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Definition is too restrictive: Hourglass Hottie

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MarqFJA Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus
Apr 5th 2011 at 5:13:10 AM

As currently defined, Hourglass Hottie is limited to "female figures with exaggeratedly large breasts and wide hips, and abnormally thin waists that are physically impossible without using tight corsets". However, the last requirement has been under contention in the trope's Image Pickin' thread, on the basis that an hourglass figure (even if "moderately" exaggerated) does not require such extremely small waists to be achieved.

Examples of hourglass figures with "realisticaly slim" waists:

  • Anime/manga examples
    • Masami Obari really loves hourglass figures, seeing as several Miss Fanservice-type characters from works (ranging from outright hentai to "mainstream"/ecchi) that he either directed or did the character design for (or both) have been designed with such appearances...
    • Machina and Garnet from Dragonaut The Resonance.
  • More hentai works and artists who have this as a (semi-)consistent shtick than can be listed without overshadowing the rest of the examples.
  • Animesque webcomic example: Las Lindas (Breasts are the Best bonus comic) (top panel).
  • You'd also find hourglass figures of this sort considerably common in fan art that invokes Fanservice Pack on the artwork's subject(s).

And before someone says it: No, Curves in All the Right Places is "[a] Stock Phrase for narrators (...) and Fan Fic writers", "is kind of vague and highly subjective", and thus does not cover this.

That said...

Proposed actions:

  1. Expand the definition's requirements to include "realistically slim" waists.
  2. Rename the trope to Literal Hourglass Hottie / Literal Hourglass Figure, and create a new trope to cover "hypothetically-possible-in-Real Life-without-corsets-or-surgery exaggerated hourglass figures".

PS: For the record, not all hourglasses are very tiny at the middle (some have been using this as a counter-argument); "relatively quite small" is sufficient (as demonstrated here).

edited 5th Apr '11 8:28:50 AM by MarqFJA

When we are crushing the black hearts of our oppressors, we will find our hands blackened.
shimaspawn from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Apr 5th 2011 at 8:04:34 AM

I think that realistic figures are not really a trope. Or at least they aren't this one. There is a very clear exaggerated trope here that as defined is sound and objective. You're talking about making the trope fuzzy and subjective and applying to anyone who has curves for any reason ever. It loses it's whole tropeness. I think the exaggerated bit is the important part and having a normal sized waist loses that.

Edit, your hourglass is tiny in the middle. It's one of the ones that is very thin sideways. If you turn it, the middle on it's side it will be almost as thin as the plastic. So it's still exaggeratedly tiny.

edited 5th Apr '11 8:06:28 AM by shimaspawn

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -Philip K. Dick
MarqFJA Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus
Apr 5th 2011 at 8:23:08 AM

Did you look at the examples that I gave? Captain Pat and I are currently working on how to best phrase the new definition without risking Trope Decay of the sort that you're warning against, BTW.

And why would having a "realistically slim" waist negate the exaggeratedness? The exaggeration is supposed to be for the bust-waist-hip ratio as a whole, not on each specific part.

As for the hourglass thing... Well, I will give you that. However, I still don't agree with taking "hourglass figure" so literally; if you must, then just rename it to Literal Hourglass Hottie or Literal Hourglass Figure to make it clear, in the same way Literal Split Personality is differentiated from Split Personality.

edited 5th Apr '11 8:27:44 AM by MarqFJA

When we are crushing the black hearts of our oppressors, we will find our hands blackened.
shimaspawn from Here and Now Relationship Status: In your bunk
Apr 5th 2011 at 8:32:43 AM

I did look at the examples you gave. They lack deliberate exaggeration. They're just women's figures. They're hot, I admit that, and they look a bit like porn stars, but they aren't really this trope.

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -Philip K. Dick
MarqFJA Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus
Apr 5th 2011 at 8:42:39 AM

Of course they're not this trope. It's because the trope's current definition is too restrictive to include them. That's why I said that they were "examples of hourglass figures with 'realistically slim' waists"; your major argument is that we cannot have an "hourglass figure" without having an abnormally tiny waist that can only be realistically achieved via tightlaced corsets. I counter that that is taking "hourglass figure" too literally; common usage of "hourglass figure" by both the public and by experts in relevant fields (fashion, dieting, etc.) does not go in its interpretation of the phrase to the extremes that you and Hourglass Hottie's current description do.

