Fantasy armor can go one of two ways. If it's done right, it's amazing. Sometimes it's pulled straight from the Renaissance and Medieval eras, almost as if the prop department raided a museum before they started filming. Other times it's completely new and inspired, with brilliant designs and colors - all while still being functional and capable of keeping the squishy human inside not-squished.
And then there are the times when fantasy armor fails. We've all seen these, believe it or not. The usual complaint is, "That's not a breastplate, that's a metal bra too small for her chest. Her boobs are going to fall out the second she ducks a sword." Other times it's, "He won't be able to squeeze through anything narrower than the Grand Canyon with those shoulder-plates." So we went on a hunt and found them all.
15 Almost...Not Quite
Admittedly, this is some pretty BAMF-looking armor. The color, the spikes, the shoulder plates - we're getting the clear impression that this woman is not to be messed with (which is probably what the artist wanted us to think). In which case, well done. But there are some issues. Namely, her lower body.
Were the guys who made her armor aware of the major arteries and veins that are very close to the surface in those parts of her legs? No? Then those smiths need some anatomy lessons. Very basic anatomy lessons, too, seeing as they didn't even provide proper padding to prevent chafing. Her creamy white skin is going to be so red and raw before the fighting's even started. That is going to look decidedly less impressive and sexy.
14 Equality in Skank
This poor man. That has got to pinch and chafe, in some very uncomfortable places. Leather and metal against skin is not comfortable by any stretch of the imagination. He's going to be raw and red by the time he gets home. And sure, it's summer in this photo, but if he goes into a building with powerful AC and gets cold...well, at least he has the cape.
This is why "sexy" armor for women is so confusing. I, and most other people I know, who are attracted to men do not find this attractive. We find it ridiculous. It's no insult to the man. He's a very fine human specimen. If he were wearing a shirt and pants and asked me out, I'd probably say "yes." He's a geek, I'm a geek; he likes the outdoors, I find it tolerable; and he's clearly very confident.
13 A Serious Wardrobe Malfunction
Finally, someone said it! And took the time to laboriously paint out the consequences. Kudos to you, lovely artist. Thou art victorious in thy quest.
Forget the fact that sexualized armor completely objectifies women (despite the dude armor in #14, we all know the vast majority of "sexy" armor is designed for women, and the vast majority of female characters are forced to wear it). This type of armor just isn't safe. People covered in head-to-toe plates end up killed in fantasy battles on a regular basis, just as they did in real life back in the day. Erasing ninety percent of that armor for the sake of cleavage and a bit of thigh, is going to lead to a lot more corpses on the battlefield. And that in itself is decidedly unsexy.
12 The Not-So-Secret Weapon
Ohhh, that's the true purpose of sexy armor! It's the ultimate distraction against male combatants. While they're ogling at her boobies, she can stick that sword into their bellies. Or lower, if she's feeling particularly vicious. We don't judge.
Of course, this plan only works if the men facing this woman are straight and have a libido. While that's statistically very likely to happen, if she runs into someone like Loras Tyrell, she's in trouble. Her opponents also need to be human, or at least attracted to humans. A dragon probably would not be fooled by her attire. But while we're on the topic of women wearing skimpy armor, what if the woman wearing the said armor wasn't beautiful in the typical sense? Has anyone ever seen an image of an average or, God forbid, an ugly or larger woman in revealing armor? Or a woman over the age of thirty? No? That's what I thought...
11 The Chainmail Bikini
All I can say is, thank God he's wearing underwear. We wouldn't have been able to put it up on this website otherwise, and we probably would've been sued for inflicting such horrors onto the public if we'd tried. Although we must give credit where credit is due: it takes a very confident man to wear a chainmail bikini over a pink bikini.
But what is he doing with his right hand? Is he scratching his butt? In which case, we must know how itchy that thing is. Is he trying to hold it up? If so, then we'd like to know how he manages to walk anywhere. Probably a penguin-waddle. The only thing we know for certain is that we do not want to see the back of that thing.
10 Never Mind, Go Back To Skank
How did he manage to bend down and pick up that hammer? Can he even swing that thing? Can he even move? How the heck did he manage to get in that thing in the first place? I'm trying to think of a time when I saw anyone with anywhere near this much protection, and the only thing that comes to mind is Ripley in Aliens. But even she didn't have that much metal on during her fight against the alien queen. She was able to at least swing her armors and move her head. And more importantly, she was able to wiggle out of there before blowing the queen into space. If this guy got into a fight with an alien queen, he'd end up dragged into space with her.
9 Sexy Armor Stats
Now there's an idea: have sexy armor be a viable option in Dungeons and Dragons and all the other fantasy role-playing games out there! Giving them real statistics would be sure to liven the game up a bit:
Normal plate armor: +4 protection, -1 speed. Cleavage-revealing plate armor: +1 protection, +2 initiative. Plate bra: 0 protection, +2 initiative, +1 on your first attack roll. And then of course there's the legs: -1 protection for every foot of skin revealed, but +1 to initiative and flirting. Flirting's one of the skills, right? If it's not, then it should be: diplomacy, intimidate, and seduction. Normal plate gives -2 to seduction (but +2 to intimidate, because let's face it, real plate armor is scary), sexy plate does the opposite. And then of course there's the leather armor. The quests just got a lot more interesting...
