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The Backlash Over She-Ra's Redesign Is Why Girls Can't Have Nice Things

Regardless of the writing, the lack of freedom for the Barbie brigade at Mattel meant She-Ra's original proportions were that of an idealized young woman whose spine would collapse under the weight of her perky plastic chest if she were real. Though She-Ra is now considered to be a flawed feminist icon, it still seems strange that a character whose creation was driven by calculated corporate strategizing is today being held in such high esteem by the many angry She-Ra fanatics that have suddenly appeared out of the woodwork after 30 years of what we can only assume was deliberate silence, awaiting the return of a character that many at Mattel blame for contributing to He-Man toy sales taking a nosedive in the late '80s. (Now that really is a ruined childhood.)

On the other hand, She-Ra's new look, which looks for all the world like the realistically toned physique of a warrior princess who has been crushing other people's spines since she was in diapers, just as Straczynski intended, DOESN'T have really big boobs.

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Instead, we just have reams of long, flowing blonde hair, a mini-skirt and the words "She" and "Princess" in her name to try and work out what the hell gender "Androgynous-Ra" even is. C'mon, Netflix, are you trying to lose the adult male audience that She-Ra never had in the first place? It's not like they can turn to a wealth of other cartoons, TV shows, films, video games, anime or just about any superhero comic to get their fix of satisfyingly titilating female flesh.

But, perhaps it's unfair to call out fans mourning the loss of She-Ra's sex appeal as sexist when they had the same criticism of Lion-O in ThunderCats Roar. Except that they didn't, because, as Straczynski also points out: "Male characters tend to be idealized in form and proportion; but female characters tend to be objectified."

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Control over She-Ra's image -- and the images of similar characters -- has become a rallying cry for older, largely male consumers who are frustrated that the current trend in Western animation style doesn't call for the same level of definition in human body shapes that was fashionable decades ago. Rather than recognizing that animation, like any art form, goes through periods of certain styles being more prevalent than others, these fans appear to be convinced that they've uncovered an insidious conspiracy to de-gender cartoon characters. "Netflix is clearly afraid afraid of She-Ra looking like a beautiful woman," @Daddy_Warpig tweeted, while @Diversity&Cmx resorted to homophobic bashing of the creator: "Boyish lesbian reimagines She-Ra as a boyish lesbian."

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