Atsali's Age?

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Geekpixie
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Atsali's Age?

Post by Geekpixie » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:49 am

Hey all, this is where I hope I'm not stepping in it big time. I was curious if there have been references to Atsali's age at all in the comic. I know she's young enough to still need a guardian. She's got that natural leggy look of a teenager coming into her own, and I love her and Pickle to bits. Paul posted an illustration of she and Pickle to ebay this weekend "First visit to Monica's Island" that just made me feel uncomfortable. Which I guess says something for Paul's storytelling if anything. It's Atsali with her new... ahem, figure, in a teeny weensi bikini top.

If it was Monica or any of the adult ladies in the crew, I would have been absolutely fine with it, I'm not a prude, and I enjoy a well drawn and fun comic book lady as much as the next person, but with Atsali, I felt uncomfortable, because even with Pickle in the picture, compared to so many of her other pictures of her where she's got layers of clothing on, it felt off. The entire sequence of overdeveloped underboob where we got her backstory on hitting puberty felt a little off as well, but I was willing to go with physics on her shirt only being able to do so much.

So I know this is YA, I know there are most likely actually YA's reading this comic, though I feel like a lot of the people on here have been here for ages and we have a large amount of adults reading as well. Am I overly sensitive for worrying about sexualizing a teenage winged part siren in a young adult comic? Yeah, maybe. But when I think of her character, and her personality, I can't imagine the teenage winged part siren being very comfortable about it either.

You can tell me to chill out, that's totally cool, I just wanted to air my concerns with people who actually understood what the heck I was talking about. Not trying to troll at all, and I'm totally willing to have intelligent discourse.

Sorry my first post was so wordy.

-Geekpixie

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Mark N
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Re: Atsali's Age?

Post by Mark N » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:13 pm

When we first met Atsali she was 15 (she said so), so now she could be 16. The bikini on the beach picture is not eye candy so much as it is showing that with Monica's help she is coming to terms with being a teenaged siren. If she was to spend time wearing layers it would show that she is miserable with her figure and that is against what Paul has been about on women's empowerment.
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Geekpixie
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Re: Atsali's Age?

Post by Geekpixie » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:24 pm

Ok, that's a great perspective. I never thought of Atsali's layers as her being defensive, especially since she's never had issues showing off her legs, I always thought it was more her fashion sense.

I do think it was eye candy though, and as mentioned, I'm not uncomfortable with women showing their bodies, but more with Atsali as a character feeling comfortable being eye candy. She hasn't yet become comfortable being a Siren, we haven't seen it happen yet, we're just assuming Monica is going to wave the magic big boob wand and make it happen. Until then, I don't think the image is very valid.

I have no idea why I'm feeling the need to advocate for a drawn character, but it's how I feel about the subject.

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Fairportfan
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Re: Atsali's Age?

Post by Fairportfan » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:46 pm

I'll point you to Tamora Pierce's extremely well-respected YA fantasies - at least one of her heroines (almost all of her main protagonists are strong girls/young women) is sexually active (though off-stage) at about age sixteen or so, and another would have been but she and her then-intended are victims of the comically-bad-timing syndrome.

Different societies have different mores ... and the paranormal society id NOT our society, even though it interpenetrates with ours.
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Fairportfan
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Re: Atsali's Age?

Post by Fairportfan » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:13 pm

Having now looked at the image, i have to say that the only difference between what Atsali is wearing there and what Tiffany in Luann wears to the pool is the volume of contents.

In fact, in context, Atsali's is probably more modest that Tiffany's (Tiff's made it to her Senior year in HS without getting knocked up, which i attribute mostly to the fact that it's a newspaper comic, not a webcomic).

Of course, another difference here is that Tiffany wears hers to public pools/beaches; Atsali and Pickle are on just about the most private beach in the world.

