Why Critics of “Winx Club” Should Shift Their Focus (Part I)

winx believix photo: winx stella 3D believix winxstella3Dbelievix.png

This was going to be last week’s “Thursday Your Say,” but I had too much to say. :) Besides, we’ve talked about it before, but people outside the fanbase won’t stop bringing it up.

Here’s a quote from an article published Thursday on TheAtlantic.com:

New examples of the sexualization of girlhood crop up all the time. Of course there are the dolls that look like Sesame Streetwalkers — Monster High, Winx Club, Bratz…

Typically, the writers of articles like this have never watched Winx Club. All they’ve seen are ads, commercials, and toys. A blogger from “The League of Ordinary Gentlemen” admitted in his rant how little he knows about the show:

The program in question is called ‘Winx Club,’ with some strange additional ‘Believix’ designation. I do not pretend to understand anything about it. It seems to involve fairies.

winx believix photo: Stella, Bloom, and Flora's believix believix-the-winx-club-8001760-8-1.jpg

That doesn’t mean they’re wrong, of course. The Winx’s clothes are skimpy — and have been getting skimpier. Over the years, the girls have gone from short dresses and sleeveless blouses to mini-miniskirts and tops that look like strategically-placed leaves. (I’m thinking of Flora’s Sophix outfit.)

Can seeing this wreck a young girl’s self-image? Definitely. The Candy Land article mentions a test where girls as young as six years old were shown two dolls — one wearing revealing, “sexy” clothes and another wearing modest, age-appropriate clothes. When asked which doll they wanted to look like, 67 percent of the kids chose the “sexy” doll; 72 percent said it represented a “popular” girl.

“Sexy” equals “popular?” That’s a dangerous thing for a child to believe, and it can lead to bad decisions later in life.

So, if the critics are right, what’s the problem? I’ll talk about it in tomorrow’s post.

58 Comments:

  1. In this other fanbase I’m in fans are angry over a spin-off movie, they think they look like winx club due to them wearing skirts and boots. Another instance is that I saw this meme with the winx in believix form, calling them “Magical Fairy Hookers”
    Also Barbie is criticized for similar reasons, but you see less criticism towards a Bratz doll (Who look like something out of MTV)
    So I guess if a fashion doll or show for girls is popular, the characters automatically get labled as “Sesame Streetwalkers” as the first excerpt states.

    • Less criticism toward Bratz dolls? I’ve seen more. Lots of moms (and dads) hate Bratz dolls. When Mattel almost drove Bratz off the shelves with their lawsuit, the critics were happy. Eventually, MGA remade the dolls with less makeup and a little more clothing to fix their image. I don’t know if it’s helped.

      • Oh. Sorry. I thought there was less than Barbie. (Since people often poke fun at Barbie before they target Bratz)

      • It hasn’t helped from me. I don’t like the Bratz because all it seems like their line is about is pushing fashion and boy chasing on kids.

        Now MGA seems to be trying to cash in on the Monster High craze and all they have is MH knock offs.

    • You mean the brony fanbase?

  2. As a parent whose child is the target age for this show and a girl, I would say that the biggest problem is a lot of these parents and critics expect the show to raise their children and to instill certain vaules in their children instead of doing it themselves. The parents don’t take time to explain to their children what is and isn’t appropriate. The kid doesn’t learn. It’s a break down in communication.

    If anyone watched Winx Club then critiqued it they would probably have more to say about the horrid writing style and the dumbing down of the characters instead of the clothes. Honestly the girls clothes would be the least of their worries and at least in season 5 they were more covered up.

    That said, I do agree that the clothes that the Winx girls wear is very risque. There were scenes in the 4th season where you could see that those Believix skirts didn’t cover their bums and I am not too fond of the platform heels.

    I had a run in with a woman who runs what I will kindly call a Feminazi blog a few months back. She implied that I am a bad parent because both of my girls (8 and 2) play with Barbies, Monster High and Winx Club dolls and I teach my 8 year old to be overly sexual by doing so. Meanwhile the woman doesn’t know my daughter. My 8 year old plays with dolls and she also plays with the boys who live in our apartment complex. She doesn’t see herself as sexy and she doesn’t seem to gravitate towards seeing sexy/slutty= popular. Thank God.

