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Sailor Moon’s Heroic Lady Poses


In 2011, the above image of the Avengers by artist Kevin Bolk made the rounds on the internet. He had noticed that in many promo images for the movie Black Widow was constantly posed in such a way that the viewer could gaze at both her boobs and butt at the same time. The male avengers, however, are never posed like this.

The original promo image Kevin Bolk used. Credit.

The original promo image.

And it’s just not the Avengers—TheMarySue.com has extensively covered this phenomena across several movies. American comics have been known to do this as well with this image of Catwoman and this image of Mary Jane being notable examples. To bring attention to this issue, on December 2nd 2012, The Hawkeye Initiative was born. Their mission? To insert male comic characters into these hyper-sexualized poses to illustrate the lengths that artists go to sexualize lady heroes. In other words, artists focus on dude heroes’ strength whereas lady heroes are reduced to their tits and ass. With this in mind, my thoughts turned to Sailor Moon. It turns out that Sailor Moon can teach American artists a thing or two about being both sexy, but not sexualized.

In July 2013, this promotional image for the new Sailor Moon musical, La Reconquista, graced the internet.

Not only are the sailor guardians not smiling, but they have their hands on their hips, their feet slightly apart and face the viewer straight on. Nary a boob curve or butt cheek in sight, but an image that makes you feel that they might kick your butt. I call this venerable pose, The Superman Pose.

Credit: Ted Words http://tedwordsblog.com/2012/10/13/the-transformative-failure-bow-part-2-of-2/superman-pose/

Superman is about to kick your butt.   Credit: Ted Words

Of course, some images try really hard to give us some Sailor Moon T&A, but they seem quaint in comparison to the above images of Catwoman, Mary Jane and Black Widow. There are plenty of other options as well.

What makes Sailor Moon really unique, at least among her American counterparts, is that she and the other guardians have iconic poses that makes putting these lady superheroes into heroic poses that are not hyper-sexualized much easier. From their transformation sequences to their attacks, to even their introductory speeches, artists have many iconic poses to choose from.Take for example these ads for the new Sailor Moon S.H. Figuarts. The sailor guardians are posed similarly to their stance at the end of their transformation sequences.

figuart group with transformation pose

Sailor Mars probably has the most feminine stance and the closest we get to a “boob and butt” pose. However, I think those bows do a good job of covering up their boobs and their skirts minimize their butt check definition. Sailor Mercury’s pose evokes a bit more “strength” than her original pose with their feet firmly planted and her hands in fists.

Sailor Moon stands in front of a crescent moon. The final image of her Moon Crystal Power transformation sequence.

Sailor Moon transforms with Moon Crystal Power!
Credit: Sailor Moon Wiki

The pose below could evoke more “strength” if Sailor Mercury’s knees weren’t bent inward. She looks like she might fall over!

Sailor Mercury stands with her knees bent inward, the final pose of her Mercury Power Make Up transformation.

Sailor Mercury transforms with Mercury Power!             Credit: www.fanpop.com

Here is Sailor Moon’s iconic “I’ll punish you!” pose in the anime:

Sailor Moon poses her hands in her classic "I'll punish you!" stance.

Credit: tvtropes.org

And here it is reflected in an ad for the Sailor Moon S. H. Figuart:

One might be tempted to argue that, of course, Sailor Moon and the sailor guardians shouldn’t be overly sexualized since the anime and manga are aimed at young girls. However, this begs the question–why do we want to teach young boys to view female superheroes as sexual objects? Heck, why do we want grown men treating lady heroes as sexual objects? This only normalizes sexist behavior in real life, as if lady heroes aren’t there to save the day, but just there to satisfy heterosexual dudes’ needs. Just ask these lady cosplayers about the creepiest things said to them.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go play with my Sailor Moon Figuart and pose her like a hero who’s going to save the world. Moon Healing Activation!

Sailor Moon Figuarts stands, holding the crescent moon wand above her head, ready to yell "Moon Healing Activation!"

Credit: sgcafe


{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Sarah Harper December 22, 2013, 9:00 pm

    Minor correction: Sailor Mercury’s ass-kicking transformation pose is actually a really strong one. I do karate, and one of the first things we were taught in my class was to stand with the legs just that way. It lowers your center of gravity, makes it harder for someone to knock you down, and also protects you from groin attacks.

    My favorite pose is Jupiter’s in the ensemble shot. Beautiful and great for launching several different types of attacks and blocks.

    • Anne Lee Anne Lee December 24, 2013, 6:00 pm

      Very cool! Thank you for that insight!

  • hotaru January 19, 2014, 4:32 pm

    This is not true for the manga, though. Butt shots and upskirt shots everywhere, even on some of the covers. :/ See Pluto and Neptune here: http://static3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20131102140228/sailormoon/images/4/4a/All_10_Super_Senshi_Artbook_3_Cover.jpg

    • Anne Lee Anne Lee January 19, 2014, 10:22 pm

      Oh sure, I’m not saying that it never happens. Plus, since all the sailor guardians are girls, that means when it does happen, it’s not the ONLY female superhero on the team that’s being singled out.

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