So to retaliate against all my saltiness, my brain brought up something quite pleasant that I hadn’t noticed before.
Sexiness is practically non-existent in the Halo universe.
Like, probably the closest thing we have to sexy is Cortana, and she’s not even portrayed as sexy, she simply has the appearance of a nude, young woman. Yet her nudity is never brought up. She’s considered beautiful, not sexy.
Halo has few female aliens (which they make up with a near-equal ratio of male/female human characters), but those few female aliens we have seen don’t even have breasts or “feminine” traits. We had a book cover featuring a female Sangheili and her chest was completely flat (which is a blessing, considering Sangheili are based off reptiles.)
Armor is completely gender neutral, and it wasn’t until the Spartan VIs that the armors appearances gained more personality. And even then….
One of these Spartans is a woman, can you guess which?
And then there’s my favorite bit: the topic of beauty. Sexiness doesn’t play a role in Halo, but beauty most certainly does. Of course, we all know Cortana’s considered beautiful, but you know who else is considered beautiful?
This is Isabel, a new character to be featured in Halo Wars 2, and this is the commentary given by Craig Drake, who painted the game’s posters:
“I’m elated to contribute my visions to the Halo Wars 2 universe. It was an honor to depict Decimus’ crushing brute power as well as Isabel’s intelligence and beauty.”
By many accounts, Isabel would probably be considered pretty, not beautiful, but Halo says otherwise.
The majority of Halo’s women are not conventionally beautiful; they’re old, they have eye bags, unfull lips, and “too” big noses, all the traits that mainstream media teaches us are ugly. And yet not a single one of these women are deemed ugly by the narrative. They’re all unique with vibrant personalities, all beneficial to the story - their appearance does not define them and yet they are all so beautiful.
Halo has done a quite a few shitty things to their women [side-eyes Halo 3 and Halo 5], but they have such a progressive and natural way of depicting them that I don’t think I’ve seen in any other video game, and it’s why Halo will always be my favorite.