    Ug, I think I had a point in there somewhere, but now I have to go get ready to pick up my targeted age range child from school.

    • I grew up watching winx, and I usually get grossed out at the word sexy. (Literally, I was like 2 or 3 when winx started airing.

    • I think even if your daughter held a world record for being “girlish”, it still wouldn’t be a bad thing. I personally believe feminism has nothing to do with interests and hobbies. It’s about girls and women being accepted for who they are, whether it’s feminine, masculine, somewhere in the middle or neither.

      I have a vague memory of someone criticizing my father for giving me the name he did (my mother didn’t have her mind made up by the time I was born), saying it was too feminine and he shouldn’t have “defined my personality before it developed”.

      • I agree with you there that feminism should be about accepting girls and women for who they want to be. So what if my 8 year old is seriously girly? That’s her choice. My 2 year old more than makes up for it. It’s no one’s business but my own what my children are in to. If you believe that a girl being too girly is anti-feminist then you have an issue.

        My daughter’s names are definitely ‘girly’ as well :) My 2 year old is named after her my great aunt and my grandma. I don’t believe a name defines a person (except in Winx Club) I have a friend whose name is Amanda and she plays a lot of video games and is definitely not a girly girl.

        • My name is fairly girly, but I am much more geeky than girly or tomboy-ish.

          I think people are reading too far into this. The Winx’s look is nothing new, and it is skimpy. I see how it can send the wrong message to younger fans about how they should look and that is not a good thing. But it is also animated and an art style.

  3. seriously? winx has been around since 2004 and now there compaining about the winx’s clothething? I mean sure its not a good image for young girls but now they complain? and its a cartoon for peats sake not real people! also the winx’s clotheing isn’t really that skimpy as it used to be.
    I think people should atleast watch the show before they judge (after all winx are all about freindship,not being “sexy”)

    • It’s because Winx Club hasn’t been on a well-known channel like Nick before. More people are noticing it now.

    • If they really had a problem with the clothing, then I doubt they would have aired Winx Club at all. Yeah, the outfits can be on the skimpy side, but I do notice that they never actually show cleavage on the show, just stomachs. And maybe a lot of leg. Then again, when the brought the show to USA for the first time, I wonder if someone had the idea to “redraw” all their outfits (kinda like what they did in the Nick specials when they used their Season 2 outfits on scenes from Season 1), but it got vetoed since that would be too complicated and expensive? It also begs the questions, “Does anyone watch Winx Club just for the outfits? And would anyone actually wear the things they do on the show?”

  4. Steffauri Vo'Naaia

    While I’ve always loved Winx Club, I have to admit, I agree with the article. I understand that the clothes they wear, and they style they’re drawn in is the artist’s choice, but all the same, the women in the show look outright anorexic. [and virtually every female has the same body] And that’s not to be crass or insulting, that’s just what it looks like! Of course for me, I’m an adult, I enjoy the show for its story, I’m not going to dwell on the drawing style.
    With kids however, this is definitely dangerous. Another thing many toy critics have discussed lately is how the figures of girl’s toys are changing. If you look at the Monster High doll line, they’re designed with thigh-gaps [a new body craze] Barbie dolls are being made with more curvaceous torsos, and the Winx dolls are made to look just as thin as they do on TV. Like I said, many of us are adults and this has no bearing on our influences, but these toys and shows are targeted towards girls from the ages of 4 to 12+, and that pre-teen stage makes girls hugely vulnerable to eating disorders and poor self-esteem when comparing themselves to what the media shows them is “THE” way to look.
    As for the Winx’s clothing, I get that. Personally I think that in their fairy forms and transformations, the skimpy clothes are just costumes, but I never liked that they dress that way in every day life. If you remember in season 1, Stella’s original outfit top was pretty much a bra!
    It’s sad but, sex-appeal sells! And unfortunately, these companies know exactly what they are doing, appealing to naiive young children, and it’s never going to stop. The best thing anyone can do is have a talk with their kids, and let them know that cartoon characters are not real, and that no one is really supposed to look like that, and hope it sticks.

