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Sailor Moon’s Heroic Lady Poses


In 2011, the above image of the Avengers by artist Kevin Bolkmade 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 the viewer feel 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 imagestry 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 optionsas 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 transformation pose with their feet firmly planted and her hands in fists.

The transformation pose below could evoke more “strength” if Sailor Mercury’s knees weren’t bent inward. She looks like she might fall over! Here is Mercury’s pose at the end of her transformation. While Sailor Mercury look like she might fall over, in fact, her pose is doing just the opposite.

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

Her pose is very similar to the Applied Wing Chun Horse Stance which gives martial artists more stability and hence, more power. I really can’t think of anything that describes Sailor Mercury better–power in stability! That’s our Ami-chan!

A sketch of a male body with knees and toes pointed inwards. Labeled "Applied Wing Chun Horse Stance"

One might be tempted to argue that, of course, Sailor Moon and the sailor guardians aren’t 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


{15 comments… add one}
  • AvatarSarah HarperDecember 22, 2013, 21:00

    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.

  • AvatarhotaruJanuary 19, 2014, 16:32

    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 LeeAnne LeeJanuary 19, 2014, 22:22

      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.

  • AvatarKonrad NikielJune 5, 2014, 06:28

    I always wondered about “sexual object” term. It’s some kind of “mental trap”, where is the border between treating woman as a sexual object and admiring somebody’s appearance? Everybody knows that men and women has sexual fantasies, but if we take “sexual object” definition, well, due to this definition everobody is sexist, even women, because I don’t believe they don’t have any fantasies about men.

    If we talk about Sailor Moon’s “fanservice” images in artbooks, covers and other images with sexy poses drawed by Ms Takeuchi-sensei herself, well, who said that everything what is beautiful/sexy is geared towards men. In reality, many women likes to watch erotic movies (those sensual, not this tasteless trash called porn), and we should notice that Yuri genre appeared in mangas geared toward women NOT in these for men.

    Other thing is that, what is bad in drawing them in that erotic/sensual way? Is it any shame to them (sometimes I think that feminists repeat these puritan texts)? I think it’s bigger shame to men who watch this ONLY because of that. It’s the same with Benny Hill’s sketches with attractive women, after all, Men were more humilated by him, they were portrayed as a losers, maybe that’s why it was took off from the screens:)?

    Besides, everybody focuses only on “fanservice” for men, why nobody talk about “fanservice” for girls? For example why nobody talks about “male hotties” (I never thought I said these words)? Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite, Kunzite and of course Mamoru, so this show is pleasant for everone, and of course I’m talking about manga versions of these characters.

    • Anne LeeAnne LeeJune 5, 2014, 14:30

      Being a sexual object is a problem because it denies the person their humanity and sexuality. It’s all about another person’s desires and not your own. Our society is very uncomfortable with women being sexual subjects because that means hetero men do not have control of the situation. And for a lot of people, masculinity means controlling women.

      • AvatarKonrad NikielJune 6, 2014, 01:16

        On the beginning, I respond to your earlier e-mail, if You don’t have any messages, I can send this second time, I don’t know why, but sometimes my mails aren’t sended properly.

        Now I understand, but I think that some Feminists goes too far with finding sexism everywhere. On one hand they want to liberate women bodies, but on the other hand, they claiming that being sexy/beautiful is sexist, isn’t it the same what these insane religion followers told every day?

        • Anne LeeAnne LeeJune 9, 2014, 17:24

          I don’t think being treated like a human is going “too far.” I think having a lot of sex (being liberated) and being treated with respect (not an object) is reasonable and not insane.

          • AvatarKonrad NikielJune 9, 2014, 23:46

            You misinterpreted what I wanted to tell. “Going too far” means that some women see sexism everywhere. Of course I agree that everybody should be treated like a human (criminals are exception), but some people going to extremes in finding sexist or racist messages. Even in MLP, somebody found racism (about occult in that show, I don’t want to comment that idiocy, but some people should be sended to soft asylum).

          • Anne LeeAnne LeeJune 10, 2014, 02:37

            Sexism is everywhere because misogyny is everywhere. For example, I went to an 18+ art show, and there was a picture of a MLP showing her clit. I was like, “Well, you can really sexualize anything!” LOL

  • AvatarKonrad NikielJune 10, 2014, 14:21

    The more I read about western countries, then I hate them more. When I look at history now, I think that Soviet occupation in my country was salutary. In my country, women situation isn’t that bad, but unfortunately it’s changing because of liberals, conservatists and (in my country case) catholic church, these groups had nothing to say before 1989 and they were sended mostly to prisons or home arrests. One catholic priest was too brave, so He was killed (probably because of government order, but it isn’t certain, it much complicated story). When european and US women fought for their rights in western countries, in communist bloc they were treated equally, but slavian nations were always more “women-friendly” than rest of the Europe, and then, USA. As a tittle-tattle, Russia (and then USSR) was always referred as “Motherland” instead of “Fatherland”, I’m not sure how it looks now.

    • Anne LeeAnne LeeJune 11, 2014, 14:38

      Please stay on topic.

      • AvatarKonrad NikielJune 11, 2014, 17:08

        I apologize for that. Firstly I wanted to reply to your last comment, but I don’t know how, because after several posts I had to write new comment. Secondly, I wanted to emphasize that our point of view is different because of customs in our regions. But when I heard what some people can do even with MLP, I was shocked that situation is far worse than I imagined, and with which I use to meet in my country. I know that my historical post is poorly written, but unfortunately it’s impossible to edit or correct this.

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