Originally written on pillowfort, edited on December 5th 2020 for the Gorl Scout Yearbook Zine.
What IS a femScout? WHY GIRL MODELS? A hopefully helpful definition for my Team Fortress 2 Girl Scout Zines.
First, we must address:
What I enjoy most about writing Scout is his mutability, the flexibility of his character. He can be the brash and obnoxious antagonist, but his overconfident attitude can also cover deep insecurities and a desperate longing for a father figure. He can be a comic relief or the unexpected voice of reason. You can even, if you’re good, justify turning him into a whimpering uke. He can be the blushing virgin, the exhibitionist (look at me, hey, look at me!), the voyeur, secretly a masochist, he can be so furious, so sweet, so broken.
A Scout character can be ANYTHING. You can change the base game character of a brash white boy from Boston, into a shy azn girl from Brooklyn, and it'll still feel "in character". Plus he's my favorite character in TF2 and my kintype, and there's such a rich mini-history of trendy tropes to slot him in.
And now we address:
Why GIRL Scouts?
Because girls are AWESOME!
I want to have more girls in male-dominated spaces! When I was growing up in fanspaces in the 2000's, there was so much irrational hatred for girl characters (think Sakura, Fuu, Orihime, Hermione and Ginny). Whether the characters were written well or not was irrelevent. The fact that they were presented as girls was enough for everyone's (internalized misogyny) to activate! How dare this GIRL get in the way of our MANLY adventures and yaoiz?!?!
Even though things are better in modern fandom, it's almost always male characters that receive the most attention. Probably because most media depicts male characters, with maybe one lady sidekick. Even TF2 falls to this imbalance: 9 men, and Miss Pauling and The Administrator. There were female characters planned in the wonderful concept art, but Valve never got around to implementing them. That speaks volumes about how male characters are considered the generic default in most games, and girls are considered an unnecessary afterthought.
The official female Scout designs are quite a good base to build on, because they show that Valve actually did want some form of that ever-vaunted "diversity" in their game about 7 white men. I interpret these Scouts as a Latina Scout, a Black Scout, and a white Scout, and they all showcase base Scout characteristics like brattiness, exuberance, and small-framed athleticism.
I'm personally VERY inspired by the fan creations of female characters in TF2! Girl Scouts can come in genderbend, self-insert, or original character flavors!
My personal favorite Scout character, as many may know, is from the Scout-Chan OP. It's SO different from the "canon" Scout -- but it feels so right to make her into a zombie fighting schoolgirl who crushes on her teacher! Especially because Uberchain used the default model for Scout to make him a Scout-chan. There are so many attempts to "feminize" Scout into a female character that squish the face and make the model look strange, but simply keeping the model as-is is just so effective! Girls don't have to look a certain way!
Even the notorious squished-face Femscout model is inspirational in a way, because it made me want to design my own take on a girl Scout character that fits my own taste.
There's something about GIRLHOOD that a female Scout evokes, that anyone regardless of age or gender can relate to due to a Scout's mutability. Girls should be able to enjoy "cringy" things like Twilight and yaoi manga! Girls can look however they want, and dress however they want! Girls can be average schoolgirls, or adult women who bash people's heads with a baseball bat for a living. They don't have to have the generic Scout traits - Girls can be Black, white, Asian, Latina, indigenous, trans, gay, fat, autistic, diabetic, missing a leg, EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING! As long as they like to be girls, and Scouts!
and so. GIRL SCOUTS RULE!!