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Author Topic: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)  (Read 4540 times)

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Offline meikle

Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2011, 03:16:32 PM »
"I can't think of any badass blond women in media."  "We'd better make sure out badass isn't a blonde."  "I can't think of any badass blond women in media."


Kind of self-fulfilling, isn't it?

Offline AmberTrash

Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2011, 03:18:18 PM »
She'll still be a blonde with a severe overbite in my game. How I've come to love that bizarre face of hers.

Offline AmberTrash

Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2011, 03:19:45 PM »
I think it would have been cool to see them use the blond one just because I can't really think of another example of a bad-ass blond woman in fiction... with maybe the exception of Charlotte from Samurai Showdown. (*sigh* I love Charlotte)

Sarah Connor was pretty badass, even before she became Lena Heady.

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Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2011, 03:34:15 PM »
Sarah Connor was pretty badass, even before she became Lena Heady.

I might be unaware of a vast number of really hardcore characters that were blond women.  I'm color blind, so I always kinda associated Sarah Conner with more "light brown", but she would be a really good example that helps prove my point that there's no reason the character design stigma should exist.

Cassie Sandsmark as Wondergirl and Stephanie Brown as Batgirl are other good examples.  But neither of them ever really ever reached the fame and recognition that their differently hair-colored predecessors (Donna Troi and Barbara Gordon, respectively) did.

Quote
"I can't think of any badass blond women in media."  "We'd better make sure out badass isn't a blonde."  "I can't think of any badass blond women in media."


Kind of self-fulfilling, isn't it?

That's sorta my point.  I think the stigma regarding the design only exists because not enough designers have challenged it.  Or, I could be wrong and there could be plenty of examples that disprove there is such a stigma.  In either case the reaction to the Blond-Shepard character design seems to have been based on false assumptions and prejudices.

Offline Black Howling

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Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2011, 03:37:26 PM »
I might be unaware of a vast number of really hardcore characters that were blond women.  I'm color blind, so I always kinda associated Sarah Conner with more "light brown", but she would be a really good example that helps prove my point that there's no reason the character design stigma should exist.

Cassie Sandsmark as Wondergirl and Stephanie Brown as Batgirl are other good examples.  But neither of them ever really ever reached the fame and recognition that their differently hair-colored predecessors (Donna Troi and Barbara Gordon, respectively) did.

That's sorta my point.  I think the stigma regarding the design only exists because not enough designers have challenged it.  Or, I could be wrong and there could be plenty of examples that disprove there is such a stigma.  In either case the reaction to the Blond-Shepard character design seems to have been based on false assumptions and prejudices.
Well the idea is based on opinion, so there's really no true or false to be had. Some people view things differently then others do. Everything from Attraction, to Stigma's to perceived Characteristics are all based on someones point of view. It just so happened that the majority of people participating in this particular incident preferred the redhead version, and the blond stigma toward her being seen as less of a fighter may not have even been a factor.

After all, there are plenty of people that see blondes as Evil and deadly as well.

Offline AmberTrash

Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2011, 03:43:17 PM »
I've never even thought of a "blondes aren't badass" thing in media, but I'm having trouble coming up with anyone other than the original Sarah Connor (who wasn't exactly a "classic blonde") or the Bride from Kill Bill. I'm not really big on comic books but I can't think of too many badass blondes there. Huh. You may be on to something.

Oh well. Tough to beat Sarah Connor, so as a blonde I'll say I'm happy with that.

Offline Shjade

Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2011, 03:44:24 PM »
I think it would have been cool to see them use the blond one just because I can't really think of another example of a bad-ass blond woman in fiction... with maybe the exception of Charlotte from Samurai Showdown. (*sigh* I love Charlotte)

I can think of a few.

Cammy


Maki


Millia Rage, who incidentally is badass in large part because of her long blonde hair - oh how appropriate


Lex Luthor's assistant, Mercy Graves, is not someone with whom to mess.

Supergirl and Power Girl are fair of hair. Also Ms. Marvel and, I believe, Black Canary.

I could go on. Hell, if we include white hair as blonde the list gets way too long, but those are just some of the goldies, and not exactly obscure. ;p

'Course, this is only looking at visual media. I'm not sure where I'd start with purely text fiction.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2011, 03:47:19 PM by Shjade »

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Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2011, 03:46:30 PM »
Well the idea is based on opinion, so there's really no true or false to be had. Some people view things differently then others do. Everything from Attraction, to Stigma's to perceived Characteristics are all based on someones point of view. It just so happened that the majority of people participating in this particular incident preferred the redhead version, and the blond stigma toward her being seen as less of a fighter may not have even been a factor.

After all, there are plenty of people that see blondes as Evil and deadly as well.

With character design it doesn't really work like that, though.  Not entirely.  Everything from hair color to bust size to the name of the character is typically given because of what it "represents" and how it "suits the character".  Granted, in this case, they were mostly going for a let the audience decide kind of deal.

But you had the prime forces against that design were a feminist blogger who claimed that the blond Shepard "destroyed the character" for her by making the character look "like a bimbo".  Also, in the voting process itself, the comments were flooded with people bashing that specific design because it wasn't badass and, again, "looked like a bimbo".

I'm not upset by the choice, overall.  There was a vote, and a design won.  That's the nature of voting.  And I've never heard of anybody using the standard design, anyways.  What bugs me is what seemed to have been a prevailing assumption that she couldn't have been a tough soldier/heroine type and been a blond character.  An issue that I think was actually pretty well addressed in the Penny-Arcade comic based on the controversy.

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Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #33 on: September 25, 2011, 03:49:53 PM »
With character design it doesn't really work like that, though.  Not entirely.  Everything from hair color to bust size to the name of the character is typically given because of what it "represents" and how it "suits the character".  Granted, in this case, they were mostly going for a let the audience decide kind of deal.

But you had the prime forces against that design were a feminist blogger who claimed that the blond Shepard "destroyed the character" for her by making the character look "like a bimbo".  Also, in the voting process itself, the comments were flooded with people bashing that specific design because it wasn't badass and, again, "looked like a bimbo".

I'm not upset by the choice, overall.  There was a vote, and a design won.  That's the nature of voting.  And I've never heard of anybody using the standard design, anyways.  What bugs me is what seemed to have been a prevailing assumption that she couldn't have been a tough soldier/heroine type and been a blond character.  An issue that I think was actually pretty well addressed in the Penny-Arcade comic based on the controversy.
That's also based on the fans you want to please. So again, it goes back to perception. As you said, the specific types of people that voted had a stigma. Many feminist bloggers and many gamers are like that. I blame JRPG's myself, I know that's where the idea got in my head.
I've never even thought of a "blondes aren't badass" thing in media, but I'm having trouble coming up with anyone other than the original Sarah Connor (who wasn't exactly a "classic blonde") or the Bride from Kill Bill. I'm not really big on comic books but I can't think of too many badass blondes there. Huh. You may be on to something.

Oh well. Tough to beat Sarah Connor, so as a blonde I'll say I'm happy with that.
If you'll go toward Japanese anime you'll find dozens, which makes since; blonds are seen as Exotic in their eyes. Shjade mentioned several, but I believe the ones portrayed as innocent stick out more to some people. There's also quite a few more commonly known names that come to mind, especially for the less comic or anime inclined.

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Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #34 on: September 25, 2011, 03:51:40 PM »
I can think of a few.

Cammy

Maki

Millia Rage, who incidentally is badass in large part because of her long blonde hair - oh how appropriate

Lex Luthor's assistant, Mercy Graves, is not someone with whom to mess.

Supergirl and Power Girl are fair of hair. Also Ms. Marvel and, I believe, Black Canary.

