The Proper Use of Nudity in FRPG Art


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Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Khuxan said:
Why are they dressed like that?

Maybe it's a hot day.

Why is it the guy that has big muscles and a sword? Why can't there be a man who gets a muscular woman to fight for him?

Frazetta lets Elmore and Julie Bell paint the muscular women. You have to protect your niche.

-Hyp.
 

Khuxan

First Post
Hypersmurf said:
Maybe it's a hot day.

A hot day?

Hypersmurf said:
Frazetta lets Elmore and Julie Bell paint the muscular women. You have to protect your niche.

Non-sexist art is not a 'niche'. The Player's Handbook's art should show confident men and women, so that both males and females feel enfranchised and empowered. If you have muscular men defending submissive women, you send a clear message to females that they're not an active part of this hobby.

By comparison, would it be acceptable if Frazetta showed strong white males and females defending cowering, simpering black males and females? Would that just be 'niche protection'?
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Khuxan said:

A muscular woman protecting a baby from a beast... isn't that what you wanted?

Non-sexist art is not a 'niche'. The Player's Handbook's art should show confident men and women, so that both males and females feel enfranchised and empowered. If you have muscular men defending submissive women, you send a clear message to females that they're not an active part of this hobby.

By comparison, would it be acceptable if Frazetta showed strong white males and females defending cowering, simpering black males and females? Would that just be 'niche protection'?

Surely it depends on the setting being depicted?

If the setting includes strong warriors of both genders, it makes sense for both to be depicted. If female warriors are an unusual oddity, I wouldn't expect the art to be 50/50.

If the setting has a dark-skinned race with no martial tradition who rely on others for their protection, I'd expect the art would reflect that.

I'd expect a historic Earth setting, for example, to be weighted a long way toward the muscular men and women-in-danger end of the scale, with only the occasional example of the outlandish female warrior in the artwork.

I'd expect a Forgotten Realms setting, on the other hand, to be more balanced, since the woman-as-warrior is not so out of place there. Which is not to say I feel Frazetta is inappropriate; rather that he would not be the sole source of artwork to depict the setting.

-Hyp.
 

Khuxan

First Post
Hypersmurf said:
A muscular woman protecting a baby from a beast... isn't that what you wanted?

For an unarmed, stooped woman to be the most proactive and powerful woman in a whole page of pictures - many boasting armed, heroic men - is hardly a victory for feminism.

Hypersmurf said:
Surely it depends on the setting being depicted?

If the setting includes strong warriors of both genders, it makes sense for both to be depicted. If female warriors are an unusual oddity, I wouldn't expect the art to be 50/50.

If the setting has a dark-skinned race with no martial tradition who rely on others for their protection, I'd expect the art would reflect that.

I'd expect a historic Earth setting, for example, to be weighted a long way toward the muscular men and women-in-danger end of the scale, with only the occasional example of the outlandish female warrior in the artwork.

I'd expect a Forgotten Realms setting, on the other hand, to be more balanced, since the woman-as-warrior is not so out of place there. Which is not to say I feel Frazetta is inappropriate; rather that he would not be the sole source of artwork to depict the setting.

The claim was that Frazetta best represents "adventurers and the world they live in". Given women can be as capable adventurers as men can, and since D&D as a whole should be as inclusive as possible, I would argue the artwork should be as balanced as possible. This art leaves female adventurers unincluded.
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Khuxan said:
For an unarmed, stooped woman to be the most proactive and powerful woman in a whole page of pictures - many boasting armed, heroic men - is hardly a victory for feminism.

But what does feminism have to do with Frazetta?

The claim was that Frazetta best represents "adventurers and the world they live in". Given women can be as capable adventurers as men can, and since D&D as a whole should be as inclusive as possible, I would argue the artwork should be as balanced as possible. This art leaves female adventurers unincluded.

I'd say Frazetta does well at representing adventurers and the world they live in - just not all of them. The scenes Frazetta paints are not out-of-place in an adventuring world. They just don't give the whole picture.

-Hyp.
 

Khuxan

First Post
Hypersmurf said:
But what does feminism have to do with Frazetta?

The equal and fair treatment of women.

Hypersmurf said:
I'd say Frazetta does well at representing adventurers and the world they live in - just not all of them. The scenes Frazetta paints are not out-of-place in an adventuring world. They just don't give the whole picture.

I'd say the picture they paint is not just incomplete, it's motivated by disturbing prejudice.
 

Reynard

Legend
Khuxan said:
The claim was that Frazetta best represents "adventurers and the world they live in". Given women can be as capable adventurers as men can, and since D&D as a whole should be as inclusive as possible, I would argue the artwork should be as balanced as possible. This art leaves female adventurers unincluded.

You freely admitted to checking out exactly one gallery page, and it shows. If you go through the B&W gallery, for example, every page has at least one picture of a powerful warrior woman -- a staple of sword and sworcery fantasy as surely as damsels-in-distress and slave girls.
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Reynard said:
You freely admitted to checking out exactly one gallery page, and it shows. If you go through the B&W gallery, for example, every page has at least one picture of a powerful warrior woman -- a staple of sword and sworcery fantasy as surely as damsels-in-distress and slave girls.

Not just the black and whites, either - on the gallery Khuxan linked to, on a single page, we have:

[sblock]Example
Example
Example
Example[/sblock]

Let's try another page:

[sblock]Example
Example
Example
Example
Example[/sblock]

(Note - being Frazetta, some of those pictures might be considered NSFW.)

