This article is broken in that it is about mystical unicorn porn. That is, it bends over backwards to give porn-users a "fair shake" in that it is about porn that is not obviously degrading, vulgar, or gross, and I'm not sure such material even exists (aside from that fact that if it does, it by some definitions would not count as pornography in the first place). Hence this article needs work. It might also go away until these issues are rectified. Until then, I suggest you go read something else — there's got to be at least one good article on this log — or, if you wish to stick with the topic, you may wish to read about pornography elsewhere.
Way back when I wrote a paper called Pretty in Pain. ("Rape culture, by any other name —" You'll have to excuse the style; it was one of the first things I wrote at university, and went online because it predated the plethora of much better papers you'll find nowadays by several years.) Anyway. Back then I mentioned to some people that I'd love to ultimately write a treatment on porn, but given that "both sides" had studies and treatises and what-not, it would take quite some time to do the research — time I sadly didn't have. It's been years, and I still haven't found the time. And perhaps more importantly, better researchers and more insightful people than I am have. So I'll offer a — by now terribly biased — opinion instead.
One of the fabulous subversive words invented by the incomparable twisty — more on her in the "footnote" — is empowerful. Empowerful as in empowered, the prefix em-, like en- or in- denoting that the power is invested in her from without, lest somebody think that females might be naturallypowerful. The distinction matters.
Empowermentis a rather fitting word though, as it is traditionally suggested that the power held by women is sexual power. In other words, sexuality grants women "power" over men who hold actual, real power. Women use that vile witchy power of sexuality to "control men" and channel some of those men's power into themselves, thereby empowering themselves. This obviously is quite different from finding her own power within, that is, actually being powerful by herself, rather than by proxy. It follows quite naturally that the more sexuality a woman can express, the more empowerful she is. It is for this reason that women aide in their own pornification. This pornification, some may say, is reaching new heights both in intensity (in the current fetish fashion and raunch culture) and extent (the pornification of preteens; "corporate paedophilia"). Enough maybe for some to think that it has come to the point where something's gotta give, where only a backlash can follow, but personally, I'm not so sure. That this will happen. That if it happens it will be a backlash that makes things better for women.
This of course means that there are women who don't get to be empowerful: those who cannot or will not conform to beauty standards; those who will not pornify themselves, the fat and the old and the butch and, oftentimes, the poor. It also means that if you end up in one of those groups — by gaining weight, getting old, getting bored with the effort of the performance that is beauty, or otherwise not being a feast for the male gaze and thereby neglecting your duties as a member of the sex class —, you fall out of favour, and lose "your" power, as it is only by power by proxy, and never was yours to begin with.
This is particularly interesting when considering how well we're told many 1st world women do in school and uni in recent years. It would certainly be instructive to investigate to what degree this finding intersects with that that nowadays, we exist to the degree that we exist in the media. Which, if we stick to the modes of expression traditionally allowed to us, reinforces those stereotypes, of course.
Yes, Virginia, comic book physique is possible. Within reason. Thing is, who wants to be a comic book character these days?
Most of you have seen the I'm a Marvel / I'm a DC spots. I didn't even bother to watch them all, because they made DC look so bad, and, always having been a DC girl, that just put me off.
But maybe, it's time to take a closer look at things. Tally. On the Marvel side? Spidey dealing with child abuse and fighting people who want to give bad sex ed (I'm not making this up, follow the link! Issue includes some sex ed basics, advertised by Stan the Man himself, at that. The bit about homosexuality is certainly off, but hey, it's from the '70s — not an excuse, certainly, but an explanation.).
Meanwhile, what does DC offer us? The rape of Batman. The rape of Green Arrow — and his son Conner/Green Arrow 2 kissing daddy's rapist, because, you know, that's better than being considered gay — right? Right?