Gender Dimorphism: Twisted Tale of Animation

Unrealistic body standards aren't unheard of in the media. However, why is there a need for them to exist in animation? Why are Jessica Rabbit and Betty Boop so sexualized? Why are their eyes bigger than their waist?

Gender dimorphism in animation exists to provide different characteristics to male and female characters in an attempt to differentiate them. The "princess formula" is applied to female characters to accentuate their eyes, make their chins and nose smaller, and give them bigger eyelashes. A child-like face is given to female characters to make them universally beautiful. Similarly, men are massively muscled, given huge hands with towering heights.

Many people view these exaggerated features as being problematic as they shape gender performance. A definition of 'normal' is created that needs to be followed where men are bigger and stronger and women are smaller and weaker. An idea of what perfect a couple ought to look like is also formed shaping audience expectations.

What do you think of gender dimorphism? Is it a big deal or is it just a form of art? Does it really have the power to shape reality and expectations?








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