Thusly, Hourglass Hottie's own title is misleading, as it evokes "a woman with a clearly hourglass figure", whereas the definition says "a woman with a literally hourglass figure". If we want to go by the latter definition, the title should be "Literal Hourglass Hottie", to remove any ambiguity from the equation.

edited 5th Apr '11 8:43:54 AM by MarqFJA

When we are crushing the black hearts of our oppressors, we will find our hands blackened.
troacctid "." from California
Apr 5th 2011 at 10:45:13 AM

It's an art style trope. It's like Hartman Hips.

Rhymes with "Protracted."
MarqFJA Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus
Apr 5th 2011 at 10:49:11 AM

[up] I'm not sure what your exact position on the issue is, but at least Hartman Hips was named after an artist who is most iconic for the art style the trope describes. That said, no one who is unfamiliar with Butch Hartman and/or his works (likely for non-U.S. audiences) would be able to tell what the trope is really about from the title alone.

When we are crushing the black hearts of our oppressors, we will find our hands blackened.
Apr 6th 2011 at 2:47:24 PM

I picked out the title for Added Alliterative Appeal.

Is it the "Hourglass" itself that's misleading?

edited 6th Apr '11 2:47:50 PM by azul120

MarqFJA Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus
Apr 6th 2011 at 8:47:36 PM

No, it's the contrast between the entire title's inherent meaning on the one hand, and what the description itself implies on the other hand. That is, the phrase "Hourglass Hottie" has no implications at all of being solely about impossibly-shaped hourglass figures.

When we are crushing the black hearts of our oppressors, we will find our hands blackened.
DoktorvonEurotrash Welcome, traveller, welcome to Omsk
Welcome, traveller, welcome to Omsk
Apr 7th 2011 at 1:39:21 AM

[up]This. Plenty of real-life women have been described as having an "hourglass figure", after all. Nothing in the name tells me that it's solely for drawn women.

It does not matter who I am. What matters is, who will you become? - motto of Omsk Bird
MarqFJA Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus
Apr 7th 2011 at 6:17:48 AM

[up] Uh, I've come across several applies-only-to-drawn-characters tropes where the name has nothing to do with the "applies only to drawn characters" criterion.

When we are crushing the black hearts of our oppressors, we will find our hands blackened.
DoktorvonEurotrash Welcome, traveller, welcome to Omsk
Welcome, traveller, welcome to Omsk
Apr 7th 2011 at 11:31:29 AM

I was just giving my opinion on the title. When I hear Hourglass Hottie, I think "attractive woman with an hourglass figure", which is of course part of the trope, but nothing about it only applying to animation and art.

It does not matter who I am. What matters is, who will you become? - motto of Omsk Bird
MarqFJA Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus
Apr 7th 2011 at 11:39:07 AM

Well, the "only applies to animation and visual art" is due to one simple fact: In any non-visual-based media form, describing the character as having an hourglass figure is strictly Informed Attribute, since we only have the author/narrator's word for it.

When we are crushing the black hearts of our oppressors, we will find our hands blackened.
Deboss I see the Awesomeness. from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Apr 7th 2011 at 1:31:25 PM

That's not what Informed Attribute means. If it's a physical feature, and the author says they have it, they've got it. That's a medium restriction.

Fight smart, not fair.
MarqFJA Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus
Apr 7th 2011 at 6:13:50 PM

Okay, I admit that I have misremembered what Informed Attribute meant. That said, saying that a character has an hourglass figure carries a lot less weight than drawing said character with an actual hourglass figure.

edited 7th Apr '11 6:17:04 PM by MarqFJA

When we are crushing the black hearts of our oppressors, we will find our hands blackened.
Deboss I see the Awesomeness. from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Apr 7th 2011 at 7:42:22 PM

I don't see why. If they note it every time a character pops up, it gets real repetitive real fast.

