.
Then it occured to me that comic book artists may be more like teenaged girls than teenaged boys sometimes, because Arisia's not the only superhero dressing up to YM Fashion tricks (only she's using three tricks where one would suffice).
And seriously, while I would've rolled my eyes at the excessive skin for a bikini, I wouldn't have put her costume on the complaint pile -- probably for the same reasons Starfire's costume never bothered me and the Amanda Connor Boob Window is my favorite Power Girl costume. Weird how less material can make more sense, when it's put in the proper places.