>Gender swap! The Magna Carta edition

>It’s been too long since I’ve done any original art for this blog, and I’ve been itching to do more! I knew as soon as I started working on that post about Hyung Tae Kim that I wanted to do another gender swap using his artwork, but it took me a while to find the time to sit down and do one.

Choosing an image was difficult. A lot of HTK’s art is heavily distorted, and I wanted to experiment with actually not correcting anatomy this time around to see what the effect would be. However, I also really wanted to see what would happen if I took on a figure with an unnecessarily detailed crotch. For some reason, I wasn’t able to find an image that was both very, very distorted AND very crotchular, so I settled for something crotchular and still a little distorted:

So this is Celestin Roaa from the Magna Carta series. This presented a huge challenge with the crazy boob perspective, and also with the costume – but I think it turned out well:

The costume presented quite the challenge, in that there wasn’t any real male equivalent of the clothing that she was wearing. I compromised and gave my gender-swapped version a codpiece and chaps. Amusingly, I didn’t realize how phallic the design on the codpiece was until after I drew it. I did try to give him a bulge, since Ken-doll superheroes with no visible bulge have always irritated me, but I think it was a bit obscured by the crazy codpiece. Alas.The figure is softer than I intended, but I think that’s more a result of me attempting to change as few lines as possible; I changed as little as I could to have the figure still be interpreted as male. (I’ll admit the beard was me hedging my bets.)

Anyhow, in all other regards I’m quite happy with how the ridiculousness comes through. The chaps + codpiece are a wonderfully ridiculous combination, and the codpiece especially draws attention to the “HEY EVERYBODY LOOK AT MY CROTCH”-ness of the original pose. I think the low cut of the codpiece also helps make the sexualization extreme enough that it actually reads as sexualization. Were he wearing pants, I don’t think that even the bare chest would really read as extreme sexualization the way the mostly bare chest with bikini top does with the original figure.

I think next time I’ll tackle something with more obvious figure distortion, just to see what happens. I suspect it won’t translate well, since the parts of the female body that get distorted don’t really have male equivalents. But that unknown is part of why I’m doing this. I enjoy highlighting the ridiculousness of the imagery, sure. But the experimentation of what works and what doesn’t is neat too.

I’d also like to do more re-designed characters, but I was having trouble deciding which character I should take on next. Anyone have any suggestions?

26 thoughts on “>Gender swap! The Magna Carta edition

  1. >i love your gender-swap work. i would love to see a gender swapped Bayonetta–i mean she's already a pretty exaggerated figure, i think it would be awesome to see that figure as male.

  2. >At least Bayonetta doesn't have helium tits. I mean, she's still distorted, but not in such a lazy way. That's actually slightly refreshing.Wundergeek, I don't think you meant for this, but I totally want to play this character now. It's probably all the Star Driver I'm watching. Your dude looks fucking fabulous.

  3. >Another gender-swap, awesome! And it seems like the originals get more and more outrageous every time (does that codpiece-thing even connect to the back? It doesn't seem to cover much of anything o_o).As for the swapped version, you certainly managed to keep the sexualization there this time. πŸ˜„ I think you might need to allow the lines to vary a little bit more, though — the hips on the male version seem a bit too wide for a guy.

  4. >Oh gosh, this is cracking me up. The sexualization is definitely still there, which really shows just how absurd the original is (success!)I sort of want this character to actually be in something now, lol.For something else, how about one of the ridiculous Dead or Alive characters?

  5. >See, if you're talking about the main game series, the problem with Dead or Alive characters wasn't really the outfits. An Opera costume or a giant ribbon bow is ridiculous to bring into a fight, but not because they're sexualized. And I don't think you can say it's out-of-place for someone on the beach to wear a bikini, so you'd have to genderflip the heavy water boobs somehow. That's a problem, because I don't think men have secondary sex characteristics that are, well, sexual. I'd be impressed if you found a way to do it.

  6. >FarisScherwiz:I sort of want this character to actually be in something now, lol.Kuja's pretty close, if you're interested. πŸ˜‰Hazmat Sam:That's a problem, because I don't think men have secondary sex characteristics that are, well, sexual. I'd be impressed if you found a way to do it.Well, there's always the lower back-butt area to play around with, but I don't think exaggerating the guy's butt into a balloon would work quite as well. πŸ˜„;I don't think that's necessarily required to show off how ridiculous Dead or Alive is, though. They put images like this in their press release kits, for crying out loud. I think the super-sexualization of something like that would be obvious even without balloon body parts.

  7. >Ikkin: You're right about the hips. It was tough doing this one, though, since it was hard to tell what was exaggeratedly wide hips and what was the crotch-thrusting perspective. Next time I'll pick one where the perspective is more straight forward!

  8. >Oh, and yes I keep going with progressively more extreme images. I've discovered that you have to go pretty extreme just to get the sexualization to translate at all. Weird, that.

  9. >I think changing the clothes to "male" versions actually distorts part of your point.I did a similar series of drawings with superhero costumes. I drew male versions of female characters in the same pose, and kept the same costumes.My reasoning is that these skimpy clothes are no more natural to females than they are to males. There is nothing inherently female about these skimpy clothes other than the fact that only females are shown wearing them. It's just as ridiculous for a female character to wear a short skirt and thong and high heels to a battle as it would be for a male character. Taking away the heels and putting the male character in shorts instead of a skirt takes some of the impact off your argument, I think, and implies that there are still "male" clothes and "female" clothes. That heels are still for women and not for men.