  5. I have never had a problem with it (meaning the outfits), but I can see why some people might. And it isn’t even that bad! Sure, Sophix was terrible, but it was only two episodes. And they were in a steaming jungle.
    Besides, the girls’ clothing has gotten a lot more modest. The Sirenix are pretty much form-fitting jumpsuits that cover everything, and as for the casual clothing, well, Musa’s I would actually be able to wear to school without getting suspended for violating dress code.
    Super-skinny figures – I’ve got nothing against that, either. I am on the skinny side myself and it has nothing to do with anorexia or starving myself.
    So, a final word to critics: Why don’t you people go complain about Sailor Moon for offending sailors, or Disney Princesses for encouraging kids to accept food from strangers? And, while you’re at it, go sue all those women at the beach for wearing skimpy bikinis in front of kids at the beach.
    It’s the same thing as criticizing Winx!

    • The thing though, Katya, is that grown women at the beach choose to wear these bathing suits. These woman also have realistic proportions.

      Sailor Moon- the outfits were designed after the Japanese school uniforms which look like sailor suits and weren’t a misportrayal of Sailors or offending them.

      Disney princesses- there’s more to worry about than accepting food from strangers. More like waiting around for someone to come and rescue you. So far Mulan and Tiana are the only ones who didn’t do that.

  6. No matter the criticism, the Winx ARE all about courage and friendship.

    • I agree. Like I said in my comment earlier, the clothes ARE skimpy, but that isn’t what the show is about. People just need to talk to their kids, and make sure they’re taking from the show’s good messages, not the drawing style. Not to mention that Winx Club is FAR from the first kids’ show to have exaggeratedly thin characters, it’s just the artist’s style.

  7. As someone who likes drawing a lot, I understand the fascination with drawing super skinny girls like the Winx. I don’t think it is meant to promote anorexia towards young girls, it’s just a drawing style. We’ve seen it thousands of times in anime shows (not saying that Winx Club is an anime, I’m just comparing), and there the artists not only draw their characters very skinny, but often with enormous breasts, too. My point is; It’s fun to exaggerate when drawing/animating/designing. It’s what grabs people’s attention. And I always thought the Winx girls’ bodies were based off mannequins (the dressing dolls in clothing stores). Many clothing designers draw very skinny women when they’re sketching up ideas for their clothes, and I’ve heard that it’s mainly because it helps seeing how the clothes will look and fit better. It’s exaggerated of course, but that’s the point. Winx Club isn’t about clothes but has much focus on it with their transformations, and especially in the later seasons in which they change clothes more frequently, so I think that’s why they are drawn very skinny and exaggerated, and of course, because the artists and creator like the style!
    But I think the most important thing is, Winx Club doesn’t really focus on the girls being skinny. They ARE, but it’s not focused on that fact. It’s focused on bravery, friendship and love (among other things), and I think that’s what is important. It’s not a superficial show, but many people only judge it without having seen any episodes of it.

    But the critics can feel a little more relieved now about the clothes the Winx are wearing at least, as they are more fully dressed now since Nick took over. ;)

    • And I always thought the Winx girls’ bodies were based off mannequins (the dressing dolls in clothing stores). Many clothing designers draw very skinny women when they’re sketching up ideas for their clothes, and I’ve heard that it’s mainly because it helps seeing how the clothes will look and fit better.

      Exactly! The Winx are basically Italian fashion models, and in fashion illustration the proportions aren’t drawn realistically. They’re designed to show off the clothes themselves. If you ever watched Project Runaway, you’d see what I mean.

      That might not help for some people, though. It depends on what they think of models and fashion.

  8. To be honest, the Believix comment is what angers me the most. That commenter could have watched the show to see what Believix is, or even gone on the Winx Wikipedia page. I hate it when people don’t even bother with getting to know the canon. People, if you have to criticize us, at least do some basic research beforehand. I’m not angry at them because they criticize them. I’m angry because they don’t even follow basic journalism rules…

    • Well, just to clarify a couple of things.

      First of all, I’m not really a journalist. I’m just a guy with a politics/medicine/general interest blog.

      The quote that’s linked above (and I’m not too proud to admit I’m delighted to have been noticed around here) is from a post I did that has a tongue-in-cheek element that doesn’t really come through out of context, and probably wouldn’t come across to people who don’t read the blog regularly. It comes off as more dismissive above than it’s meant to be.

