Superheroes, like Batman and Robin, are well known for sporting tight suits and capes, but back in the day there were far stricter rules when it came to how revealing those costumes could be – particularly in the ‘bulge’ area.
“They thought that Robin had a very large bulge for television,” Ward said. He then claimed that ABC executives asked him to reduce the size by taking pills that would “shrink me up.”
“I took them for three days and then I decided that they can probably keep me from having children,” the Batman star said. “I stopped doing that and I just used my cape to cover it.”
Clearly, the fascination (and controversy) surrounding superhero bulges has been going on for decades now. In fact, there’s a lot of thought that goes into it.
In a 2014 interview with Esquire, superhero costume designer Michael Wilkinson said “when you’re designing superhero suits, it all comes down to the crotch.”
“You have to present things in an appealing way but something that’s not too confronting and has the right tone for the film,” he said. “It’s something where you have to use all your costuming skills to find that balance.”
He also added that having done the costumes for the 2006 movie 300, “I’m pretty much an expert on codpieces,” adding “we had five different shapes and we gave them all names” like ‘the spider’ and ‘the donkey.’
Who would’ve thought the crotch – and size of bulge – would be such a pivotal part of representing superheroes?
As for Burt Ward – last week he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and said he grew up daydreaming every day of being a superhero. Some dreams really do come true, but keep in mind, you may face a battle of the bulge.
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