"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Film, Comic Books
Fans and critics have long discussed and debated the unrealistic bodies of comic book superheroes, from gravity-defying breasts and tiny waists to bulging biceps and washboard abs. However, now Bulimia.com has done what it refers to as “reverse Photoshopping of comic covers,” and given the superheroes bodies that reflect average American body types.
“Today, 33.7% of men and 36.5% of women in the U.S. are considered obese, and more than two-thirds are overweight,” explains the website, a resource for people with eating disorders. “Weight gain has put millions of people at risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other preventable conditions.Meanwhile, comic books depict vastly different figures: men with massive biceps and shoulders and women with toned abs and tiny waists.”
In these versions, Batman likely has to add a few notches to his utility belt, while Catwoman’s breasts aren’t quite so large, and her waist not quite so miniscule. Other characters, from Iron Man and Rogue to Power Girl and Black Widow, undergo the same treatment.
“We didn’t intend this project to be a commentary on whether or not comic books send the wrong message about body image,” a Bullimia.com representative told The Huffington Post. “Rather, our hope here is to show the extent to which superheroes’ body types (as is the case with their super-human abilities) are fictional. Our hope is that when viewers see these superheroes visualized in such a manner that they can identify with, they may feel better about themselves and realize the futility of any comparison between themselves and the fictional universes of Marvel and DC Comics.”