This week I spoke with Juan Vazquez. Juan is from El Salvador. He is a sophomore at CSULB, majoring in Computer Science. He, his friend John, and I met a few weeks ago at the Art Galleries and got to know each other.
Juan and I have similar opinions in regards to the questions of the week: What’s your opinion on fan art? Do you think that Demi Lovato reacted in a justified manner?
Juan and I both say that fan art can be a double-edged sword–both good and bad. When fan art is made in admiration of a person or fictional character, then it is good; the artist clearly likes the subject and wants to show their appreciation and affection in their own unique way and style.
However fan art can also be inappropriate. This is when the artist admires the subject of the art, but skews some of the elements. This is most often seen in fan art of a female–the breasts are too big, the waist is too small, there are unnatural/over-defined curves, etc. The artist most likely is a fan of the person or character, but they’re sexualizing them just a little too much.
We also agree that Demi Lovato’s reaction to the child’s drawing was a little uncalled for. I personally think that if someone drew me oversexualized (big muscles and naked?), I would be upset and call them out. However if a child drew me accidentally slightly-oversexualized (an odd thought, but possible), I wouldn’t be upset. Kids are kids; they don’t always know right from wrong, especially when it comes to drawing people. Have you seen a kid’s drawing? Their hands have scary needles and swords for fingers.
In short, there are worse things to be mad about. A little kid’s drawing shouldn’t be taken offensively because they clearly do not mean to sexualize something (generally). If an adult sexualizes something, then yes, that is worth getting upset over because they should know not to do that.
I’m not a woman, so it’s hard for me to think of being over-sexualized. I truly do have sympathy for women who endure that, but I have never had such an experience. Obviously, it’s wrong to draw someone way out of proportion, especially to the point where it is sexual. But a little kid’s drawing is mosty likely innocent.