The last installment (for now) asks the question...
Why can't fictional women (in film, in comics, in animation) wear functional clothes?
Why, why why?
Part of the reason is, of course, that horny guys dominate the industry. But the women who work in this industry also allow it...
Why, why, why?
I recall clearly, many years ago, a letter written to the makers of the American "Dirty Pair" comic. The comic was produced, if I remember, with the blessings of the Pair's creator, and was basically an expansion of their universe. It was done by the creative team of Toren Smith and Adam Warren, two nice guys that I got to know a little back in the StuRev days (tales for another time). They seemed like intelligent, balanced fellows, and I will say that I deeply admire their work... but they lost me on the occasion of that letter... the letter writer basically said that the DP's uniforms were stupid. Indeed, they are... the writer, I think, missed the point that the DP were basically a parody- a non-serious, cheesecakey bit of fun. What I didn't anticipate was that Smith and Warren would miss the point as well... the response was indignant, letting the letter writer know that the costumes weren't dumb, that women wore stuff like that in real life.
Okay, sure they do... but for police work? Going beyond the fact that the DP's shiny silver bikinis don't offer much in the way of modesty, they also offer nothing in the way of protection... or convenience (one function of clothes is to have pockets and other places to stow equipment). I am pretty confident in saying that (unless the investigation is taking place at a beach and the officer is undercover) no woman would wear a uniform like that in the line of duty.
That always stuck with me... and I have seen the same pattern repeated over and over again (a similar letter, years later, to the creators of the horrible "Shi" comic was similalry rebuffed in the pages of the Comic Journal, up until now, when the competent and otherwise well-written Major Kusanagi gets to wear a French Maid / one piece swimsuit affair instead of real clothes in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex).
Why, why, why?
I hate this sort of thing. It makes me cringe...
So I try to keep the cringe in mind when thinking about what characters will wear. Often, I err too much on the side of conservatism, as Mike (after wanting to stave my head in after yet another debate on the subject, dealing with my neuroses) will be quick to tell you.
One thing I can guarantee... if you see any French Maid outfits in the Detroit Project, I promise they will be in context. Otherwise, the women get to wear normal... and fully functional... and realistic... clothing.
Now, see, your challenge is to concoct a context in which a gritty urbanite in future detroit would seriously consider the fashion choice of donning a French maid outfit.
Rich guy says, "Hey, will you wear this for $10,000?"
Character says, "Hell, yes!!!!!"
There! That was easy...
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