Photo: Rex

FILM

Boob armour is going to get all our heroes killed

It looks cool, but making female warriors look sexy means their armour is about as useful as a Victoria’s Secret catalogue stapled to their chest

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By Amy Jones on

There has been an explosion of films and TV shows featuring warrior women recently and that’s great. You know what’s less great? Boob armour. Wonder Woman, Xena, the new Power Rangers, Black Widow, most female superheroes you can think of – they all have that tight-fitting armour that shows off how narrow their torsos are before tightly moulding to their boobs. But how practical is it? Because Science spoke to the experts to find out and – spoiler alert – it’s so ineffective it’s basically useless.

Armour is supposed to protect the wearer’s heart. One way it does this is by making sure as little force reaches the body as possible. The breastplate is shaped so that there’s a gap between the chest and the armour, and then it’s worn over a few layers of clothing. This means that if a sword hits you in the chest, the blow has to go through the armour itself, the gap between you and the armour, and a few layers of clothing before it gets to your heart. Lovely. But when the whole purpose of the armour is to show off the outline of the boobs, having gaps and layers of clothing kinda defeats the point, so they just leave it out. Shows off the body, but offers absolutely zero protection against swords. Exactly what you need from your armour.  

Not only is boob armour offering inadequate protection, it’s actively helping people to kill the women wearing it

What’s more, traditional armour is shaped so that any hits to the torso glance off, away from the sternum and the heart. But what does boob armour feature? Two rounded mounds that would direct any swords straight towards them. Not only is boob armour offering inadequate protection, it’s actively helping people to kill the women wearing it. But at least they’ll be able to tell which corpses had the biggest jugs, I guess?

There is another option and that option is Gwendoline Christie. In Game Of Thrones, she is decked out in full armour as Brienne of Tarth with both the protective padding and the shaped breast plate. The same is true of her armour for Captain Phasma in Star Wars and here I’d like to take a moment to savour the official response to someone complaining that her armour didn’t look “feminine” enough. But it’s interesting that Brienne is characterised as being ugly and you can’t see Phasma’s face – it seems like the only way a woman can get practical armour is when she’s unfanciable. Otherwise, being attractive is the priority.

Grab your sword, buy a good sports bra and go armour shopping with Captain Phasma

As Beyond Science points out, many of the women wearing boob armour in media probably don’t need the protection of traditional armour – Wonder Woman is a God, so a sword would crumple if it came anywhere near her – but it’s something for us mere mortals to bear in mind if we ever need to go into battle. Grab your sword, buy a good sports bra and go armour shopping with Captain Phasma, rather than Xena, would be our tips. Don’t say we never give you good advice.

@jimsyjampots

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Photo: Rex
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women in the media
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