Fallout Over the New Female Shepard?

Bioware has added voting for FemShep’s hair color now through the end of PAX. It does require a Facebook account to vote by ‘liking’ the color you like best. View vote here. Currently (as of 1pm Aug 17) red is winning by a landslide.

There is a brouhaha over the new look for Female Shepard in Mass Effect 3.  Bioware listened to their loud fan base who wished to see more acknowledgement for the female version of Shepard. The player base who play FemShep (as we like to refer to her) is the minority, making up approximately 1/5 of the player base. Bioware gave us 6 versions to pick from and allowed the players to vote on which would be the default FemShep. Ultimately, the fan base went with blond FemShep.

Kim Richards article over at PC Gamer decided to take shots at the community deciding on a blond Shep referring to her as a blond bimbo. And I have to ask does the hair color of a character suddenly negate how bad ass they are? Does Shepard punch wimpier, throw less powerful warps, shoot less accurately if her hair is blond??? NO! Shepard is a bad ass regardless if you decide to play her as a boy, girl, default, or custom. Shepard is no less a bad ass.

I find the idea of making a character blonde suddenly makes her a “bimbo” insulting. Let me just say how infuriating I find that concept. REALLY?!?! Hair color determines if someone can kick ass and save the galaxy? REALLY?

The idea of the sexed up, vapid blond is a hold over from old Hollywood. It is a stereotype Marilyn Monroe both played to and tried to break away from. I spent my platinum blond childhood hearing blond jokes and being told I must not be smart because of my damn near white hair. Then hormones kicked in, my hair darkened, and the jokes stopped being tossed my way. It is 2011 and we are still saying blond = bimbo? I like the default for FemShep is a blond, specifically because she breaks that vapid, sexed up stereotype.

Shepard kicks ass. My Shepard is a red head (well to be fair my 1st play through FemShep is a pale, red headed engineer…I have more than one FemShep because I like the classes and…yes I do have a problem…I know that…nevermind…) Shep kicks ass regardless of hair color, skin color, or gender. Shep is out there saving the galaxy and doesn’t give what anyone thinks about her. So long as you get in line to help defeat the Reapers (otherwise she is damn close to punching you to make you get in line). Penny Arcade does an excellent job summing this up here.

This is Shepard we are talking about, Commander “I take no BS. Reapers ARE coming now get in line Soldier!” Shepard. The Alliance, Council, and most of the Galaxy thinks Shepard is out of her mind. Hair color aside, who Shep is hasn’t changed.

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Published in: on August 4, 2011 at 8:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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