  10. >"Well, there's always the lower back-butt area to play around with, but I don't think exaggerating the guy's butt into a balloon would work quite as well.πŸ˜„;"I wouldn't be so sure of that! Properly outlined rears on men can go a long way. I'm not saying they have to be balloons necessarily, but they shouldn't be flat boards either. There should definitely be some definition there. And well, even if you don't want to show the penis full on.. there's nothing wrong with showing bulges in the crotch area.

  11. >Hirvox:One option to replace distorted boobs would be to enlarge shoulders, upper arms and biceps to achieve that V-shape. Think Greg Valentino. That's exaggerating masculinity, but it's not sexualization. It's empowering rather than depowering, and it usually ends up being kinda ugly.LilithXIV:I wouldn't be so sure of that! Properly outlined rears on men can go a long way. I'm not saying they have to be balloons necessarily, but they shouldn't be flat boards either. There should definitely be some definition there.Not going to disagree with you there. All I meant to say was that exaggerating it to the point of balloon-butt would probably give a fairly unattractive end result. πŸ˜‰

  12. >I completely agree with what rosalarian said. If you apply the original outfit to the new male version, the outrageousness of how sexualized female characters are would come across MUCH more blatantly. The costumes on the females look just as ridiculous on them as they do on men, it's just that we've been exposed to over-sexualized women for so long and have been conditioned to think of it as normal. Anyway, great rendition of the original piece. =)

  13. >Your image looks so much more natural and appealing since you drew the man with a human, realistic face. Hyung Tae Kim draws his Barbie girls with inhuman, distorted, empty-eyed faces – do that no one will think there is a soul inside, and instead can focus on crotch oogling.

  14. >This is great β€” good design of transferring the costume across, I think. Jo is right that the face makes such a difference too. Neither I not my boyfriend can even look at that sort of art and find it attractive or arousing in any way, not even from the scandal or outrageousness of it all, because increasing distortion, unnatural colouring styles/effects and passive expressions create inhuman images.

  15. >Ikkin: "They put images like this in their press release kits, for crying out loud."But see, that's a series designed to be about watching women in bikinis on a beach, so I don't think that's gratuitous. Its like, you bought a porn movie and you're upset about the lack of medical realism in the Nurse scene.Whereas the main series is (in theory) about people fighting, so the helium boobs are so out of place as to be like watching an action movie where suddenly there's a 30 minute extended Senatorial politics subplot. (Wow, is there anything one can't analogize with Star Wars?)Lilith, et al: I'm not a biologist, so I mostly keep up with just neurobiology, because that's the most relevant part to my job. I confess I was unaware that buttocks are sexually dimorphic in our species. Learn something new every day! That's why I like this place.jo: I wouldn't call the original art "empty-eyed". There's obvious joy on the face to me. But who knows, maybe my acclimation to anime has got me seeing shapes in the Rorschach.

  16. >Jo & Kelemta: I used to be super into anime – you can still see that it's had a heavy influence on my art. But I got frustrated with anime faces because they're much harder to convey subtle emotion with. That said, there are some amazing anime artists out there! But yeah I'll agree that HTK's emphasis definitely isn't the face.

  17. >That was a funny genderswap, I appreciate that you didn't wrote the distortion of the anatomy as a cause of sexism as much as there's a correlation but once again I have a little nitpick, when you say that there's no equivalent parts for female features for males, you know that's not rue, we are all made with the same set parts, we start as the same featurless embryo, then our cromosomes and hormones give certain shape and function to our bodies.If the artist makes a girl with huge breasts then just make an equally ridiculous and grotesque chest for example, it wouldn't make the dude look powerful but dumb and unable to fight or find a shirt his size.http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/3958/dumbsagat.jpgOr you can just give them man boobs. I guess, it is kind of hard but we are pretty much equal in parts, just not as exploitable.Also:"…because increasing distortion, unnatural colouring styles/effects and passive expressions create inhuman images"That's not how the human brain works, even if is heavily distorted we can recognize something conceived as a human being as that, that's why we see a smiling face with theπŸ™‚ symbols.

  18. >Actually I think this was rather successful! Well done! The image kind of looks like a satyr / faun, which if you're familiar with greek myth or victorian romanticism, is a low down dirty rutting kind of guy – a highly sexualised, slightly monsterous male figure.

  19. Anonymous:

    The “simple fact that men and women are not perceived to be the same” in situations where gender ought not play a role is the reason why the genderswaps are meaningful.

  20. You should replace giant painted on breasts with a giant painted on erection. Since we all know balloon boobs are ever so subtle.

  21. You should do some of his male character gender swaps, would be more interesting imo. Plenty of art on the internet for you to pick as well!

    I personally like HTK’s artwork, his anatomy isn’t THAT distorted, and it seems people say so due to the thighs/hips, which is crazy unless you only know certain ethnicities. I myself had a 25″ waist and 40″ hips/thighs; i’ve always had thunder thighs, doesn’t mean my anatomy is effed up because of it. it just means i’m not in the majority of bodyshapes you see today, and it makes me happy that there’s an artist that appreciates big thighs. C:

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