Zamaron — A Green Lantern Femme-Site

{September 22, 2006}   Arisia, Bras, and Boob Physics 101

This is going to be quick, because I’m currently drugged out on Tylenol and should be in bed.

This summer, I worked in the Intimates section at my local Macy’s. By no means was it a glamorous job, but it did make me something of a Bra and Boob Physics Expert. Granted, having boobs myself, there are some things that were just intuitive to me to begin with. I did learn about previously unknown realms, however, such as strapless bras and the like.

And, of course, I can now go “buhwhaHUH?” at comics even more.

Since Ragnell has proclaimed today Arisia (Fashion Disaster) Day, I might as well start with everyone’s favorite Lantern jailbait… or, um, she wasn’t REALLY jailbait… I mean, you know, the elfin alien who makes Hal her jailbait, being 240 and all… I mean… damn these retcons, full speed ahead!

Arisia’s eighties costume is actually somewhat plausible. In observing the scan, though, we do notice that her breasts are somehow supported. Now, while she is an alien, and it’s completely possible that her species has self-supporting breasts, that’d be just a bit too convenient, no? So something’s got to be providing that support. Despite the fact that the back of this outfit isn’t nearly as low as the current back, it’s still low enough that a strapless bra seems unlikely.

My guess is that her top is closest to a camisole with a built-in bra– and one with underwire, at that. There’s just a few problematic things about this. First of all, there’s a distinct lack of straps. Straps, of course, are helpful in fighting against gravity, and providing extra support. Second, even if underwire can be considerably less painful if a person is wearing the right size bra, and if the bra is well made, fighting for extended periods of time with only underwire supporting one’s breasts is really going to hurt after a while. And maybe get bruisey. Ouch!

In conclusion? The eighties costume is not completely implausible, but certainly not practical. I can believe the impracticality at this point in canon, though, so I’m more willing to let it slide.

And then… we have the current outfit. Low back, strapless, slit down the middle, very little fabric around the breasts. Individually, each of these problems can be solved with certain special types of bras.

For a low-backed top, there are low-backed bras, with straps on the bottom that crisscross low on a woman’s back, and then clip together around the stomach. These bras, however, need shoulder straps in order to work. There are also completely backless bras, but these can only be put on with adhesive (probably not convenient for superheroes), and they also meet in the middle, which doesn’t work with the slit down the middle.

A strapless top can usually be dealt with using a strapless bra, but as mentioned before, strapless bras have backs.

The slit down the middle, can ordinarily be dealt with using a plunge bra, which are low-cut bras that come down to about a woman’s stomach, and clip together in the back. Like the backless bras, however, these bras need shoulder-straps in order to work. They also, of course, need the back.

The lack of fabric around the breasts is, perhaps, the most problematic aspect of all. With more fabric there, I could have assumed that, like with Arisia’s eighties costume, the top itself had some underwire support built into it. Alternately, she could be supporting her breasts with individual cups that she sticks on with adhesive. (Fashion Forms sells them; they’re called Staykups.) Unfortunately, there’s just not enough fabric there to make that assumption. Also, is anyone else noticing the potential for nipple exposure? Anyone? Bueller?

Theoretically, Arisia could be holding the top up with double-sided tape, but that doesn’t explain where she’s getting the support. Brothers and Sisters, I invite you to join me in a round of boggling at this so-called character design. While I can buy the impracticality of the eighties outfit, I simply cannot wrap my brain around the current outfit at all.

Frankly, if I’d just come back from the dead, I’d want to fight Manhunters in my pajamas. No need to worry about impressing Hal– we already know he’ll hit anything, anyway.

Oh, and before anyone begins with “maybe she holds up her outfit by willpower!”, let me remind you that cosplayers do not have sufficient willpower to hold up either outfit easily.

Please, think of the (small, cute, almost blonde) cosplayers.


SallyP says:

Is that the outfit that they buried her in? Wow! She’s just bustin’
out all over! All I know, is that I sure hope she’s wearing underwear
because if she bends over in that skirt, Hal’s going to be in for a
heck of a show.
Ahem. I can only assume that the different gravity on Biot, is making
it possible for Arisia to fly around without giving herself two black
eyes. I imagine that Laira and Boodika have the same problem. I
ALSO hope, that the first thing they all did when they got back to Oa,
was take a shower and get some real clothes on. After all those
years glued to the wall or powering up the battery, they must have
been pretty funky!

soyoerika says:

Sally: Can she bend over in that outfit without something bad happening? So much for fighting…

And silly, comics women do not sweat! I mean, obviously, since they aren’t people to begin with! Where do you get those crazy ideas?

Ununnilium says:

I like the tiny cape on her eighties outfit.

[…] Given how obsessed most superhero artists are with the female breast, you’d think they might have an inkling how clothing drapes over them, or at least how clothing keeps from falling away from them, wouldn’t you? Alas, you’d be mistaken. (Link via… oh, what the hell. This is your When Fangirls Attack link of the day.) […]

tae bee says:

Most artists are probably familiar with porn boobs with breast implants, not breasts.

soyoerika says:

tae bee: Well, yes, of course, which is why I’ve decided to give them a handy resource for understanding boobs. 😉

Athelind says:

“Understanding Boobs.”

Why does that sound like an R-rated parody of Scott McCloud?

[…] At Zamaron, Soyoerika uses her knowledge of Intimate Apparel to critique a certain Green Lantern’s costume: This summer, I worked in the Intimates section at my local Macy’s. By no means was it a glamorous job, but it did make me something of a Bra and Boob Physics Expert. Granted, having boobs myself, there are some things that were just intuitive to me to begin with. I did learn about previously unknown realms, however, such as strapless bras and the like. […]

All I’ve got is that if that ring can protect a GL from harm and let them breathe and survive in space, then perhaps it can also prevent boobs from flying out of garments during inappropriate times. All she has to do is have a big enough imagaintion, I suppose.

Truly, it is a magic ring…

Fun post, btw…

Anita says:

Maybe she’s so muscular that her breast are all muscle and tend not to move. Or the Lanter outfit is made of an adhesive and stiff yet not stiff material. HAHAHA! Oh God, bras dont exist for comic book herorines!

Michael Hennebry says:

soyoerika’s analysis assumes that Arisia is wearing clothes,
that the clothes are all fabric and that the clothes are all visible.
Assuming the first and last, the costume below the tablespoons could be attached with adhesive and the tablespoons could be stiff enough to provide support.

Note that shadows on the breasts in the referenced image
suggest light sources from two rather different directions.

[…] The physics are all wrong. The Problem … […]

BareLifts says:

Good read regarding the physics of bras. Using a spandex-type fabric (such as those in sports bras) would seem to mold to the contours of one’s breasts, not support it. Thanks for the post.

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