Tis the Season to Objectify Female Characters in WoW

World of Warcraft’s Feast of Winter Veil has been underway for awhile now, and with it comes new quests, achievements, recipes, and outfits to try to obtain.  One of these achievements in particular is called ‘Tis the Season, in which you have to eat fruitcake while wearing 3 pieces of holiday clothing.  This is easier said than done, however, as the Winter Hat requires you to kill dungeon bosses and hope to win the roll against your other dungeonmates.  I was lucky last night as I won it in the new Blackrock Caverns instance (on my first run even).  When going to put on the full outfit, I noticed that it was a little, well, revealing.  I happened to notice a male character standing close to me who was wearing the same outfit.  I couldn’t help but notice the glaring difference between these two outfits.

Left: A male Blood Elf with long reddish brown hair wearing a red Santa suit. The shirt completely covers his torso down to his hands, and no skin is visible on his legs. Right: A blond female Blood Elf wearing the same exact outfit. Her cleavage is showing, her waist is fully exposed, and the 'pants' are actually a skirt that barely cover her ladybits.

As you can see, the outfit is a full Santa suit (except the beard) on the male Blood Elf, and the same exact outfit on the female Blood Elf is more “Santa Baby” than anything else.  The pants become one of the shortest skirts in existence, and the long sleeved shirt becomes a cleavage and waist exposing mini-shirt.  We’ve talked about this in the past on The Border House; WoW has not been shy in the past about modeling outfits completely different depending on the gender of the character in order to reveal more skin on the women.

It pissed me off more than a little bit that I couldn’t dress up my character as Santa, even while wearing the same exact outfit as the men.   She looks like she’s going to a naughty Christmas party.  I’m certainly not going to run around the world wearing this outfit.  We see this on Halloween (naughty nurses, maids, etc.), Easter (bunny ears and tails on lingerie), and pretty much any holiday where people can dress up.  The outfits for men are usually funny or made to show how ‘strong and manly’ the guy is, and the costumes for women are tiny, ‘sexy’, and pander to men’s fantasies.

Alas, I put the outfit on for 5 seconds to get the achievement and it will go in my character’s bank.  Perhaps if I’m invited to a raunchy holiday party at the inn in Goldshire I’ll pull it back out.

About Tami Baribeau

Lead Editor and co-founder of The Border House, feminist, gamer, lover of social media, technology, and virtual worlds. Pansexual, equestrian, dog lover, social game studio director and producer. Email me here and follow me on Twitter!
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11 Responses to Tis the Season to Objectify Female Characters in WoW

  1. Jayle Enn says:

    I had the same reaction when I did the Winter’s Veil achievements in… must have been 2009. I put the stuff on and just stared for a moment as my character was transformed from a Night-elf into a mall-Santa’s elf. Then I hurriedly packed it away against the possibility of the achievement glitching or being invited to one of -those- parties.

    I know I’m jumping the gun by several months, but I think this just pales in skeeviness compared to the ‘Shake Your Bunny Maker’ achievement for Noblegarden. The title alone is blatant, and that’s before you get to the requirements: valid targets are female characters age– er, level 18 or above. Why not twenty? If it were forty, would they change the title to MILFhunter?

  2. melponeme_k says:

    I didn’t log into WoW at all for the holiday event. Mainly because the expansion just didn’t grab me. But I also hated the costume ridiculousness that WoW likes to indulge in. Everything looks like Victoria’s Secret/Cable TV after midnight. I also dread Easter. Because I hate the “OVER 18″ joke with the bunny ears. Bunny ears for women only, of course.

    I’ve been staying in LOTRO for the holidays. They have a great winter festival with great winter outfits and none of them are hoochie mama revealing.

    I already cancelled my WoW renewal subscription. 3 months was enough to remind me why I left.

  3. Chris says:

    Simply put, one item: Black mageweave leggings.

    Not sure if they changed since Cataclysm, but I doubt it.

  4. Ultraviolet says:

    ^^^^ Which generally is remedied by the same Black Mageweave set with the Confessor hat from the Scarlet Monastery last battle and addressing your male guildmaster (who was the one who found BML hilarious and crafted it for me) as Schweinhund and Dummkopf and piercing him a PA for free for the next hour….

    But yes, my main is a blood elf (created under friend’s influence) and i’d like an option other than high femme/hollywood babe looks. Sometimes looking at what Blizz want women to look like is like having a cup of sugar and 2 tsp coffee, no particular point and it makes you sick to boot.

  5. Ultraviolet says:

    ^^ *threatening to pierce

  6. Trodamus says:

    If you go through the fan-made comic submissions, ages ago someone submitted a rather amusing comic on this topic. If you look at their current guidelines for submitting fan-made comics, it now expressly prohibits comics poking fun of their armor’s apparent gender dimorphism.

    So yeah, they’re aware of what they’re doing and how ridiculous it is, but they don’t care and don’t bring it up.

  7. melponeme_k says:

    “So yeah, they’re aware of what they’re doing and how ridiculous it is, but they don’t care and don’t bring it up.”

    I shudder to think about this company’s employee atmosphere. Unfortunately they are so hugely successful, they can do just about anything they want. We’ll see a change in the ways when the game starts to fail. But that could be a long, long time.

  8. Trodamus says:

    Well, dealing with their own fans seems punishment enough. Story time.

    There was this old community manager that was the “mom” of the board and more or less everyone liked her. Then the first Blizzcon came and went and it was revealed she was ugly (never saw the pictures myself, but that’s what was said).

    Half the time people were incredibly patronizing, lavishing wondrous comments on how beautiful she looked and how great she is, while others basically turned and ripped her to shreds with like-themed epitaphs. She was “promoted” out of community management a short time after that.

  9. Trodamus says:

    Argh. Wish there was an edit button (or is it “I wish there were an edit button” ?). Anyway.

    What’s meant with that is WoW players, while lucrative in their numbers, are the most capricious, vicious omni-phobic people around. That’s how they treated someone they *liked* because what they thought about how she looked changed. Wouldn’t want to work in that call center or HR department, let me tell you.

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  11. Suzy Lux says:

    ugh, so with you.

    Its pissed me off since I started playing wow; that certain pieces of gear would look a certain way on the male chars and totally skimped out on the female ones. And it’s so difficult to talk about because often times NOONE is with you on it (at least not on typical wow blogs, forums et al…Even other women, which really hurts imo.) They think you’re bitching or nitpicking and blah blah, when it’s really just…ppl know *exactly* what you’re talking about but just wanna give you a hard time about it because they can…..or perhaps just because they’re not that bright.

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