I just finished posting a blog to http://hyacinthemillerbooks.com based on notes I took at the When Words Collide conference in Calgary in August. The topic was Heroines.

“In contemporary novels, there is no Snidely Whiplash and Dudley Do-Right saving little Nell. Today’s characters (male and female) have evolved from the past to become more independent and complete in their own right.” In other words, believable people.

When I cruised to my favourite image site – Pixabay – and entered the search terms Amazon and female warrior, I got a page of some of the most foolish illustrations I’ve seen in a long time. So I’m going to have some fun.

What is wrong with these pictures? Let me tell you.

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Usually, these comely creatures inhabit a dystopian world of some sort filled with hierarchies and evil lords and mythical creatures with lots of scales and big teeth.

Missy is almost bare. Brrrrr. Not sure how that would work out in a world with no hydro and polluted water supplies. That little leather bra thing she’s got on protects nothing. Sure, it lifts and separates her pert little boobies, but give me a break. In a fight of any kind she’d be scratched up and stripped in no time at all.

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Sissy is obviously some basement-dweller’s fantasy chick. Artful tattoos. Thigh gap.

Doll-like face with huge eyes, long hair (that braid would be perfect for pulling her to the ground, IMO). But let’s look at her outfit. First of all, that bustier would drop to her waist with any vigorous activity. And those – what are they – panties? Yeah, they’ll be great in a fight.

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Girlfriend has some painted-on wounds that are, I suppose, there to make her look tough.

The sneer and the shoulder winglets are precious, but they remind me of shoulder pads I used to wear in the disco days. High heeled boots – terrific when you’re standing your ground in a sword fight or swinging your mace at the enemy. The bottoms of her breasts are falling out of her undergarment and she’s standing still. Raise your arms, sweetheart and you could distract them with your own Nipplegate.

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This one is my favourite. The long flowing hair (how does she find the time to shampoo, condition and flat-iron that mane, never mind touch-up her roots every two weeks?) Anyone who’s taken martial arts would know that if she used her fist to pucnh anything harder than a pillow, she’d dislocate her tiny thumb. The embellished gauntlets, cape and BDSM waist chain are eye-catching. But the best is that tiny crotch-cover that would c.h.a.f.e like crazy. Can’t imagine how it holds up over her mini-buttocks. At least she’s had a Brazilian wax treatment.

Are these “ideal women”? Scary, but for some people they are quite fantastic. They are hairless, with no muscle tone or facial expression. Thin but busty. Wide-eyed and pouty-lipped. Clothing that is truly fantastic, because in real life, it wouldn’t be functional.

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Come on on, graphic artists, start showing some real women. There are so many living breathing examples of beautiful, fit, muscular athletes. It’s 2016. Stop drawing wimpettes!