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A Twitter User Pointed How Animated Female Animal Characters Have Breasts And Eyelashes. We Sexualise In Animation Also?

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Do you know what I do when I am feeling blue? I eat a tub of ice cream and watch an animated movie. Okay, who am I kidding? I watch animated movies and series on a regular basis. Just the other night, I couldn’t find anything worthwhile to watch, so I ended up binge-watching one of my all-time favourite movie- Hotel Transylvania. Yes, I watched all three parts in one night. I couldn’t resist. For some reason, I find animated movies much more fun and relatable than well, non-animated movies. I am a 23-year-old child. Don’t judge me. 

However, I came across something today about animated movies that’s going to affect the way I watch every movie in the future. Have you ever noticed how they define the difference between genders in animal cartoon characters?? The male looks relatively normal but the female character will have a distinct bump in the breast area, eyelashes and pouty lips. Now, I have to admit, I didn’t notice it at all.In fact, it would have whizzed right past my head. But then a Twitter account called Slimy hipster pointed it out and I think he has a point. Barely anyone ever notices how obvious they try to make the difference between the genders in animated characters. It does beg the question. Why does a pigeon or a lizard need boobs and eyelashes?! It’s almost like it’s so vital to tell the cartoon characters apart and there is no other way to define or portray a female character. 

This had come to light a few years ago but the debate died down before it could gain any traction. Now, slimyhipster brought this debate back into the forefront. Following him, a lot of people have posted their observations of overly sexualized female cartoon characters and it’s more than evident that there is a pattern and it has been going on right under people noses for too long. 

To back up his claims, slimyhipster posted a drawing of two cartoon birds- one male and one female. The female bird has voluptuous boobs and eyelashes. Again, why does a bird need to be made what can only be called, sexy?!? On the other hand, the male looks like, well, a bird. 

In his next tweets, he wrote, “Like okay, there’s always been criticism of fantasy species and the females always look like recoloured human women versus the males that look like actual cool monster designs,” He further adds “But this… when they’re based on *real animal species* and the differences between male and female are not like this. Argue for “stylistic choice” all you want but when the consistent design trait that is used across the board for animated female creatures is boobs and eyelashes then we have a problem.” 

Not long after he posted this, other Twitter users shared their observations of sexualised female cartoon characters. 

Take a look: 

Also, how many of you remember the way the every female cat in Tom and Jerry looked? I am just realising that was horrible.

Animated movies are targeted at children, there’s no denying that. And at that impressionable age, if you’re being fed the tropes about beauty, it’s no wonder we haven’t been able to kick the ridiculous beauty standards to the curb. We have been influenced by them ever since we were children. It’s the exact same problem we have with the princess narrative and Barbies. I understand that back when the trend started, no one was woke enough. That’s changed and with it, a lot of things have to change as well. If you are going to give human qualities to animals, that’s fine. Entertaining even. But to sexualise these characters? That’s horrible.

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Although, there are people who don’t see this as an issue. One person on Twitter write, “The way I handle this is, I remember it’s all fictional and I shouldn’t take it as a nature documentary.” 

Actually, the question here is- why is it so essential for the female characters to have overly exaggerated female qualities? First of all, it’s not realistic (but that’s the least of our problems with this) and secondly, there are a thousand ways to tell a male and a female apart even if the female doesn’t have long eyelashes and pouty lips. 

What struck me the most though is that despite having watched so many animated movies and shows, I never noticed this until someone pointed it out. It’s really sad how we just think sexualized females is a norm. Are we really that immune to ridiculous beauty standards and stereotyping? 

This needs to stop. I am not sure why they thought it was a good idea or a needed element like this in movies made primarily for children, but it can’t go on.

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