I know it’s not really fair to rip on cli­part, because it’s such a mixed bag, and par­tic­u­larly since I’m not the best free­hand artist to begin with. It’s hard to feel safe in my lit­tle glass house. Photography and vec­tor art seem more my forté. But every once in a while I run into some­thing that just makes me roll my eyes.

Today, I got three.

Here’s what one illus­tra­tor thought of when she or he heard the word “strength”:

My stron­gity stron­gi­tude is so strong that I can lift this bar­bell made of pure ura­nium! Clipart is a quick way to get things done, but come on. Even I have some standards.

On a related search I was look­ing for images that went with “strong” and ended up see­ing … well, this:

The list of things that make my eyes jit­ter in this image is brief but pro­found. For starters, I can see the Schwarzenegger thighs sug­gest­ing strength, but I’ve seen some women who were body­builders, and they just don’t look like that. Is that mus­cle, or scar tissue?

And what explains the total lack of def­i­n­i­tion else­where? How can you get quads (?) that big, and even a hint of biceps, with­out some­thing hap­pen­ing to your lats and abs? Was she the sur­vivor of a bizarre acci­dent that required sur­gi­cal replace­ment of her torso?

Last, and pos­si­bly the most sig­nif­i­cant — why is she top­less?

You just know this was drawn by a man. If you con­sider the def­i­n­i­tion of “man” to include fantasy-​​prone twelve-​​year-​​olds.

The final image, the hat trick, was what sur­faced on a search for “fit­ness”. I guess we know what Cathy Guisewite will be doing with all her free time.

Obviously Cathy finally dumped Irving and moved in with Marcie, after she found Peppermint Patty doing it doggy-​​style with Snoopy. Presumably Patty was wear­ing a double-​​ended strapon at the time.*


* With no apolo­gies what­so­ever to Charles Schulz. You put it out there, man.


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