Fight smart, not fair.
MarqFJA Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus
Apr 7th 2011 at 7:57:22 PM

Because words can be subjective; what one person would consider as "hourglass-shaped figure" might significantly differ from what another would, and thus there can be several ways to translate a literature-based character into a visual-based form. Such a problem does not arise when the character originates in an animated/illustrated media form in the first place.

... Is it just me, or are we slowly digressing from the thread topic?

When we are crushing the black hearts of our oppressors, we will find our hands blackened.
troacctid "." from California
Apr 7th 2011 at 8:03:27 PM

It's obviously possible for there to be examples in written works. "She had wide hips and a large bust, but her waist was oddly narrow, almost cartoonishly so—Bob wasn't quite sure how it could support her upper body at all. 'Excuse me,' said Alice, noticing his staring, 'My Eyes Are Up Here.'"

Rhymes with "Protracted."
DoKnowButchie from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Apr 7th 2011 at 9:14:01 PM

This. Plenty of real-life women have been described as having an "hourglass figure", after all.
Well, yes. But is it a trope? I could saying something like "Joan Holloway's status as an Hourglass Hottie [and I'm not loving the way that sounds, by the way] is a major part of her appeal to her male co-workers at Sterling-Cooper, drawing comparisons to Marilyn Monroe" as perfectly valid use of the trope—it informs the character and tells us something about the work. However, saying something like "Joan. Just...Joan" should be avoided, as should referring to the actress herself—Christina Hendricks' figure is not the result of a creative decision. So I guess I support expanding the trope, but only to examples where the hourglass figure actually figures into the story. Do I believe that that's what will happen, should the trope become expanded? Not really, no.

edited 7th Apr '11 9:14:34 PM by DoKnowButchie

Avatar art by Lorna-Ka.
Apr 7th 2011 at 10:23:59 PM

That's the real problem we've had with Hartman Hips and evidently this trope as well, the visual look is based on identifiable things you can see in real life, only exaggerated. A lot of people figure since it's based on Truth in Television why not have real life examples?

peccantis the flies will find you Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
the flies will find you
Apr 7th 2011 at 10:45:21 PM

The reason we have this restricted to drawn (and apparently, explicit literary) cases is that it's too common.

Think about it. Almost any actress who has a waist can be declared an hourglass if she has some loot in the boot and a bit of crowd on the balcony. Now think about how many Hollywood actresses fit this description. Now think in how many films they have acted on. Just having a hourglass figure is not a trope. A hourglass figure being attractive, or superior to other bodily shapes is a trope. "Most actresses in most films and series ever" is enough to cover the instances where the shape is required from an actress (because she must be attractive -> must have hourglass figure) just to get a role. For all I care, we could however list in more detail the works where the shape gets special attention in-universe or is clearly loved by the camera.

I say, include live action examples but as with Buxom Is Better, only if the hourglass shape is lampshaded or otherwise underlined to be a major point in other character's fancy of her. That would include literary examples.

And for period literature we might want to consider something like Tiny Waist if a tiny little waist is hot no matter how abundantly it's based and topped.

edited 7th Apr '11 10:49:29 PM by peccantis

before the darkness arrives
DoktorvonEurotrash Welcome, traveller, welcome to Omsk
Welcome, traveller, welcome to Omsk
Apr 8th 2011 at 1:37:22 AM

Very good points. I concede that a real actress having an hourglass figure isn't a trope.

It does not matter who I am. What matters is, who will you become? - motto of Omsk Bird
MarqFJA Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus
Apr 8th 2011 at 4:10:30 AM

You guys make good points. To be honest, I recently was starting to wonder why the article contained that requirement, and I was only stating what I believed to be the reasoning behind it.

At the moment, I'm currently working (between Real Life obligations) on a tweaked description of Hourglass Hottie with Captain Pat. Once we're finished, I'll post it here for further opinions.

edited 8th Apr '11 4:14:58 AM by MarqFJA

When we are crushing the black hearts of our oppressors, we will find our hands blackened.
May 12th 2011 at 12:20:28 PM

So what happened to this discussion? Got a bump on my watchlist suggesting a new post.

May 12th 2011 at 6:54:25 PM

[up] Dunno, looking at most of the wicks, the trope has pretty much been used the way I hoped it would, so as of now I don't have any complaints.


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