Now, I know that a lot of you are expecting some kind of reflection on the election. But, I’m not doing that. I make it a point in politics to not complain about people regardless of what I personally think of them as I feel the REAL problem is in the mechanics of government. And since I’ve already made my point on that front, I’m not going to repeat myself (Side note: I did actually break my own rule and vote this year in a vain attempt to demonstrate the problems with the system so I have every right to complain).
Besides, I promised happier topics last week and I intend on delivering. So, let’s talk body positivity.
As some of you may have known/guessed by now, I’m pretty big on the idea that your size, shape, color, etc. doesn’t define you as a person. As a result, I get a lot of stories about men and women taking pride in their various forms.
But you know what story I almost never see? Women proud to be built like battleships.
There’s almost no talk about body image pride among muscular, athletic women. And that saddens me because I can think of tons of buff ladies that I admire. Ladies like…
Pvt. Jenette Vasquez
Aliens was the first time in my life that I was given the idea that a woman could be just as much (or more) of an ass-kicking titan of awesome as any man. But, in an odd twist, it wasn’t Ellen Ripley that I gravitated to. That honor went to Private Vasquez.
Ripley may have been the hero in the end, but I always felt like she was cowed by the machismo of the Marines. Not so with Vasquez; She took it all in stride and constantly proved that she could dish out whatever others gave her – as evidenced by her most famous retort.
Sure, she errs on the side of the butch stereotype, but she makes it clear that it’s her choice to be who she is and she owns it every step of the way.
Jennifer Walters; The She-Hulk
An obvious choice, I’ll admit. But you don’t get as big (no pun intended) as She-Hulk without good reason.
See, Jen isn’t just a pretty face and/or mounds of muscle – she’s also quite brilliant. Remember, when she’s not running with The Avengers or subbing for The Thing on The Fantastic Four, she serves justice the old fashioned way as an expert defense attorney.
Basically, she will always be loved as long as she remains the proof that you can have brains, beauty, and brawn in one glorious green package.
Have I mentioned my Steven Universe obsession yet? I feel like I may have brought it up at some point.
Firstly, to all of the Jasper fans out there, yes; technically the Big Buff Cheeto Puff qualifies for this list with her 80’s glamazon image. but I’m not counting her because, as a character, she’s not very sympathetic to me and has rejected every chance for redemption. Remember, this list is about RESPECTABLE muscle women.
Bismuth, on the other head, is a great example of a sympathetic antagonist. She’s not truly vicious and obsessed with strength and control like Jasper, she’s simply misguided in her attempts to protect the ones she loves. Once you get past that, you can see that the biggest muscle on her is her own heart.
Add to that that she’s a steel worker and a blacksmith – labor that is traditionally considered to be “men’s work” – and she’s a great role model that teaches us to, in her words, “… choose to do whatever [you want].”
We’ve only seen her a handful of times so far, but I look forward to doing BISMUTH with her again in future episodes.