Sci-writer writer Annalee Flower Horne has been looking at the X-Men Voting information, letting readers vote for the final member of the new X-Men team in the Marvel comics. Including the statistics for each candidate, including their physical appearances, common for those who have read the Official Handbook To The Marvel Universe over the decades. And made a rather astute observation. Tweeting out;
Looking a the mutant profiles for the marvel vote has reminded me once again that people just have zero concept of how much women actually weigh. They've got male characters listed with perfectly normal weights and then women with absurd hollywood weights that mean nothing.
Marvel is out here claiming that Polaris and Tempo, who are both depicted as extremely muscular, are underweight for their heights. BMI is an utterly bullsh-t measure of health but nobody who looks like Polaris has a BMI of 18.2. That's…just not how mass works.
Let's take a look at those stats. Height, weight, and calculated Body/Mass Index and what it is meant to suggest – that a normal weight sits between 19 and 25 on the scale. As Horne states, there are other issues with BMI, and the charts also state that "A person with a lot of muscle might have a high BMI, when their body is actually healthy." It is notable that many of the characters are depicted with muscley athletic-type bodies.
- Banshee Height 6' Weight 170 lbs. BMI 23 – Normal weight
- Polaris Height 5 '7 Weight: 115 lbs. BMI 18.5 – Underweight
- Forge Height 6' Weight 179 lbs. BMI: 24.7 – Normal weight
- Boom-Boom Height 5'5" Weight 120 lbs. BMI 20 – Normal weight
- Tempo Height 5'7" Weight 116 lbs. BMI 18.2 – Underweight
- Cannonball Height 6' Weight 181 lbs – BMI 24.5 – Normal weight
- Sunspot Height 5'8" Weight 170 lbs – BMI 26 – Overweight
- Strong Guy Height 7' Weight 750 lbs – BMI 74.7 – Class III Obese
- Marrow Height 6'0" Weight 160 lbs. – BMI 21.7 – Normal Weight
- Armor Height 5'4" Weight 112 lbs – BMI 19.2 – Normal Weight
So Polaris and Temp are underweight for their height despite being portrayed as having "buff" bodies. Given their common musculature, the only ones who come close to looking the way they are portrayed in the comics are Strong Guy, whose body is warped out of proportion by his powers, and Sunspot, who also has strength-based powers. Marrow is the closest female character to normality, but that would have to ignore all the large bone growth spikes she has sticking out of her body.
Horne states "I look at Sunspot and I'm like, okay, that's probably a little low for his musculature and height but it's in the ballpark. Then I look at Polaris and she has an Olympic athlete body and a runway model weight and that's just…not how anything works. Anyway Marvel it'd be cool if you'd fix the weights in your women heroes' profiles. You can't use the "it's all magical pretend" excuse when you've got weights that mostly conform to reality for male heroes and then absurdly low weights for women. Or you could just take the weights off their profiles? Because it is painfully obvious your artists aren't using these weights as any kind of reference, so you're just perpetuating sh-tty unrealistic body standards for no good reason."