In my years of character designing there is one issue that always comes up from time to time when I have designed characters for animation or puppetry. The best way to describe the issue is through illustration:
CRAZY MAKING! This note comes from men and women. How is this an interesting or good story telling or design choice? Any boy / man character can be a lump, a ball, or a bucket. The second it’s a girl we must feminize and give sexuality to the character. In my career I constantly fight against this outdated notion, if Hank and Phil are basically lumps and that is the world we have established then Julie needs to be a lump too, with a feminine character voice thoughts and behavior. That’s how we know she’s a female. Even when we were making Robot and Monster an executive wanted me to make J.D. more slim and “Sexy”. What the exec didn’t get was she already is the sexiest monster in the show, exactly how she is. The exec was projecting their own ideas of what is attractive into the Robot and Monster world and story. Needless to say I did not let that happen.
This whole idea can fall under the banner of “Make Interesting Choices” when you are designing, Illustrating etc. And don't fall into this unimaginative trap.
P.S. I'm recuperating nicely and starting to ease back into working. Thanks for all the well wishing!