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ND writes...

First of all, I apologize for the mistakes: English is not my mother language.

Then I'd like to tell you that I really like the animated Young Justice for many reasons. I love the variety of genders and ethnicities and the lack of stereotypes. There was a Japanese girl who didn't do Kung Fu or computers, blondes who weren't stupid or shallow, Black characters who didn't die in the first episode, and so on.

Now, there's something I don't like about Young Justice (and many animated shows, by the way): there's a variety of body types among boys yet all girls have the same impossibly tiny waist. It's very guilt-inducing for the girls who watch the show and don't have a "perfect body", that is 99.99% of them.

I know some male characters like Kaldur or Conner have incredibly huge muscles but all male characters were not like that: Billy Batson was skinny throughout the two seasons and the fans LOVED him the way he was. Moreover, Dick's evolution may have been explained by his training while there was not such explanation for the girls: in real life, most high-level female athletes have "ruler" body shapes, not impossible hourglasses. Also, some male characters like La'gaan or Garfield (I apologize for mentioning Garfield) look like "monsters" while all female characters look human (I don't count Miss Martian because she looks human most of the time). Why?

I know you probably didn't mean it but this is quite disturbing. I don't mind hourglass women but every woman cannot have an impossible hourglass figure. Personally, I exercise regularly, I eat healthy food, I'm thinner than average and I don't have an impossible hourglass figure because 1) I have intestines and 2) I inherited my granny's "pear" body shape. I've been heavier on bottom since puberty and I'm ok with it but some teenagers are not THAT ok because they hear all the time that every woman should look like Zatanna!

I apologize if I sound rude. I'd just like to tell you that a female character doesn't need a "perfect" body to be endearing, interesting or a good role model. Just after the episode "Secrets", I read from some fans on forums and some said "Hey, I like Greta, I hope we'll see more of her later". None of them said "I hope we won't see her again unless she grows some huge boobs, flat-chested girls are repulsive". In real life, people shouldn't grant less value to women who are skinny or plus-size so why should they in fiction?

I hope you don't take this badly. This is not an attack against you, I'm just wondering about teenagers' body images. Have a nice day. :)

Greg responds...

I think you raise some very valid points. And I think its an area that comics and cartoons have traditionally been less than great at, though that's no excuse for continuing those traditions blindly.

We did have Devastation and Tuppence Terror (in Season 2) and Shimmer, none of whom have the hour-glass figure - but all of whom are villains.

We were also guilty of that in Gargoyles, and it was something I tried to address (years later) in the comics with the addition of Constance/Coco - a badass, kickass gargoyle of larger proportions. I think she was quite popular with the fans. So it's something I'm working on. But there's often resistance. And, to be honest, some of that resistance is purely internal and unconscious on my part. So it's something I'm working on within myself, as well.

But please don't stop reminding me.

Response recorded on September 30, 2015