I could go on. Hell, if we include white hair as blonde the list gets way too long, but those are just some of the goldies, and not exactly obscure. ;p

I'm also kicking myself for forgetting Buffy Summers. *laughs*

I don't think white hair would count, since in most cases it's used to imply something supernatural (in Japanese character design, specifically Demonic) about the character and is therefore given to the more serious types.

But yeah, I freely admit that I forgot a lot of characters in my original statement... and thereby kinda made myself look like an idiot... *laughs* but I think it really only goes on to support my point that the prejudices lobbied against the blond Shepard design were unwarranted.


Offline Black Howling

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Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #35 on: September 25, 2011, 03:53:44 PM »
I'm also kicking myself for forgetting Buffy Summers. *laughs*

I don't think white hair would count, since in most cases it's used to imply something supernatural (in Japanese character design, specifically Demonic) about the character and is therefore given to the more serious types.

But yeah, I freely admit that I forgot a lot of characters in my original statement... and thereby kinda made myself look like an idiot... *laughs* but I think it really only goes on to support my point that the prejudices lobbied against the blond Shepard design were unwarranted.
How is an opinion unwarranted because it's not your own?

Offline Shjade

Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2011, 03:55:03 PM »
but I think it really only goes on to support my point that the prejudices lobbied against the blond Shepard design were unwarranted.

Aesthetic generalizations usually are. D:

Howling: there's a difference between having an opinion and acting on judgments based on that opinion. Thinking something doesn't look good for a hero is having an opinion. Saying that someone looks like a bimbo is vocalizing an unwarranted judgment. Exaggerated example for clarity: it's the difference between thinking someone wants to steal your sandwich and shooting them before they can steal your sandwich (which, in your opinion, they were inevitably going to do). Action is not opinion.

Of course, even if only talking about opinion, one can be unwarranted if no one asked for it. Aside from that, he didn't say it was unwarranted because it didn't match his opinion, he said it was unwarranted after reviewing evidence that suggested it was a prejudice that didn't match reality (prejudice being "blonde not characteristic of badass" countered by existence of badass blondes).
« Last Edit: September 25, 2011, 04:02:05 PM by Shjade »

Offline meikle

Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #37 on: September 25, 2011, 03:56:18 PM »
But you had the prime forces against that design were a feminist blogger who claimed that the blond Shepard "destroyed the character" for her by making the character look "like a bimbo".

Some kind of feminist, that ...

Offline Black Howling

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Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #38 on: September 25, 2011, 03:56:56 PM »
Some kind of feminist, that ...
Yeah, but you'd be surprised how many think that way.

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Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #39 on: September 25, 2011, 03:58:11 PM »
How is an opinion unwarranted because it's not your own?

I don't see where I said that.  I said there was a prejudice in place.

Like I said, my problem isn't that people voted for the redhead design.  My problem is that there seemed to be a prevailing belief that she couldn't be cool and blond at the same time.  If people thought one design looked cooler or more appropriate wasn't the issue.  It was the "blond=bimbo" assessment that dominated the discussions that I took issue with.

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Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #40 on: September 25, 2011, 04:00:53 PM »
I don't see where I said that.  I said there was a prejudice in place.

Like I said, my problem isn't that people voted for the redhead design.  My problem is that there seemed to be a prevailing belief that she couldn't be cool and blond at the same time.  If people thought one design looked cooler or more appropriate wasn't the issue.  It was the "blond=bimbo" assessment that dominated the discussions that I took issue with.
I don't agree with the bimbo statement in the least. My perception is based on most of the blond media I have seen and enjoyed. It doesn't paint them out as bimbos, though often innocent. Hell, even the ones that are indeed ass kicking blonds are often underestimated for their looks. That didn't happen with femshep, probably another reason I didn't see her as a blond.

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Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #41 on: September 25, 2011, 04:09:06 PM »
I don't agree with the bimbo statement in the least. My perception is based on most of the blond media I have seen and enjoyed. It doesn't paint them out as bimbos, though often innocent. Hell, even the ones that are indeed ass kicking blonds are often underestimated for their looks. That didn't happen with femshep, probably another reason I didn't see her as a blond.

