Artist’s how-to video shows distorted propotions for female characters

On Reel Girl’s Facebook page, Ana Campos shared a YouTube video by Marc Crilley, one of her favorite Manga artists. Crilley is an incredibly successful writer and illustrator of children’s books. The video is fascinating because Crilley takes you through the steps of how artists distort female anatomy. First, Crilley draws a regularly proportioned teenage girl. Then, he demonstrates the typical pattern and process of how artists exaggerate her proportions, drawing three well-known, female animated characters.

Crilley narrates:

It’s troubling, really in a way that artists, maybe many of them male, have this way of reducing the width of the female waist when they’re drawing it to just ridiculously small proportions and you know, you do sort of fear that this contributes to women’s body image, this crazy idea of the super narrow waist, but nevertheless you see it again and again. Finally, the big difference here, the knees, the line of the knees, much, much higher than in real life. So what’s interesting is you see that the whole area of the waist is being raised up here so as to create these incredibly long legs as an exaggerated style. To me, its sort of like Barbie doll style legs…

While watching this video, I was thinking about the incredible influence of the artist to create reality. When you combine images with narratives, it can be so powerful, like being God. Not to mention repeating and repeating the same sequence to the growing brains of little kids.

Here’s the video: