Abby SUCKS: An Argument So Weak It’s Gotta Be A Joke

3

Late last night, as the clock crept towards the witching hour, this was posted to Tumblr:tumblr, abby sucks, http://abbysucks.tumblr.com/

Since then the post has been spreading like a virus, you could even say it’s gone viral. At this point in time, sixteen hours after the initial post, it has 2, 089 notes.

This is controversial in that the author, a “27 year old nobody doing nothing in particular with their life,” is rampantly devaluing the recent advances of diversity in animation. The post argues that the industry is inundated with variations of ethnic, spunky-haired women with varied body types.

First of all, this is not the case. Such characters are not overwhelmingly common. Willowy, long-haired, white women with gravity defying breasts are still the norm in both animation and comics. We can only hope for this type of character to clutter our screens, as it would actually be a more precise depiction of women in the real world. I suppose this argument is entirely dependent on whether or not different people prefer their art to depict fantasy based in reality or reality based in fantasy.

Secondly, at the bottom of the post the Unnamed-Author sarcastically thanks “Scott Pilgrim, and Adventure Time, and 80-90’s anime,” as well as Tumblr for “continuing the cycle.” This is problematic in that this footnote actually offered a series of counter-examples to the original argument. Scott Pilgrim, Adventure Time, and retro anime look nothing alike. Including Tumblr in its entirety to prove this point is illogical. Tumblr exhibits such a wildly diverse range of artwork that you never see the same exact work twice; the artists of Tumblr do not work with a template. Even accepting these examples as valid and combining their numbers, that is an extremely small percentage of animated depictions of women.adventure time, dirty pair, scott pilgrim There is no issue with The-Unnamed-Author publishing this piece on Tumblr. The artist is absolutely within their rights to post opinions and/or click-bait on their account. Honestly, I’m fairly certain this falls into the latter category; the arguments were so weak that I highly suspect it was a joke from the get-go. However, the discussion that the post ignited is what is of interest. For some interesting food for thought, take a look through the notes section:

Miss VeryVery poked at the inherent insecurity of the sketch with “Wow, this is how fucking delusional racism and homophobia makes you, you literally feel so fucking threatened by the tiniest bit of representation that doesn’t even exist.”

Dickless turdpusher chimed in with a perceptive “How to draw a character tumblr will love *toils in the field for weeks assembling straw to construct a 60 ft tall strawman*”

And Mad Scientist Merle added
“Oh you did not
did NOT
just call Adventure Time ‘boring’ or ‘safe’.
Wrongness of that sheer magnitude automatically invalidates anything else you might say to me.”

What do you think of the artist’s statement?

Share.

About Author

Romona Williams is an ex-librarian, current tutor, and constant writer. She can usually be found in antiquarian bookstores, curiosity shops, and carnivals after dark.

3 Comments

  1. Heck, I’d LIKE to see more designs like the one by the original post actually appear in mainstream media. 😛

    I think the OP’s jab seems to miss the basic fact that Tumblr, rather organically, became a relatively safe place for people to have frank discussions about things like representation without fear of harassment. Whining that Tumblr is too liberal is like whining that there’s absolutely ZERO other sites on the internet that lets you behave like a depraved bigot.

    As far as the “boring” remark goes, a property is ultimately as interesting or boring as the effort put in to it. It seems like there’s a dedicated push these days by major corporations to market “sexy” (ergo “not boring”) as a very homogenized checklist of tropes, a kind of “monobeauty” as it were. Thank goodness for online communities like the ones on Tumblr that call out the BS while engaging in individual and very personal expressions of what they would consider truly beautiful or sexy. 🙂

    • Claire Napier on

      Right? Creating a big demand for an essential template, such as the one Abby perceives they’ve noticed, is probably the only way mainstream publication will take notice, relax their grip, and let similar elements take their place on the page.

  2. Some random person on

    I have to disagree with your assessment. I don’t think at any point the artist is fearful or afraid of diversity but rather is upset with soulless pandering to an audience with a veil of diversity. Abbysucks has published an opinion piece on trends they have observed gained traction on tumblr and I have also noticed this and am disappointed with these trends not because ‘oh my god a brown, not entirely heteronormative character!’ I personally think this design, though I’ve seen it a lot is rather pleasant.

    To me what is annoying and also what I think abbysucks is referring to is that cosmetic features like her skin color or gender are more important than who she is as a character. We know nothing personal about this character except vague things like her appearance and that she’s quirky. It’s boring and repetitive and I’ve seen tons of character sheets like this. Maybe that means I’ve spent too long being a tumblr lurker.

    And if you don’t like the fact the character is just a list of cosmetic traits or pick your flavor of a tumblr bio (asexual, dragonkin, agender, etc.) with out anything else defining them. You must be (insert thing)-phobic.

    Also adding a quick little self defense. Dragon Age Inqusition is a great game! It’s fun and engaging with a ton of interesting party characters! People praised the game for its wealth of diversity as they should but that praise would be very sour if it was only their sexuality and races being praised. You know sera’s gay and ironbull is bi but what’s important is that they are characters first with wants and desires and goals. They are fully realized and fleshed out and their sexual orientations do play a part in that because it’s part of them as characters but they felt organic and natural. Not haphazardly slapped on to add diversity without putting in the effort. That is what I believe the post is satirizing.