When I’m reading a great fantasy story, there is nothing more aggravating than realizing that the author has dressed the female character inappropriately for the scene. Years ago, it was hard to find a worthy female character that wasn’t skimpily dressed or brainless.
Occasionally, we would have authors, such as Octavia Butler, Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey or Margaret Atwood, who would go against the grain and write heroines that didn’t want to make you gag. Each one of these authors paid attention to the story they were writing, creating characters that were relatable and interesting. All while not flashing assets while battling the bad guys.
As apposed to this.
Classic stories involve characters we can relate to. A female character can be sexy and attractive and not be cartoonish. There is never a ‘Jessica Rabbit‘ character that really, truly survives scrutiny.
Today’s fantasy and science fiction writing environment has seen a maturity in character development. Yes, we have some cheesecake, but for the most part the female characters are more based in reality, rather than bust size.
Know your genre, write true to the story and give your characters substance.