via The Telegraph
via The Telegraph

Recently, popular Marvel artist J. Scott Campbell found himself in hot water with a lot of Iron Man fans for his depiction of Riri Williams, who is the new face of the series, after Twitter user @Steph_I_Will questioned how she was drawn. Riri was originally drawn with dark brown skin, yet William chose to draw her significantly lighter and with a much more sinewy, curvy body.
via CBR
via CBR

While Campbell became defensive and continued to miss the point, insisting that his art was almost the same as the original, the issue in comic book culture is bigger than him. Marvel, in a bold move, decided to pull Campbell’s cover as a retail exclusive, but this isn’t the first time the representation of a comic book character started a firestorm. Often, young girls in comics are extremely over-sexualized and drawn with bodies most grown women don’t even have. This prompted fans to start using the hashtag #TeensThatLookLikeTeens, started by user @MizCaramelVixen, to show that there are many artists who know how to not over-sexualize girls in their depictions, which will hopefully encourage artists to stop drawing girls as 25-year olds. See some of the awesome illustrations below:

https://twitter.com/maddigzlz/status/788811263241445376

You can check out more of the art on Twitter and Instagram. Hopefully, this is a step in the right direction for children to be drawn as children instead of adults. Also, kudos to Marvel for pulling Campbell’s cover.

Elle

Elle is the editor and creative director of the YouTube channel and blog, Quest for the Perfect Curl at www.questfortheperfectcurl.com. Her channel focuses on natural hair, beauty, and fitness. She loves products that smell like dessert, yoga, and glitter. Follow her @qftpc.

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12 Comments on "‘This is How You Draw a 15-y-o Black Girl’: Illustrators Flood Social Media After Marvel Sexes Up the New Iron Man"

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Mrs. Curry

This is such a good thing. When you really start looking, they (white society) has been sexualizing little girls for the longest time now in EVERYTHING. Not only comics, but movies, modelling and ESPECIALLY porn (gives me creeps like no other). It’s absolutely, atrociuosly disgusting. At least this once somebody said something.

TruGalt

I don’t think you people spend time around 15 year old girls. They are VERY sexual.

CRB

I wasn’t.

Jackson
This is stupid. I don’t see anything wrong with the new picture. First off… with regards to her athletic body, I assume she’s taken on the mantle of iron man. Which means she does a lot of physical activity, which means shes going to get more fit and tone. For the lighter skin tone? First picture looks like the light source is coming from behind and to the right of the image, making every thing seem darker. Second image? Looks like the light source is beaming directly at her and from the left of the viewer. So… this means her… Read more »
LC

All the drawings are truly amazing! I love art lol! But seriously I was shocked when I saw Riri Williams was only supposed to be 15, she looks 27..

Capsandnumbers

Hey, great article!
I was wondering if all the names were right in the first paragraph though?

DSimone71

Women are over sexualized in comic books period. The only reason this was noticed and caused an uproar is because the character is a young black women and we are STARVING for representation. Both points are quite disheartening.

Manny

i APPRECIATE THIS. THAT CHARACTER WAS RIDICULOUSLY MATURE.

Milos Mom

I don’t have an issue with her body, though I liked the more realistic one. My issue is with here skin tone and hair. It’s like they took the things that make her black and toned it down.

Looking at his twitter account, I wonder if he (and Marvel etc.) really gets it, or did they just give in.

Blacknproud
Black women need to speak out against the blatant discrimination against dark skin black women in Hollywood entertainment media period. The marvel character in Luke cage; Misty Knight was originally a Dark Skin Black woman… obviously. In the Luke Cage Series on netflix, typical Hollywood cast a light skin actress for the role. Storm in the original Xmen comic book was dark skin cause she was an AFRICAN woman. Who do they cast? halle berry and this new super light skin chick. There always has been a prejudice against dark skin black women. Majority of leading black women in film… Read more »
Riak

Amen to all this

Sunshine

I like the discussion behind this.

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