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This Is How Superheroes Would Look If They Had Average American Bodies (12 Pics)
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Comics, Illustration3 years ago

This Is How Superheroes Would Look If They Had Average American Bodies (12 Pics)

What do we expect from our favorite superheroes? Well, they should be brave, smart, skillful and strong, as well as having great morals and a desire to fight evil wherever it exists. Of course, they are usually blessed with good looks and perfect bodies too; these cosmetic enhancements are presumably just another characteristic of their ‘superness,’ something else that sets them apart from the average person.

But are these physical exaggerations really necessary? Would you have as much respect for Superman’s ability to triumph over evil if he had the body of, say, Homer Simpson?

Bulimia.com decided to put it to the test by producing a series of comic book covers showing famous superheroes ‘reverse photoshoppped’ to reflect the average American body type.

Batman & Poison Ivy

Image credits: Bulimia.com

“When it comes to accurate depictions of the human body, comic book heroes are hardly realistic,” they wrote. “Whether they’re sprouting blades from their hands or surviving decades in a deep freeze, these characters regularly push the limits of what’s considered possible. But they also depart from realistic human anatomy in a more mundane sense: Almost none of them reflect the typical physique of most Americans.”

Black Cat

Image credits: Bulimia.com

“Today, 33.7% of men and 36.5% of women in the U.S. are considered obese, and more than two-thirds are overweight.1 Weight gain has put millions of people at risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other preventable conditions.2 Meanwhile, comic books depict vastly different figures: men with massive biceps and shoulders and women with toned abs and tiny waists.”

Catwoman

Image credits: Bulimia.com

“So what would they look like if they reflected more typical body shapes and sizes? We’ve Photoshopped several major comic book characters – not to touch them up, but to make the average hero look more like the average American.”

Phoenix

Image credits: Bulimia.com

Back in the 50s and 60s, when caped crusaders first burst onto our TV screens, things were quite different. Kirk Alyn, the first actor to play Superman, looked square and barrel-chested in comparison to the V-shaped, rippling abs of today. Same goes for Adam West’s Batman, who didn’t need molded plastic pecs and abs to be a heroic crimefighter. Male superheroes were, in the beginning, solid, dependable types who reflected the masculine ideals of the day.

Wonder Woman

Image credits: Bulimia.com

By comparison, it appears that female superheroes have always been portrayed in a similar way; slim, long-limbed, and with a tiny waistline and bulging breasts. Bulimia.com’s project treats male and female superheroes in the same way: disregarding society’s ideals, which are projected onto these icons, and giving them the ‘average’ treatment. “As you might expect, the differences are stark,” they explained. “When seen through a more realistic lens, the stick-thin thighs and visible ribcages vanish from the women, while the men’s exaggerated V-shaped upper bodies are cut down to a more reasonable size.”

Storm

Image credits: Bulimia.com

Rogue

Image credits: Bulimia.com

“The extreme body shapes of the originals come from the fictional universes in which these characters reside, and as widespread as these images may be in our culture, this certainly isn’t something that any real person could hope to achieve safely.”

Psylocke

Image credits: Bulimia.com

Power Girl

Image credits: Bulimia.com

“If these characters had a figure more like that of the average person, perhaps more people could look up to their favorite superhero without feeling the need to emulate an impossible physique. Ultimately, what’s truly heroic is respecting yourself, your body, and your health.”

Iron Man

Image credits: Bulimia.com

Captain America

Image credits: Bulimia.com

What do you think? Do you look at superheroes with envy? Do their impossible physiques create insecurity and body dysmorphia? Or are they simply an accurate portrayal of heroes who are supposed to be ‘super,’ physically as well as morally? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Black Widow

Image credits: Bulimia.com

Here’s what people had to say about the project

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Amina Hays
Community Member
3 years ago

This concept is really dumb. Based on the assumption they were an actual thing, superheroes wouldn't have an 'average' body on account of all the strenuous physical activity they do. You'd have to be insanely fit to be a superhero; an 'average' sized person wouldn't stay average for very long at all, they'd be ripped in no time.

Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago

Chances are, they'd more likely look like professional athletes. But then, it depends on their powers.

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Kjorn
Community Member
3 years ago

i Don't think people who are that much active physically would have that much body fat. i Don't see Professional athlete with body fat

Andrew Keane
Community Member
3 years ago

Yeah. These people are not someone that regularly holds a desk job. They're in the business of always being active. Even if they weren't working out they'd be in better shape than this.

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Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago

The concept is good, but the execution needs more diversity. Not all women have small boobs and jelly bellies.

tuzdayschild
Community Member
3 years ago

Absolutely right. I have big boobs and a jelly belly.

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Amina Hays
Community Member
3 years ago

This concept is really dumb. Based on the assumption they were an actual thing, superheroes wouldn't have an 'average' body on account of all the strenuous physical activity they do. You'd have to be insanely fit to be a superhero; an 'average' sized person wouldn't stay average for very long at all, they'd be ripped in no time.

Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago

Chances are, they'd more likely look like professional athletes. But then, it depends on their powers.

Load More Replies...
Kjorn
Community Member
3 years ago

i Don't think people who are that much active physically would have that much body fat. i Don't see Professional athlete with body fat

Andrew Keane
Community Member
3 years ago

Yeah. These people are not someone that regularly holds a desk job. They're in the business of always being active. Even if they weren't working out they'd be in better shape than this.

Load More Replies...
Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago

The concept is good, but the execution needs more diversity. Not all women have small boobs and jelly bellies.

tuzdayschild
Community Member
3 years ago

Absolutely right. I have big boobs and a jelly belly.

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