      In any case, I will admit that I’ve not seen the show, largely because it’s on regular Nickelodeon and I don’t let my son watch television with commercials yet. My daughter is still an infant, and when she’s old enough I’m sure I’ll have no problem letting her watch. But I’m sorry, I really do think those outfits are far too skimpy, and are consistent with a manner of dress that’s too mature for little girls. Perhaps that’s prudish, but there you have it.

      • I apologize for only reading that one comment. I understand what you’re saying, but I’ve watched the show myself since childhood, back when it was on a Saturday morning cartoon lineup. While the clothing can be distracting at times, many of the plot points are also good learning opportunities: i.e. not getting involved in revenge, self-sacrifice, and the like.

      • Also, just to clarify, I’m a parent of 2 girls ages 8 and 2. I’ve watched Winx Club with my daughters. I would suggest actually watching a show before commenting on just the clothing aspects of it. It’s not the sort of approach you’d want your child to take right? Just to judge something by how it looks?

        Why not just use the DVR to record a few episodes and fast forward through the commercials since you don’t want to over materialize your child?

        • Well, no. I’m not making broad judgments about the show based just on the outfits. I’m quite willing to accept the possibility that it’s a perfectly lovely program that communicates valuable lessons in a fun and relatable way. That’s certainly the impression I get from the comments here.

          But the way the program draws viewers is through its ads. The burden is on the show’s creators to communicate what it’s about, not on me to research it. And the first thing I notice in the ads, beyond the magic powers and flying around and such, is that the characters are all drawn with impossibly unrealistically perfect bodies and wearing very revealing clothing.

          • The ads do communicate what the show’s about: magic, friendship, and adventure. That’s what they emphasize. But as I said in part II of my article, kids don’t notice the same things we do. (I’m twenty-four years old, by the way.)

            As an adult, you see the characters and immediately notice their revealing clothes and impossible body proportions. A child wouldn’t see those things unless they understood the concept of unrealistic beauty. Sometimes, it’s the parents that “expose” their kids to it without intending to, simply by bringing it to their attention. As they say, “Ignorance is bliss.”

            Now in the case of a child who is aware, you would need to address their thoughts. That’s why knowing your child is important.

            I agree that companies need to take responsibility for how their characters are portrayed. But does it make sense to believe they’re all part of some sort of conspiracy to sexualize children? I can tell you for sure that’s not the goal of Winx Club.

          • I’d suggest finding a few of the older episodes on youtube and watching them yourself. Rainbow/ Cinelume dub preferably, not the 5th season because it’s horrid.

            As for body structure, my husband is 29 makes his living as a 3D modeller and studied character design. When he showed one of his teachers the character design for Winx Club and the teacher laughed because the body proportions were so out of whack. They look like you can just snap them in 2.

            I see that as well as the fact that the skirts in season 4 didn’t quite cover their bums and the fact that Nick/ Rainbow put everyone in heels for season 5 is utterly impractical. My 8 year old doesn’t see that at all- although now she says she hates their boots with dresses for Flora, Stella and Bloom. However looking past the physical aspects of the characters (does no one notice that the guys aren’t exactly in proportion either? ) There are some positive attributes that I see while watching the show. Friendship, cooperation, working together to achieve a common goal and sticking by your friends even when they do something utterly ridiculous. Like say, make a dress out of salad.

            My 8 year old and her friend who is 6 will play Winx Club and re-enact the action scenes. She likes pretending to be a fairy, Flora is her favourite and she had a modified Flora Believix costume this past Halloween courtesy of my MIL. I believe most children unless their parents over stress certain things (and I’m referring to the woman who wrote the Feminazi blog and called me a bad parent) such as aspects of sexuality- only see glittery wings, girl power and friendship. Most children I know who watch the show don’t even aspire to dress like the characters, they just want fairy powers. As OP stated, does it really make sense to assume that all girl oriented shows are to over sexualize children?

  9. Yes; The Winx wear skimpy clothes.
    Yes; They appear very thin. (Anorexic like.)
    But their their cartoons character for crying out loud!!!!!