Yeah, I didn't mean to imply that people who felt another design was cooler were in any way "wrong".  I'm not even saying that people are wrong for disliking one of the designs over the others.  And honestly, with how enormous the gap in voting was (something like 25000 votes compared to 8000), it's hard to say for certain if the issues I had were even a factor in the end decision.

So it's likely that most people who voted, probably voted based either on (a) what they're own Shepard was, or (b) what their preference was.

But there was (or at least seemed to be) a fair sized and very vocal number of fans, and at least one feminist blog, who seemed to think that it would have somehow irreparably damaged her character.  As somebody interested in character design, it's something that seemed interesting to me, and I don't understand how the people who said "blond=bimbo" came to the conclusions they had.

Offline Black Howling

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Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2011, 04:17:52 PM »
Yeah, I didn't mean to imply that people who felt another design was cooler were in any way "wrong".  I'm not even saying that people are wrong for disliking one of the designs over the others.  And honestly, with how enormous the gap in voting was (something like 25000 votes compared to 8000), it's hard to say for certain if the issues I had were even a factor in the end decision.

So it's likely that most people who voted, probably voted based either on (a) what they're own Shepard was, or (b) what their preference was.

But there was (or at least seemed to be) a fair sized and very vocal number of fans, and at least one feminist blog, who seemed to think that it would have somehow irreparably damaged her character.  As somebody interested in character design, it's something that seemed interesting to me, and I don't understand how the people who said "blond=bimbo" came to the conclusions they had.
I don't think it could have irreparably damaged the design for her to have been blond. I don't see her as blond, but then again my shep had brown hair. That said, I actually prefer the redhead version myself. It matches the voice better, in my personal opinion.

Though you are right, whoever came up with the 'blond = bimbo' thing is not thinking straight. At-least in my eyes, especially the feminist blogger since that's sort of contrary to her cause.

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Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2011, 04:28:33 PM »
I don't think it could have irreparably damaged the design for her to have been blond. I don't see her as blond, but then again my shep had brown hair. That said, I actually prefer the redhead version myself. It matches the voice better, in my personal opinion.

Though you are right, whoever came up with the 'blond = bimbo' thing is not thinking straight. At-least in my eyes, especially the feminist blogger since that's sort of contrary to her cause.

I can see where you're coming from on the voice, actually.  I always first remember Jennifer Hale as Sam from Totally Spies... a show which I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I watched with enough regularity to recognize a voice.  But my first impression of her voice was also a red haired character.  Had that been the most common argument lobbied against the other design, I probably just would have assumed other people thought the same way I did about the voice actress' body of work.  It still would have been an interesting conclusion to me, it would still be an issue of character design and all, but I don't think I would have found the conclusion as uncomfortable as the bimbo argument.

It's pretty cool, either way, that she's going to get to be on the cover, though.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #44 on: September 27, 2011, 08:09:24 AM »
Ah, slight correction.  Dinah Laurel Lance, AKA Black Canary II, dyes her hair blonde.  She's actually black haired naturally.

However, she's still badass no matter what hair colour she is.

On Topic:  Personally, I never liked FemShep in ME2 (Never got ME1, want to) she didn't move 'right', nor did her lines seem 'right' coming from a female voice.

Also, unless Bioware finally makes a move to tell us that FemShep is the main character, I'll keep playing ManShep and hittin' on anything female.

Offline Ashe

Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #45 on: September 29, 2011, 09:10:42 AM »
Ugh, I so thought that black FemShep would win.  She looks more likely to use that weapon than the blonde.  I definitely feel the "Golden Haired Damsel" trope follows her around more than "Blondes Are Evil."

Plus, Rihanna is hotter than... what's that blonde look like anyway... Reese Witherspoon?

Offline meikle

Re: FemShepard will be a red head (so says bioware)
« Reply #46 on: September 29, 2011, 01:13:24 PM »
Just the worst kind of stereotyping up in here.