Rjinswand on Aug 18th 2015 at 4:02:04 PM
Last Edited By:
Morgenthaler on Apr 7th 2018 at 3:59:43 PM
Page Type: Trope
Maybe it's a useful visual shorthand to show that a female character is evil (or at least antiheroic) and dominant. Maybe it's just an excuse for getting some Author Appeal or Fanservice past the censors. Or maybe it's both. In any case, many evil or antiheroic dominant female characters wear costumes obviously inspired by Dominatrix outfits.
However, these ladies are never shown to be actual dominatrices, in the BDSM sense. And their dominatrix-inspired costumes are their "work clothes" (superhero/villain outfits, uniforms, etc.) rather than something they wear to the bedroom.
Common elements include:
- Leather or latex.
- The part covering the body is usually either a leotard or a catsuit, or something very skimpy. A corset can be present.
- High-heeled boots, usually thigh high ones. Fishnet stockings could also make an appearance.
- Opera gloves.
- A choker on her neck.
- The costume will most likely be monochrome, usually black (red is also popular).
- The character's hairdo is often a high ponytail.
- Chances are, the character will be wielding a whip.
Note: To qualify for this trope, the character's costume as a whole, in conjunction with her personality, should be reminiscent of a dominatrix. On the other hand, if a character is an actual dominatrix, she's not this trope either.
This trope can overlap with Evil Is Sexy and Evil Wears Black (not all these women are evil, and not all these costumes are black) and Stripperriffic (not all these costumes are impractical for the characters that wear them).
May contain Spy Catsuit and Combat Stilettos. Evil Costume Switch often results in this. The character wearing this might be a Combat Sadomasochist, or an outright Sadist. The Baroness is sometimes dressed this way. Compare Bondage Is Bad.
- My Hero Academia: The "R18 Heroine" Midnight is a professional heroine with a dominatrix theme. She wears very revealing outfit and uses a whip as a weapon (although a bonus chapter reveals the revealing parts are actually skin-colored, skin-tight suit). However, personality-wise, she's just as upbeat and heroic as the other heroes.
- As part of her costumes for the School Festival, Ami Kawashima from Toradora! wears a red dominatrix cosplay, whip included, to cheer students (especially the male ones).
- The DCU:
- Surprisingly, the famed villainess-turned-antiheroine Catwoman's appearances in comics didn't fit this trope until after the Batman TV series (see Live-Action TV). In the late 1960s she first got a weird green scaled catsuit with gloves and high-heeled boots, and then a campy black leather leotard with light blue tights, high-heeled buccaneer boots, and opera gloves. After some time spent wearing her original costume, and a gray fursuit (thanks, Frank Miller), she got a new variation on this trope — a purple catsuit with black leather thigh-high boots and black opera gloves. Only in 2002 she got a black leather catsuit that first appeared in the TV series. In most of her appearances she wields a whip.
- Superwoman, an evil Alternate Universe version of Wonder Woman introduced in 1964, making her possibly the oldest example of this trope. Since Wonder Woman herself was created with certain BDSM undertones, it's no surprise her evil counterpart turned out this way. She originally wore a black leather leotard, high-heel boots, and a cape, and wielded the signature magic lasso which resembles a whip. A later version of her got opera gloves, as well. Her New 52 version wears a shoulderless black leather catsuit, opera gloves, thigh-high high-heeled boots and a cape, and wields a barbed lasso that makes the victim "obey and love" her.
- Rose and Thorn: Thorn, the antiheroic Split Personality of Rose, wears a dark green leather costume with thigh high high-heeled boots and opera gloves
- Marvel Universe:
- The Hellfire Club's Black Queens and White Queens wear outfits like this. Emma Frost, even after leaving the Hellfire Club, continues wearing variations of her White Queen outfit, transforming it into her own identity. She's of course an Anti-Hero.
- When Madelyne Pryor became the evil Goblin Queen, she wore a skimpy cropped black leather shirt, a leather loincloth, and thigh-high boots. In a rare male version of this trope, the same happens to her partner Havok who becomes Goblin King, complete with thigh-high boots.
- Some versions of Madame Hydra's costume feature a skintight green sleeveless catsuit, opera gloves, and high heels. She's often portrayed wielding a whip.
- Illyana Rasputin/Magik also tends to wear the all black leather bondage gear.