And if there ARE any males present they (A) are fully aware of her age and inexperience and (B) equally fully aware of the fact that any of her female family members also there present (beginning, apparently, with Mama (who is arguably "merely" human), through Tia Shelly and Tia Monica to Tia Bud or Tia Brandi and on through Tanta Nudge and Tanta Phix) are fully capable of painfully (and generally fatally - Justin being the possible exception) re-arranging their anatomy.

I suspect that for a public beach/pool, Atsali would wear a one-piece or Nemesis, in the form of a not-leave-this-house-like-that-young-lady decree, would immediately descend.
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Fairportfan
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Re: Atsali's Age?

Post by Fairportfan » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:52 pm

Fairportfan wrote:Having now looked at the image, i have to say that the only difference between what Atsali is wearing there and what Tiffany in Luann wears to the pool is the volume of contents.

Of course, another difference here is that Tiffany wears hers to public pools/beaches; Atsali and Pickle are on just about the most private beach in the world.
An example (at school):
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Julie
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Re: Atsali's Age?

Post by Julie » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:24 am

Geekpixie wrote:Ok, that's a great perspective. I never thought of Atsali's layers as her being defensive, especially since she's never had issues showing off her legs, I always thought it was more her fashion sense.

I do think it was eye candy though, and as mentioned, I'm not uncomfortable with women showing their bodies, but more with Atsali as a character feeling comfortable being eye candy. She hasn't yet become comfortable being a Siren, we haven't seen it happen yet, we're just assuming Monica is going to wave the magic big boob wand and make it happen. Until then, I don't think the image is very valid.

I have no idea why I'm feeling the need to advocate for a drawn character, but it's how I feel about the subject.
I can kind of understand where you're coming from on this, but I also would point out that people who are uncomfortable in their skin (and showing said skin off) may feel just fine wearing little to nothing in secluded/private areas (such as any island M has claimed for sunbathing). I will submit my mother as exhibit A.

She has not been happy with her body since shortly after giving birth to me. Pre-pregnancy, she was 5'7", 120lbs, with an hourglass figure (teeny tiny waist, D-DD cup up top, and hips to match). Post-pregnancy, her weight ballooned and her body changed so that even when she lost weight, her figure never really came back (an excess of streched skin that couldn't bounce back was mostly the problem). Her distaste for her own figure has only gotten worse over the years, though she's really done very little about it lately (I'm assuming she feels it's a waste of time since she's never been successful in the past). Even though she initially raised me to believe that I was beautiful no matter what anyone told me, her own discomfort with her own body finally led her to start transferring her issues with "being fat" to me once I'd graduated high school. Now she's gotten pretty badly overweight, and will not be seen in public in anything remotely revealing. That said, in the summers, she's perfectly comfortable wearing little to nothing (even going topless) as long as she's in a place where only me or my dad will see her (with the intent of getting an all over tan).

Atsali may not yet be comfortable in her own skin, and may not be happy with the idea of being a Siren...and perhaps even one chat with Monica may not be enough to fully cure her issues with herself...but she might still be perfectly fine wearing a bikini on a remote, uninhabited island if that means getting to feel "normal" when no one (outside of trusted friends/family) is looking. Heck, M (who is significantly more comfortable with herself) has admitted that she only wears the tiny swimwear when she's not in public for fear of a wardrobe malfunction. I also agree with Fairportfan about Atsali's public bathing suit use as well. Even if by some miracle Monica made her feel so comfortable with who she is that she'd be okay in a two piece in public, there's no way Kat would allow it. :)

So all of that is to say that, IMO, Paul may have been trying to show Atsali's evolution into being more comfortable with who she is. She's certainly not going to be able to hide her chest anymore, so any pin-ups that Paul does of her will be chesty...even if they aren't trying to be eye-candy. I think that the pose Paul put her in also diminishes any "eye-candy" concerns because it's a much less provocative position...but then again, maybe I feel that way because I already don't look at Atsali and think "Wowzah!" like I occasionally do for the other characters since she's very obviously a kid in story. *shrugs*
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