Sunday, January 17, 2010
Western Models are for sex Eastern models are for the face?
This post sort of links with my last post on female video game players. While reading the Katherine Toland and Frith article, I kept on thinking back about female video game players as the dichotomy between the east and west are easily seen in video games, because the major producers of video games are either American or Japanese. So I thought back to the picture Ivy from Soul Calibur and notice that she was a western character, and she is depicted with her whole body as a main focus. I began to wonder whether this theory on the west being more body oriented (in terms of female models) and the east being more facially oriented due to cultural reasons, if it had merits if applied to what I know about fashion. Granted my knowledge in fashion is quite poor, so my only point of reference is female character in Video games. At first, I thought the theory upholds quite well. Returning to Soul Calibur, Many of the Asian characters tend to be more clothed than the western characters. An example of such is Talim, a female Filipino character. However, staring at them all together we'll notice that this orientation of the body vs the face does not hold true in this game as a whole. For instance, when you look at Taki, the female that looks like a red ninja with a large bust size, typical of Soul Calibur games, she starts to break away from the idea that Asian models are all about the face. Furthermore, this idea that Asian models are also focused on the body also holds true for some cosplayers.
This is a cosplayer of a character from Final Fantasy 7. The character herself is never seen in such a highly sexuality pose. However, this cosplayer has taken the character to a more western ideal by posing seductively and there is less emphasis on her face. I guess the overall idea I'm trying to reach at is that maybe globalism is beginning to condense cultural differences, because there does not seem to be much of a difference between western female game characters and eastern female game characters.
First image from http://img61.imageshack.us/img61/6562/gilslm3.jpg
second image from http://kokugamer.com
Firth, Cheng, and Shaw. "Race and Beauty; A comparison of Asian and Western Models in Women's Magazine Advertisements."