    I’m pretty sure that people watch Winx Club for the magic, adventure and fantasy. Not for the skimpiness or sex. That’s how I always watched it anyway and most people probably view it that way too. Winx Club has lots of good morals about family, friendship, etc, and that’s what really drew me towards it. (Besides the fact that they’re fairies.) And I know it’s just a cartoon, but if you’re going to judge the Winx, judge them by their personallities, not by their outfits. ;)

    Btw, has anyone noticed that the Harmonix and Sirenix outifts cover the Winx Clubs’ mid sections? (Something the other transofrmations didn’t do?) Nick might’ve picked up on something there. (Just saying!)

    • That’s the problem too with Stella now. Nick has altered her personality so much that most fans want to whack her with a stick.

  10. why did the winx outfit designers draw such skimpy outfits anyway? of course parents would not like that….and i mean like all the shirts could have been all the way down too their pants/skirt and the outfit would still look nice xD lol

  11. There’s one thing I wouldn’t agree with and that’s the fact that the Winx’s clothes are getting skimpier. Not at all, compare their Season 1 civilian clothes with other seasons’ civillian clothes. Everybody reveals their bellies in Season 1 and at that, a large area of their bellies; in Season 2, two of them cover it up (Stella and Musa) although you still might think their outfits are a bit ‘naughty’. Season 3 didn’t add any but in Season 4, three of them cover their bellies (Bloom, Stella and Flora), two of them have theirs scarcely visible and I don’t think anyone would mind that (Layla and Tecna); Musa is the only one who ‘properly’ reveals her belly. In Season 5, Tecna is the only one doing that (which REALLY is odd though).
    You can also compare their fairy outfits. Winx and Enchantix outfits were REALLY skimpy while Believix put more clothes on them and by Harmonix and Sirenix, their clothes are really modest (except for some translucent bits in Sirenix).
    Overall, I think their clothes have been getting better both in terms of modesty and in terms of fashion.

  12. About Sophix, I think it’s meant to be ‘close to nature’, and it’s themed after the way tribal people living in forests dress, so it’s bound to be skimpy. Otherwise, Season 4 clothes really are modest.

    • It could also be based off of the fact that Mother Earth (or Mother Nature, Gaea, Gaia, Terra, or whatever you prefer) is often depicted as a voluptuous and scantily clad woman.

  13. I realy wonder how someone came up with the idea of giving them these skimpy clothes. Some of the poses and drawings on the model sheets look like they came from an x rated comic. I ts also kinda creey that most people working on the show are man..
    But rainbow seemsto know the outfits are getting much too revealing. If you compare the sirenix and harmonix outfits to the first transformation you’ll notice how less revealing the new transformations are. They could actualy be worn by normal people without them looking like strippers. When i see someone dressed as a winx (winx on tour, winx power show) I see them as strippers not as teenage fairys to be honest…

    I remember that i always felt awkward when I was watchin winx with my parents and they charmix/magic winx outfit appeared.

    • It’s definitely because of Nick that the outfits have gotten more modest. Although I have to say, I didn’t like the swimsuits. Most people in the community I grew up in would have fussed about them. My classmates and I weren’t allowed to wear two-piece swimwear on class trips; I was fine with it, but other girls complained like crazy!

      • I think you’re right that Nick Americanized it a bit more. I have a friend in the NL who is an American ex pat like me and was shocked to learn at first that in Europe little girl’s bathing suits are sometimes just a bottom and no top. Americans do get shocked by that at first, but then you realize that children at that age aren’t really being sexualized and you just shrug it off. I sometimes take my 2 year old to the beach in just her swim diaper and sunscreen.

        I have also found it very odd that in such a conservative Catholic country (try saying that 3 times fast) such as Italy they have such skimpy outfits. Of course it could be because they don’t over dramatize and over sexualize things the way we seem to in America.

        I do let my 8 year old wear reasonable bikinis, I have been put off by some of the styles, like triangle tops for young girls. But the tops like a sports bra top and boy shorts are fine to me.

        OP, if you don’t mind me asking, what part of the US are you from? I’m originally from upstate NY.

        • I try not to give away too much personal info online (it’s not that I don’t trust you guys; it’s just a good thing to do). I will say I’m a southern gal. :)

          • That might explain it then. Regional differences and your up bringing could play a part.

            Most southeners I know are usually more conservative.

