Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Case For Plump Pandaren Females

Image Source: Drunkard's Regalia

First off, let me state that I believe that all females have the right to take up as much or as little space in this world as they like. A woman's body is her own and that includes her choice to have it be whatever shape and/or size she that likes. That said, I am a man and have zero experience as a woman.

Also, while this blog generally discusses World of Warcraft aesthetics in terms of armor and weapons I thought it wouldn't be out of it's purview to discuss body-type aesthetics as it relates to World of Warcraft. Head past the jump for my views on what I'd like to see for Pandaren female body types.

What We Know

What originally got me started thinking about female Pandarens was my research into what leather armor currently in the game might appeal to Pandaren monks. While we have images of what Blizzard is thinking of for the male Pandaren monks, they haven't given an concrete details (that I know of) for what the female Pandarens will look like.

Image Source

Then I saw the post "About female Panderans" over at Drunkard's Regalia and it got me thinking even more about not only how the Pandaren females should look, but also about how Blizzard handled the Worgen female body-types.

I'm not talking only about how the final female Worgen body-type ended up (which was far too "slimmed", "softened" and "sensualized" for my tastes) but also the process involved in changing the female Worgen body-type. For those who remember the Cataclysm beta, Blizzard seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time going back over the female Worgen models again and again.

I would have preferred a more "savage" appearance for the female Worgen body-type, closer to the male Worgen, but that ship has sailed. We have the permanently-snarling, "pretty" Worgen and that's not going to change.

This Is Your Chance Blizz

I hope the images below will convey what I think Blizzard should do with the female Pandaren.

I, like Dreamy stated in her Drunkard's Regalia post, think that Blizzard should make female Pandarens genuinely large in all dimensions. Big is beautiful. I think that female Pandarens certainly enjoy beer as much as the males. They should show that they love enjoying life and have the girth to prove it.

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

Blizzard is famous for disparity in body-types between their male and female character models. (See "Sexual Dimorphism in World of Warcraft".)  Below is an image that shows how Blizzard changed the female models from the original World of Warcraft alpha to release. If you're interested in Blizzard's shifts in female body-types I highly encourage your to read the above linked post.

Image Source

What I Want

The body-type I hope that Blizzard uses for the female Pandarens is represented well by the American actress Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, Samantha Who). Below is an image of Melissa. Loving life and being large aren't things to be ashamed of. With the Pandarens I'd imagine being rotund is simply a way of life. What's to hide?

Melissa McCarthy. Image Source.

What I Would Settle For

Unfortunately, I don't think Blizzard is bold enough to make the female Pandaren as voluptuous and genuinely plump as I'd like. My guess is that they will go for a much less plump and more athletic body-type. I'd accept this, but I'd consider it a missed opportunity on Blizzard's part. The model in the image below has the "athletic" body-type I think they will likely use.

Image Source

What I Do Not Want

What I do not want Blizzard to do with the Pandaren female is try to shoehorn some sort of "thin", "sensualized" and/or "skinny" body-type into what is clearly a "born to be large" race. This is an image of Britney Spears that I chose as a representation of the type of thinking I do not want Blizzard to cave to. Gamers shouldn't want to play female Pandaren just because they are "hot". That just doesn't seem to jive with what I would imagine the appeal of Pandarens would be.

Image Source


It may already be too late to change what Blizzard has chosen to do with female Pandarens, but if I had my druthers I'd go for a happy, fluffy, and plump body-type. We already have plenty of other choices if people want to play a stereotypically "sexy" characters (*cough* Blood Elves *cough*).

C'mon Blizzard. Prove me wrong. Show us all that you have the guts to go against mainstream thinking on this one.

UPDATE: Commentor Clockwork pointed out a great piece of fan art that I would be totally happy to have become our female Pandarens. I've included it below.

Pandaren Female consept by ~Smirgow

Searching Deviant Art for "Pandaren" I found that that I'm not the only one thinking about this. I've included a few images below that I feel help illustrate the points I made above.

This image in particular gives a nice visual explanation of what I've talked about.

WoW: Female Pandaren Body Chart by ~Lynxia

Another great example of a plump Pandaren.

Pandaren Female Sketch by ~Korrok

One last piece of great fan art pointed out by a commentor on the reddit post for this. I love how voluptuous this one is while still maintaining the strength.

Female pandaren concept by ~echostain

So the fan art community understands what good is. Time will only tell is BlizZard sees it that way.


  1. I can't wait to be a Panda, and yea the full figured girls don't have much option in WoW right now, there should be more body types for sure.

    1. This is really Blizzards chance. I'd love to be wrong but my hunch is they'll figure out a way to make even a huge panda bear into some sort of "sexy" abomination. #crossesfingers

  2. I think this picture is a great benchmark for what they should look like: the female is still attractive but isn't a size 0.

    However I am afraid that Blizzard is going to more go the route of the fanboy and they're going to end up like the Wakfu pandas....just google "Wakfu Panda" and check images and you'll see what I mean.

    1. And to me that would be such a waste because all that would be is a human with a panda head. blech.

    2. That picture is PERFECT!! *squee*

  3. There is some really great fan designs you've shown. Ever since the announcement of pandas, I've been cringing inside about how Blizz will design them. I really don't think I'll even play one if they're not chubby. Seriously - how can they not be? The male panda design is very chubby, so the female would look really silly if it's not. If you look at the other races, there isn't much difference in body type between male and female (with males more muscular with bigger shoulders, but similar body weight either way), I think we'll probably be safe.

    1. I hope you're right. I've seen Blizzard screw up much more obvious things than this.

      Now I'm not hating on Blizz. I love all that they give us and they make great, wonderful, engaging games...but sometimes they stumble on stuff like this and you just kinda facepalm.

  4. I really hope they have the hairstyle from the chart by Lynxia, I love it >.>

  5. I think you also have to consider who Blizzard are trying to appeal to. If experience has taught me anything is that fanbois hate on whatever you do. The recent Chuck Norris advert has been 'perceived' by some as aimed at an older demographic.
    Do they want a 'Manga Panda' ... I do not think so.

  6. I for one am pretty tired of the Dwarf being pretty much the only toon that looks like me. That being said, I do rather like my dwarf. =)
    TOtally looking forward to seeing what the Pandaren will end up. I think it would be absolute disrespect to depict the panda as thin. No disrespect meant to thin people. =)