Post by pyradonis on Nov 2, 2021 10:35:15 GMT
That half-child-half-adult, neither-male-or-female, uncanny-valley sort of look is also evoked with purpose in drawings and paintings of Hindu gods, particularly Lord Shiva, who is often intentionally depicted as a half-male-half-female "Avalokiteshvara" form (literally half one and half the other, not an androgyne form, that is). The intention is to cause the viewer to react to the being as something not natural - in the case of Shiva, supernatural, and in the case of Robot, artificial. Your aversive reaction is not unexpected; you'd expect the viewer to experience mixed attraction and repulsion and a feeling that there was something wrong with the being.
I actually used to hate what I saw as saccharine, effeminate portrayals of Shiva until I understood what was going on artistically. When the god is portrayed in Hindu films, the actor chosen is a conventionally handsome man. Robot, even though he apparently identifies as male, seems to view his personification as an artistic, creative expression and not as an expression of his humanity. I had thought that was something else that set him apart from the other robots, his creative urge and willingness to be something out of the ordinary. It's all of a piece with his personality, really.
Haha, due to the great interest my parents have in Hindu and Buddhist spirituality I have actually seen quite a lot of portrayals of the Hindu Gods. And yes, you are absolutely right, it is very typical to see many male figures with facial features usually associated with feminine beauty - full lips, soft edges, rounder jaw... I've been seeing those pictures around the house for all of my childhood and never thought about how androgynous they actually look. But... Robot's angel avatar (how fitting calling it an avatar, when we were just speaking of Hindu mythology) to me looks nothing like those, and neither does it remind me of European depictions of angels which have their fair share of androgynyny as well. In fact, the uncanny valley part of this face for me is not that it looks neither male nor female, but that it looks neither childlike nor adult. And that's still not what I hate about it. Instead it's simply that to me this face screams arrogance, aloofness and a general attitude of "Wow, look at me, I'm so holy, I'm watching you poor mortals with pity."
Still, your analysis makes a lot of sense, and is probably much nearer to what Tom intended...