Friday, November 20, 2009

On the Power Girl Cut-Out Costume

Yeah, Esther's right on the money here. Quit with the stupid justifications. No one buys it.

That said? I like Power Girl's cut-out ("boob window") costume. It was stylish when she was introduced, and now it's retro. It's actually very classic looking and when originally designed it was actually pretty classy looking too. The design is just plain good. The design is actually great, I'd say. I'd wear it if I could pull off white myself.

That's why they keep going back to it, because it's a good basic costume and as it was originally just a small cut-out on an invulnerable character it's not inherently lewd/impractical. (Unlike the midriff-baring Huntress, or the monstrosity Carol Ferris is parading around in--though my hat's off to Mahnke for making it less eyesearing.) All the attempts to change it have had her going to worse costumes. (The one with the normal neckline actually tends to show even MORE boob than the cut-out.) And it doesn't need a reason any more than she liked the look better than any emblem she tried to put there, and now she's just used to it. Anything beyond that is downright insulting, like you're trying to fool us into thinking there's something inherently empowering about baring your breasts. There isn't.

(We all know good fashion isn't dependent on the amount of fabric. Different cuts do different things for different bodies. And that's not even getting into color. Aesthetics are complicated in this area.)

Now, if DC feels guilty enough that they feel a need to justify this costume, maybe rather than offer us some bullshit they can have the artists draw it tastefully. A cut-out is ideally supposed to offer just a hint of cleavage, not go down to or below one's nipples. Just a guess, but that and the annoying high-cut bikini bottoms might be where all that guilt and disgust originates.


  1. Speaking from the Y-chromosome contingent, I dislike the high-cut bikini briefs on Power Girl -- or any other female character. They just look UNCOMFORTABLE.

    The most egregious example is Wonder Woman. The more they try to justify her drum major's outfit as BATTLE ARMOR, the higher and more impractical and actively uncomfortable those leg cut-outs get.

    Yesterday, toward the end of my shift, I had a female customer comment about Power Girl's chest size and how she must suffer from "back pain". I confess: it was late, and I was possibly a bit cranky, and thus I DID point out that those were Kryptonian back muscles, and could heft an aircraft carrier without noticing.

    (Why does Wonder Woman get spared all the commentary that PG gets, when her costume is even more revealing, and her figure is often drawn with the same degree of exaggeration? Is it just because her outfit is so familiar that nobody notices it anymore?)

  2. I must confess, that I as a woman like the white outfit with the hight neck and the boob window the best.

    And I'd love to have Peej just come out and admit that she likes the hole, and the rest of them can just stuff it.

    Amanda Connor does an amazing job of drawing Power Girl AND her costume. It looks as though it actually lifts and supports.

  3. I think you make a good point here - it's not always about the actual design of the costume, it's about the way the costume is draw by each artist. Wally Wood's Power Girl costume does not look like Michael Turner's Power Girl costume. Jamal Igle's Supergirl costume does not look like Ian Churchill's Supergirl costume. Ed Benes's Black Canary costume does not...wait, I Googled that and now I have hysterical blindness.

    When Peej's costume is drawn so that she doesn't look like she's about to fall out in six different directions, it's really striking and tells you right up front pretty much what the character's about. (Well, I guess it's striking no matter what. But not always striking in a *good* way.)

  4. i think of Power Girls' costume the way i think of Spider-Man's or Daredevil's, just keep it classic, or even a variation of the classic one.