As a woman, artist, and filmmaker I always try to keep this at the front of my mind when designing characters and writing stories.
Even at my school, a place where we are supposed to learn to explore our creativity, I am constantly being told the same thing about my female characters: make them pretty, make them appealing.
And it disgusts me. Because the professors definition of “pretty and appealing” is one standard Disney mold. Maybe you can change the race of the character, but it always comes down to the same features: small nose, long legs, and curves for days.
If the character is not meant to fit this adult female mold, then it better be “cute” or you get a terrible grade.
It saddens me that many of my classmates are more than willing to conform to this mold.
I don’t want to make female characters like everyone else. I want to make female characters with as wide amount of features and personality as any male character in any film.
I want to change the direction of the media, and give all people real, interesting, diverse, and complex female characters to look up to.