Mar 252012
1980s Jem

Figure 1. Original Jem (image courtesy of

(Via io9Hipster He-Man and Other High-Fashion Cartoon Heroes.)

I don’t know that I would change a thing about Jem’s (of Jem and the Holograms) 1980’s glam pop fashion sense, but otherwise these are kind of fun.

Ciraolo's Jem

Figure 2. Ciraolo’s Jem (CC BY-NC-ND image courtesy of

I like the artist’s aesthetic. I like his use of collage techniques and find myself fascinated by the repeated starfield background.

However, looking at the io9 blog post, I was immediately struck by the sort of predictable fan-art tendency to depict female characters with heightened degrees of sexuality (i.e. hipster-clad Rainbow Brite and Lala Orange depicted as though interrupted in a moment of charged intimacy). This seems like a classic representation of “girl on girl action” for hetero male pleasure that reinforces mainstream representations of women as sex objects to be gazed upon. Sure, there are all sorts of alternative uses to which these fantasies and depictions might be put. But as I said above, it just seems a bit predictable. Admittedly, once the images are situated on Fabian Ciraolo’s blog they stand out less and seem part of an overall running theme of pop culture iconoclasm. Which reduces the predicability factor.

So my suggestion would be to view the images on Ciraolo’s blog, appreciating the cartoon fashion makeovers as they are interspersed between the artist’s other work.

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