- The Fantastic Four:
- Invisible Woman's evil Sexier Alter Ego Malice wore a very skimpy black leather costume, a spiked collar, opera gloves with spiky bracelets, thigh-high high-heeled boots, a spiked gimp mask, and a cape.
- Combining the two, in an Alternate Universe Sue Storm became Madame Hydra (Empress Hydra, to be exact). She rocked a green thigh-cut evening dress, a green choker, opera gloves, high-heeled boots, and a whip.
- Batman Returns: The villainess-slash-antiheroine Catwoman wear a costume similar to the one from the 1966 Batman TV series (see Live-Action TV), but covered in stitches symbolizing its hand-made origin. She also wields a whip. She's presented as the "wild side" of a meek timid woman.
- The titular heroine of Catwoman, played by Halle Berry, wears a very Stripperific dominatrix outfit, complete with a whip.
- Sword of Truth: The Mord-Sith are an elite group of female warriors who are infamously cruel and devoid of compassion. Their primary purposes are to capture enemy wizards using special magic, and to torture captives into mindless obedience. They carry leather sticks that resemble riding crops but function as agony beams, and wear full-body leather: usually brown, but white if they're not allowed to draw blood from their victim, and red if they intend to draw blood.
- Ophelia the vampire dresses in a glossy-black synthetic leather catsuit when she goes out for a night of clubbing and drinking. The occasions she dresses like that for are basically exercises in dominance over the "kine" around her. She even thinks to herself that she looks like she ought to be carrying a whip. It's partially also glorying in the fact that she's finally lived long enough to reach an age where a woman can get away with that sort of aggressively sexy clothes.
- Early in the book there's a scene of her mentally sneering as she passes Emma (whom she doesn't know yet), who is also dressed in black leather but does so because it's practical for motorcycle riding, and who gets a minor predator's thrill out of wearing real leather.
- Batman: Another early example of this trope. This 1966 version of the Femme Fatale villainess Catwoman wore a tight black leather catsuit with gloves, high-heeled boots, and often wielded a whip. Her comic book version at the time didn't yet wear anything like that (and wouldn't for more than 20 years).
- SiN: In the original game, the Big Bad Elexis Sinclaire, a rich and powerful mad scientist, wore a red latex leotard with a weird midriff window, thigh-high high-heeled boots and a choker.
- Battletoads: The Big Bad Dark Queen wears a black leather leotard, thigh-high high-heeled boots, opera gloves, and a cape.
- Soul Series: Ivy Valentine usually wears some sort of skimpy costume, thigh-high boots and opera gloves. She wields a Whip Sword and loves being cruel to her enemies.
- Battle Arena Toshinden: In the first game, Sofia wears a black leather leotard, thigh-high high-heeled boots, opera gloves, a choker, and a ponytail. She wields a whip. The Soul Series is a spiritual successor to Battle Arena Toshinden, so the similarities aren't coincidental.
- Ninja Gaiden: One of the Ancient Greater Fiends, Ishtaros, is a powerful evil goddess. She wears black thigh-high high-heeled boots, some weird leather straps on her arms, and that's pretty much it. One of her arms sports Femme Fatalons, the other one is a tentacle she uses like a whip.
- Guilty Gear: I-No is a mysterious cruel and manipulative woman, a playable boss in some of the games. She wears a skimpy red jacked and a red miniskirt, a choker, thigh-high boots, and a witch's hat.
- Bayonetta: This antihero witch wears a black Sexy Backless Outfit with gloves and high-heels (which double as her guns), and can use whips to attacks. The only catch is that the whole costume is actually made out of her hair, and whips are usually hair as well.
- In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Superwoman was an Alternate Universe Mary Marvel (even though in the comics she is Wonder Woman's evil analogue). She wore a black leather leotard, fingerless opera gloves, thigh-high boots, a choker, and a high ponytail.
- Powerpuff Girls: Sedusa is a villainess who can use her prehensile hair as whips. She wears a red leotard, black leggings with red fishnets, red thigh-high high-heeled boots, and red opera gloves.
- Fairly OddParents: Hair Razor is a superheroine turned evil. She wears a black leather leotard, thigh-high high-heeleed boots, a choker, and a leather jacket.
- Metalocalypse: Villainous Stalker with a Test Tube Lavona Succuboso and her followers wear a uniform of low-cut black bodysuits, black tights, Opera Gloves, and high-heeled boots.
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