welcome to character design 101, where six instances where it hasn’t happened don’t change the fact that disparate stylization does happen and it doesn’t matter because here we (in spite of the rather broad url) largely talk about video…
Character designers are culpable.
To act as if character designers and concept artists are all innocent bystanders is extremely naive- that’s where your argument falls apart.
I know hundreds of character designers out there who’re considered the cream of the crop in both the industry and the community as a whole, but they’re shit at designing women. That means they’re shit at designing roughly 50% of characters. Inexcusable, but they get a free pass, and so the cycle is perpetuated at every stage in the pipeline- concept artists, modelers, ADs, producers and execs should all be held accountable for contributing to the problem.
Not every designer is out there fighting against rampant sexism and racism in game design. Granted, some of us pick our battles so we can like to fight another day, but a lot of designers out there either 1) do not care, or 2) are completely unaware of the problems they’re further prolifierating.
Nitpicking women vs. nitpicking men
And again, you completely missing what I’m saying- I don’t get my male characters picked apart. They’re tweaked, sure, but they’re passed up the chain without nary a word, especially in regards to their sex appeal and fat distribution. Female characters, on the other hand, experience far more deliberation. I am talking months of e-mails sent back and forth, after an equivalent male character was designed in a matter of weeks- even when these characters are based on real people, real human beings who exist and have been 3D scanned, they still end up molding the woman towards some perfect, unattainable ideal.
Sexism isn’t just perpetuated by rapists, racism isn’t just perpetuated by the KKK, and homophobia isn’t just perpetuated by the Westboro baptist church. This shit runs deep, and saying “it’s out of our hands, it’s just marketing so it isn’t a problem we need to address” is a damaging oversimplification.