          • I noticed that too. I too live in the south and there are Protestant sects galore here. There are a lot of Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc all over the place here while Catholic churches are more scarce (which is why the Catholic churches where I live are bigger in order to fit more people while the Protestant churches are smaller since there’s so many you don’t have to travel very far to find one). The culture here in the South is different than in the North. Or even East and West. If I’m correct, there are more Catholics in the North East than in the South.
            But to my point, a lot of the things on Winx Club would cause some uproar in my area. For example, Sky, Helia, and Nabu would violate school dress codes because of their long hair. A lot of schools in my area don’t allow guys to have hair longer than their collar. Most of the swim suits the Winx wear would not be allowed at school or church events since they usually require swim suits to be one piece. We’re also not allowed to wear too tight or revealing clothes or tops with no straps because it’s a “distraction” to the students. The straps on our shirts also have to be like at least two inches thick or so. With all the outfits the Winx ever wore, most of them would get the Winx sent home from school if they ever showed up in a real high school down here.
            I honestly don’t care about stomachs showing. The Winx’s outfits are fine to me. On the revealing side yes, but they are actually fairly modest. If you notice, none of the Winx expose or show off their breasts are bottoms. Stomachs, yes, but we ALL have stomachs so I don’t see the big deal. I mean, we show off our stomachs anyway when we swim, right? And there’s nothing about legs we don’t already know about. If the Winx were like 6 or 12 and wearing these clothes, then I would see the problem. But they’re 16-20s. They’re kind of adults now (though you wouldn’t have guessed if you saw them behave now) and as an adult, you ARE allowed to pick what you want to wear. I doubt this show creates controversy over the outfits in Italy.

          • I doubt this show creates controversy over the outfits in Italy.

            I did once come across one Italian blog complaining about it. But I haven’t seriously looked, so I’m not sure.

          • My daughter’s elementary school and I believe the middle school have the same rules for school clothes here in BC. However a lot of the other rules seem relaxed- a lot more so then even New York State where I lived before.

            There was a girl in Utah who was suspended because she dyed her hair the same colour red that I have used since I was 24 and worked in people’s homes. It definitely depends on where you live.

            From what I can see aside from Tecna’s top nothing this season would bar the girls from my parents’ church because I doubt God cares too much what you wear when you come to worship him. And yes my parents are Irish Catholics who attend a predominantly Italian Catholic church in my hometown. :)

        • Im from holland/The netherlands, Europe :)

          Look at these concept arts, no need to draw stella in a bathtub. Or ad so many details on her birthdaysuit. Is that a nipple on stormy?

          http://infodujour.kazeo.com/archives/concept-art-winx-club,a1661415.html

          • Well for all we know at this time the concept art was made for a show that would be geared more towards adults. All animation isn’t for children, as we know.

            Also I think when animators do some concept art they tend to use more regular anatomy. I’ve seen a lot of art that my husband has on our computers for different character concepts as well. This is tame.

  14. Honestly at this point I’m more concerned about the shoes than the clothes. No one needs to wear a 5 inch heel all the time. It’s impractical and those boots do NOT go with most of those outfits except maybe Musa’s. Flora and Bloom need either some low heeled booties or some sandals with their summery dresses. Aisha should have had sneakers, high top ones. Stella just plain heels and Tecna sneakers.

    Nevermind that Stella’s dress makes her look like a cake.

    • Mmmm. Stella sun cake.

      Not only is it impractical, it’s painful! The few times I’ve worn heels, by the end of the day, I almost couldn’t wait to get them off my feet!

      I know a few women who wear heels often. One told me her feet adjusted and now, it hurts her to wear flat shoes. Still, I don’t think any of them would wear five-inch heels everyday.

      • LOL That does sound good.

        Wearing heels all day every day can contract your tendons to the point where you can’t walk normally. This could be why that one woman can’t wear flats anymore. It can also lead to a lot of other foot problems.