8 The Problem With Boob Plates
These are direct quotes from a smith who makes armor in an interview with Kotaku (including the one in this image). He says it better than we do:
"Plate armor is the way it is largely out of necessity. The layout and articulations of the plates are the best solutions the designers could come up with to balance mobility with protection. Also, note that nobody was naked under their armor. There was a ton of padding between the metal and the flesh that absorbed the energy of the blows. That means the difference between male and female plate armor is relatively trivial because once you've padded it out and left space for movement, you've all but erased the figure of the person inside... That there, that is a boob plate. I made that one. The woman in the photo asked for it to be like that. She fights in it. I worry constantly that she's going to fall hard and it will crack her sternum, even with the padding. Note also that it seems almost perfectly designed to guide sword points and arrows into her heart. They still have to penetrate the armor but, honestly, that's a design flaw."
7 It's "Beat Up," Not "Pin Up"
So, as long as you don't anger any hunchbacks and drive them to lead the enemy on a path to destroy you, then yeah, it should work. Assuming they're actual soldiers. "You, there. What is your profession?" "I'm a model. I'm trying to get on the cover of Vogue magazine one day." "Uh-huh. And you, what is your profession?" "Well, I'm an actress. I played an amazon for a movie once." "And dare I ask what yours is?" "Stripper. In fact, I used this costume to do it!"
Seriously, though, none of them have proper support for breasts that size. Their backs are going to be killing them more thoroughly than the enemy's soldiers. And once those pretty white robes are stained with blood and mud, it's going to be a royal pain finding replacement clothing. This is why sports bras were invented, people!
6 Overcompensate Much?
Here's a common tactic used by video game and fantasy character designers. They'll dress their character in almost nothing, and then give them a huge axe that can cleave a man in half, or a shotgun that's capable of blowing up a city. Basically, they're overcompensating and hoping nobody calls them out on it. In fact, some will go so far as to say, "Well, of course she--" (Yes, nine out of ten times it is a she, despite the fact that we've added men's armor to this list. Stop the anti-feminist word-vomit and admit it.) "--isn't wearing much armor. She doesn't need it because she's good with her weapon."
All right, we'll set aside the obvious lack of knowledge about fighting in that statement and apply the logic. If the women warriors are half-naked because they're good enough to deflect the blows with their sword, then the men warriors must suck. One might ask why they're the ones fighting all the wars if they're so bad that they need all that protection.
5 Wait, What?
"Wait a minute. Why is this here? She's obviously a sorceress, so she doesn't need heavy plate armor, since she doesn't even have a sword and won't be in the thick of things. More importantly, she's covered. The cleavage is downright pious compared to everything else on this list. Why is she here?"
This one is here because while it's not sexy, this outfit is still totally impractical. That white dress is pretty now, but by the time she's done with her quest, it's going to be covered in stains: blood, dirt, sweat, magic potions, weird monster goo—it's going to be a mess. Unless she knows a spell that completely cleans her clothes, in which case, well played. But still! If she has to run or climb, she's going to trip and fall and break her neck. And those toes are going to be stubbed and blistered and in serious need of a pedicure.
4 Gaga's Dream Armor
"I am completely protected from all attacks. So long as they're directed at my right shoulder."
You know, if this was over some proper leather armor (or, if she were a witch or sorceress, a long black dress with a silver design on the hem), this would be pretty awesome. The silver spikes over black fabric are a great combo. It'd be downright intimidating if she wasn't half-naked. And if she was able to properly see... It's hard to say what'd get her killed first: the shades or the exposed belly. Or maybe the fact that she can't make a proper retreat. As cool as that shoulder pad is, it does not grant a lot of mobility. Doors are a problem and trekking through forests and caves must be a nightmare.
3 I Now Cast T&A!
"Pfft? Who needs armor? I just stay in the back and blow things up. And since I make fire, I'm never cold."
Yeah, no. This painting was very obviously done by a man, and I'm not just saying that because of the blatant sexism and objectification going on here. Girls with chests that big need way bigger bras to be comfortable just sitting down, never mind running all over a battlefield blowing up bad guys. This poor woman must be in so much pain. And when she takes off that top to change her clothes, her skin is going to be so red and irritated, because that thing is about six sizes too small. If there's such a thing as breast reduction surgery in her world, I guarantee you she's given it serious thought.
2 I'm Too Sexy For Frostbite
Oh, come on! They're not even trying. At least make her a fire-witch like the last one. Then she at least has a reason not to be catching hypothermia and keeling over in ten minutes. I'm saying this as a woman from Minnesota: she's going to want at least three layers over every inch of skin, including her face if it's that windy. Otherwise she's dead.
Here's the worst part about this picture: it's downright dangerous. There are girls who live in cold climates who refuse to properly dress themselves for the weather because they're told not to by boys, older women, and, of course, media. Women's jackets are thinner than men's so they fit the figure better, which is why my mom and I steal my dad's old coats. Well, that, and it annoys him.
1 This And Everything It Stands For
Well, they got one thing right: if a guy is being tackled by a scantily-clad elf who's pulling his face into her boobs, he would most likely be thrilled and drop his sword as this guy did. So long as there aren't any bad guys around, of course. Actually, maybe if there were still bad guys around...
I don't know about any of you, but if this was a poster for a movie, I'd bet all my cash that that movie was a porno and not a Lord of the Rings remake. Although it looks like she is saving him from whatever scary monsters are off the picture, which is a refreshing change. In either case, this type of armor is not something you want your kids to see, and definitely nothing you want to fight in.