Does Frazetta evince a preference for painting heroic men and helpless women? Sure.
Is that all he paints? Not at all.
Do Frazetta's paintings, taken individually, fit well in a fantasy adventure setting? Sure. Not necessarily everyone's setting - he doesn't paint a lot of plate armour, or lightning rails and warforged, but it fits some settings just fine.
Does Frazetta's preference - not exclusive preference, demonstrably - mean that the setting his artwork fits excludes strong female characters? Not at all.

-Hyp.
 

Orius

Hero
Stormrunner said:
Hey, some of us like the beefcake too. The nudity double standard for gender has always bugged me a little - succubi get big boobs with nipples, but a demon of lust or a handsome centaur stallion can't have balls? ;)

Except that a centaur will probably be hung like a horse -- literally. :p I'd imagine they're anatomically similar to equines. Not sure how arousing that would be, since I'm neither into men or animals.
 

S'mon

Legend
Khuxan said:
I would argue the artwork should be as balanced as possible. This art leaves female adventurers unincluded.

While I do like Frazetta art and I don't like the tone of these posts, I do agree that D&D art should include female adventurer types - including fully dressed ones - and Frazetta wouldn't be right as the sole source of D&D art. Not that there's any chance of that.
 

Reynard

Legend
S'mon said:
Frazetta wouldn't be right as the sole source of D&D art.

To be fair, all I said is that Frazetta makes awesome depictions of what adventurers and their world should be to me -- but then, I am much more of a sword and sorcery fan than a high-fantasy fan, so there you go. My D&D games tend to be rated R, not in a "heh, heh" kind of way, but just in a "sex, gore and violence are as much fantasy as dragons, demons and elves" kind of way. YMMV, of course.
 

Ottergame

First Post
I'm all for art being as cheesecakey and offensive as the artist wants it to be. I don't care who feels offended by it. If an artist wants to draw weak women with huge bare boobies, good for him.
 
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Reynard

Legend
Ottergame said:
I'm all for art being as cheesecakey and offensive as the artist wants it to be. I don't care who feels offended by it. If an artist wants to draw weak women with huge bare boobies, good for him.

I don't think artistic freedom is the issue here -- it is to what degree should nudity be shown in D&D books. Personally, I think that some bare breasts are a good thing, so long as they are "appropriate."

EDIT: Also, I am biased because I think the women in Frazetta's work are uber-hawtness, far more so than the elven runway types of Elmore or the oiled up bodybuilder chicks of Vallejo.
 
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Gez

First Post
Stormrunner said:
I prefer the way Donna Barr handles her centaurs. They wear clothes on the upper half but leave the horse-half bare, and she doesn't hesitate to show the dangly bits on the stallions - but not in an erotica-type way, just if you would have been able to see it from that angle in real life, it's there in the comic.
So boobies have to be covered, but genitalia can be exposed? Janet Jackson's nipplegate truly has ravaged the moral landscape.

Khuxan said:
The equal and fair treatment of women.
What does the equal and fair treatment of women has to do with Frazetta?

Khuxan said:
I'd say the picture they paint is not just incomplete, it's motivated by disturbing prejudice.
It's fantasy. Fantasy is built on disturbing prejudice. Fantasy breathes, eats, and drinks disturbing prejudice.

So, either every single registered member of this messageboard is an immature fascist, sexist, racist and chauvinist pig; or we're able to distance ourselves from the tropes and clichés of the genre.
 

S'mon

Legend
Reynard said:
To be fair, all I said is that Frazetta makes awesome depictions of what adventurers and their world should be to me -- but then, I am much more of a sword and sorcery fan than a high-fantasy fan, so there you go. My D&D games tend to be rated R, not in a "heh, heh" kind of way, but just in a "sex, gore and violence are as much fantasy as dragons, demons and elves" kind of way. YMMV, of course.

I agree re awesomeness of the art, but it's not very close to the kind of world presented by the D&D rules, in which most warrior characters wear full plate armour, not loincloths.
 

Ottergame

First Post
Reynard said:
I don't think artistic freedom is the issue here -- it is to what degree should nudity be shown in D&D books. Personally, I think that some bare breasts are a good thing, so long as they are "appropriate."

EDIT: Also, I am biased because I think the women in Frazetta's work are uber-hawtness, far more so than the elven runway types of Elmore or the oiled up bodybuilder chicks of Vallejo.

Sure, I just wish nudity in RPGs would get over the snickering peanut gallery mode, and show some fully nude men.

It's hard to say RPGs have "appropriate" or "realistic" nudity when you see full, voluminous hooters bouncing around but they always find creative ways to hide little tinkly-winkly.
 
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Reynard

Legend
Ottergame said:
Sure, I just wish nudity in RPGs would get over the snickering peanut gallery mode, and show some ****.

I think you just made Eric's Grandma blush.

It's hard to say RPGs have "appropriate" or "realistic" nudity when you see full, voluminous hooters bouncing around but they always find creative ways to hide little tinkly-winkly.

The equivalent of showing bared female breasts isn't showing a penis. But then, I agree with you and think that nudity in general is not only not offensive, but rather attractive. In America at least, we are (sadly) far more comfortable with and tolerant of gore and violence than we are naughty bits or bad words.
 



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