This image of the Tanya Spears as the new Power Girl has been circling around the internet, causing a stir by the lack of “boob window” in her outfit. I was thrilled myself until I saw the way she’s being drawn.
Before I dive into my dismay, let me say there’s a lot to be excited about with Tanya Spears as Power Girl. I’m thrilled to have a smart female character in any comic. Line them up and I’ll read them all day. Smart girls and women are the best! Add to it that she’s a butt kicking, beautiful POC and my money is just begging to be taken.
Now is where I get angry. Why the heck is her suit so tight?
I’m more than angry that this character is sixteen years old and her suit is so tight that we can see her breast curves, both cleavage and under boob. I’d like to think I’m level headed and forgiving of missteps on gender representation, but the overt sexualization of a teenage character really fires me up. It’s especially frustrating when you see such a great example in titles like Ms. Marvel’s Kamala Khan.
Teen Titans ran into controversy last year when the cover for issue #1 featured Wonder Girl, another teenage girl, being drawn with carefully outlined and emphasized breasts. While this depiction of Power Girl is something of an improvement, it’s not good enough for me.
I’m willing to entertain the idea that maybe this is a reflection on the artist rather than her character in Teen Titans. For example, artist Kenneth Rocafort worked on the Teen Titans #1 cover and is also credited with the art for the comic ad. Tanya’s rendering on the cover of Teen Titans #6 by artist Kalman Andrasofszky, seems better, her body certainly looks more realistic, but the boob curve issue is still prominent.
As for the removal of the boob window, I’m cautiously optimistic that it will stay gone. The gold circle on her chest was a boob window in earlier appearances, including the cover of World’s Finest Issue #1 released in September 2014. I’m hoping with all the buzz on the internet, DC Comics and everyone involved in the project will leave it behind and we can really celebrate its demise. I’ll be the first one at the RIP Boob Window party.
All in all, there are lots of positives with the new Power Girl. I really want to be supportive of diverse female characters. I love seeing diverse representations of female bodies because let’s face it, we have beautiful bodies. The one thing I can’t support is sexualization of teenage characters for no reason. It’s a shame that I feel torn on giving this book a read solely because of the art, but change is happening and my fingers are crossed that it will get better.