        I can’t wear heels for very long, it hurts the balls of my feet because of all the extra pressure on the toes

  15. It seems that these people only judge the outfits rather than the show. Do research next time critics, I will admit that some outfits are revealing the worst of which being Sophix for Flora and Enchantix for Tecna both looking like strategically placed leaves/petals. This seasons outfits are a bit over done, however I think white and green sandals would be best for Bloom and Flora’s outfits I’ll let you decide who wears which color. The main Believix designs are actually the least skimpy of the more revealing designs, although Tecna was the most modest in Charmix, if there were some skimpiness to it, I do think they try to keep the fairy skirts knee length or if their micro-mini’s a pair of tights or knee highs. However I don’t think season 1’s outfits were needed they are far too mature, season 2’s look much nicer, a bit revealing but you could easily give Tecna a sleeveless mini dress with the red shapes or fill the other tops in and still look good.

  16. The show’s creator has illustrated for the adult fantasy magazine Metal Hurlant (or in the US Heavy Metal) so already the show is problematic. As Meggy81 it is wrong for parents to let the media parent a child because let’s face it the gospel of the media is: sex sells. Plus 4kids initially marketed the show towards 5-10yr olds (what were they thinking?) instead of its target demograph of 10-15yr olds!

    But let’s be real, Winx Club is an example of franchising done right: you make a pretty weak-sauce story along with a very simplistic character design that anyone can reproduce, throw in some POCs to widen the audience span and with this you create the illusion of individuality- pretty much how capitalism works. Follow that formula and you will be a rich cat.
    So yeah maybe I am derailing but I think the problem with this fandom is that you are all taking a bunch of badly-drawn, bug-eyed, anorexic, scantily-clad clones seriously so that you end up trying to defend the rather harmful messages that this show gives out because I’ll be honest the show is pretty messed up when there is one character who is distinctly designed to be less appealing and then in the reboot she is redesigned to look more appealing. I am not even going to go into this show’s erasure of plus-sized characters or the problematic treatment of relationships.

    • Plus 4kids initially marketed the show towards 5-10yr olds (what were they thinking?) instead of its target demograph of 10-15yr olds!

      Winx Club‘s target audience has always been 4-12 year olds, not 10-15 year olds.

      But let’s be real, Winx Club is an example of franchising done right: you make a pretty weak-sauce story along with a very simplistic character design that anyone can reproduce, throw in some POCs to widen the audience span and with this you create the illusion of individuality- pretty much how capitalism works. Follow that formula and you will be a rich cat.

      I can’t argue with you there. The formula is very simple, and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of shows following it. But simple doesn’t equal bad.
      I love Winx Club, but there are other similar shows that I don’t like for various reasons. It’s all a matter of preference.

      So yeah maybe I am derailing but I think the problem with this fandom is that you are all taking a bunch of badly-drawn, bug-eyed, anorexic, scantily-clad clones seriously so that you end up trying to defend the rather harmful messages that this show gives out…

      Is that really a problem with this fandom specifically? Of course not. That can be applied to all fandoms. For example, there are lots of fans of hentai (literally “perverted”) anime. If you try to tell them what’s wrong with those shows, they’ll redirect attention to their plots, say “Blah Blah Blah anime is a lot worse,” praise them for being more “mature,” etc. As someone who hates hentai anime, I shake my head at this.

      That said, I don’t think anyone here is defending the way the Winx are drawn. As I said in my post, the critics are right: the Winx are too skinny and do wear skimpy clothes. All of us acknowledge that. But unlike in those hentai shows (for example), the skimpy clothes aren’t the point. The characters aren’t trying to get that kind of attention, but of course that’s what people on the outside are gonna think.

      As for talking about the show “seriously” — again, that’s a general fandom thing. All shows deal with something called “willing suspension of disbelief”: the ability to make the audience feel like the characters and the situations are real, no matter how ridiculous the story sounds (or if there’s a story at all). If a show doesn’t do that for you, you’re not able to take it seriously. For example, I’ll never take My Little Pony seriously, but its fans do, and that’s what keeps the show alive.

      I am not even going to go into this show’s erasure of plus-sized characters or the problematic treatment of relationships.

      There are plus-sized characters in the show. Yes, none of the main characters are (a problem in many shows), but plus-sized characters are there. As for the relationships, no one’s defending those either. They annoy us. We just talked about it a few weeks ago.

  17. I started watching Winx Club at the age of about eleven. I’m a British conservative Christian and I can safely say I never once thought about dieting or looking like the winx girls. All I wanted was the wings and the powers. Kids aren’t going to know what sexualisation is until you tell them. Which is why you should sometimes just let kids be kids.

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