An eating disorders charity has reverse-photoshopped video game characters with “average” body proportions – and they look more kick-ass than ever.
In a bid to encourage game designers to “get real” about women’s bodies, Lara Croft and Jade from Mortal Kombat have been digitally altered in a blog post for Bulimia.com.
It highlights how video games are becoming increasingly realistic in every aspect, except for the way they portray the female body.
“Plus-sized women are a rarity in video games,” reads the blog, “and when one does show up, she’s typically unusual looking.
“More often it seems video games are home to ultra-slim waistlines only,” the blog post continues.
“With realism in mind, we altered some of the most beloved female video game characters with Adobe Photoshop, shaping their bodies into images that represent the average American woman’s measurements.”
The charity poignantly ask video game creators to “get real” about women’s bodies. And rightly so.
Here are the results…
Bulimia.com adds that the differences between the before and after shots are “hardly subtle” which is probably because most of the time these female characters are scantily clad.
The charity explains how portraying such unrealistic body imagery can have “negative repercussions”, particularly on young women.
“The social pressures to obtain perfection are reinforced even through the depiction of video game characters,” it says. “Girl gamers – especially young ones – could develop a skewed image of how the female body should look.”
According to the blog post, this could “mark the beginning of obsessive thoughts about their own bodies and self-questioning as to why they don’t align with their perceived ideal”.
The charity concludes that when dangerous, compulsive eating behaviours develop alongside negative obsessions, young women can quickly find themselves struggling with an eating disorder.
“Whether it’s the drastic restrictions in food intake seen in anorexia, or the relentless purge behaviours of bulimia, all types of eating disorder are tragic end-points potentially exacerbated by body image issues.”