Question of the day

Why are aliens naked?
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27 Responses to “Question of the day”
  1. greyaenigma says:

    They’ve long since evolved past the need to cover themselves with furs and synthetic furs.

    Besides, have you seen space fashion? Terr-i-ble.

  2. laminator_x says:

    No other terrestrial species wears clothes. We are the oddballs. Why should we expect an extra-terrestrial species to buck the trend?

  3. ajsnavely says:

    Because they all come from really warm planets where they would be too hot if they wore clothes. And their planets still have ozone layers, so they don’t need to worry about sun burns and skin cancer.

    Either that, or they are perverts who get off by streaking on pre-warp planets. And remember the alien wang a beautiful thing.

  4. greyaenigma says:

    Ha. I was just about to mention that in The Thing, it’s actually pointed out (at least in the trailers) that the thing is trying to keep warm, but you changed it. (o another alien that does wear clothes — or pretends to.) And the Giger Alien is growing too fast to keep him in Keds. The Roswell alien has been unfairly stripped of his spacesuit.

    Speaking obliquely of which, did you know is on LJ?

    • Todd says:

      you changed it. (to another alien that does wear clothes — or pretends to.)

      One of my biggest questions about the Martian Manhunter is about the “disguise” he’s chosen to move among humans. Apparently his “natural state,” that is, the way he appeared on Mars, when Mars was an ideal civilization on a par with ancient Greece, was pointy-headed and naked. In order not to freak out the Kryptonian, the Amazon and the guy in the Bat suit, he decided to change his shape so that it looked like his head wasn’t quite so pointy and he’s wearing a cape, double sashes, boots and swim trunks. So he’ll fit in.

      But, lest we forget, both MM and Mystique are, essentially, always running around naked.

      • greyaenigma says:

        The Martian Manhunter disguise bothered me for a while, then I just chalked it up to comic convention. And besides, it’s at least as important not to freak out the people you’re saving. Rescuing people that despise and fear you would probably suck. (Then why does he still look green? Hey, I’m not a Martian, don’t look at me.)

        I got the impression that Mystique was clothed in the comics but her power let her change that into whatever she wanted. I could be mistaken. (Went to the bookshelf to check, gave up. But not before I ran across Dark Phoenix, power incarnate, destroyer of worlds, stopping by to chat with her folks. Awkward!)

      • catwalk says:

        but “back in the day” in ye olde comics books, i thought mm had an earth alter-ego, john jones?
        j’onn j’onnz had established himself as a police officer/detective on earth… or maybe i’m hallucinating under the weight of these earthly fabrics…

        • Todd says:

          That only makes it more confusing. At the very beginning, the blue-cape-and-boots outfit was his “natural” look and he “disguised” himself as guy in a trenchcoat. But now his natural look is the pointy-headed naked guy and his disguise is the beetle-browed-blue-cape guy.

          The only thing I can think of is that, in an effort to “fit in” with the Justice League, he split the difference between Earth Superhero and Normal Martian, putting on a cape and boots (‘cos, you know, everyone needs a cape and boots in a superhero team) and losing the wizened, pointy-headed thing. Point is, he’s always naked even when it looks like he’s clothed.

          • catwalk says:

            maybe in martian manhunter’s case, when you can shapeshift, it’s just easier to… not… so much.
            and yeah, capes and boots. when your best friends are superman and wonder woman, i guess you’ll probably have an inclination on fashion.

            • Todd says:

              maybe in martian manhunter’s case, when you can shapeshift, it’s just easier to… not… so much.

              Well, it’s not like he’s got gentials to be ashamed of. Neither did his “wife,” come to think of it.

      • kornleaf says:

        but isn’t the kryptonian essentially an alien? and didn’t they wear clothes?

        my thoughts are that if they have retractible genetalia then they don’t need to protect it (one of the purposes of clothing).

  5. kipling00 says:

    My opinion…

    Because god didn’t create original sin – man did.

  6. dougo says:

    Because animals are naked. Also, ugly naked people are creepy, and aliens are supposed to be creepy. (Except Gloop and Gleep. But are Herculoids aliens, really?)

  7. ‘Cause only the pervy ones come to Earth!
    They’re flashing us. ;D

  8. mcbrennan says:

    Perhaps just as important, why do cartoon animals wear shirts but not pants?

    It’s interesting that when I thought about your question, I realized that most of the aliens I really liked in movies and TV actually did wear clothes. Michael Rennie in The Day The Earth Stood Still came to mind–but is he even a true alien? I think that’s the crux of it right there–for the most part, if the “alien” is truly meant to represent “the other,” some nameless primal thing that could present danger, it’s more likely to be naked because nakedness is something we associate with raw nature, with animals or with a social order far removed from our own. Usually, our own nakedness makes us feel exposed, vulnerable, even powerless (not to mention cold), but the aliens that come to us naked (outside of Spielberg, anyway) are often more terrifying and more powerful than we are, infused with some savage preternatural menace. If the alien is meant to be morally superior, civilized, wise, to school us in some way like a parent–it usually comes to us in clothes not unlike our own.

    Which still doesn’t explain why Yogi Bear feels compelled to weat a hat and tie while he shows off his naughty bits.

  9. gdh says:

    Because aliens don’t have genitals to cover up. Which raises a bigger question.

  10. marztek says:

    some do wear them, some are too evolved, some aren’t evolved enough, and like someone else said, some were stripped of their spacesuits (who gets autopsied with their clothes on?)

  11. I think we can thank the 70s wave of film directors for all the naked aliens. The gritty realism mixed with a desire to show off improved makeup and special effects–so out go the cop-out humanoids in shiny suits, and the helmeted gorilla suits…in come the naked animatronics with rubber cement dripping off of them.

  12. automatoid says:

    The Giger alien is like an animal, so that explains that. I can’t imagine anything bursting through a man’s chest,then hiding out in an air vent and knitting a sweater.

    The government most likely (as greyaenigma said) stripped the Roswell aliens down after they died because, you know, alien dong.

    MM I just can’t explain one way or the other. Look like the onus is on you to solve that mystery – you could write a series on it! Explore his questions and self-doubt like “What is my purpose? Why am I here? Why is it so drafty in here?”

    As for Chewie, it’s probably safe to guess that the hair just makes for natural clothes. Miniscule genitalia?

    And then there’s ET. All I can say is that I never thought of him as being the sharpest tool in the shed. A space-tard of sorts. He probably wriggled out of his clothes before getting locked out of the ship.

  13. robolizard says:

    E.T. and the close encounters aliens come from ‘Earthly’ planets, i.e. planets of the natural and clothes are of the unnatural grain of course… J’onn J’onz and the X-Files alien were indeed studied by governments with no need for clothes, while the Alien is a beast and Chewbacca is covered in fur [although Fox apparently shared your concerns as they, quite famously, wanted to give the characters shorts….]. Mars Attacks aliens, the great Gazoo, Greedo, the Ewoks, Starfire, the skrulls, among others are all fairly snappy dressers…

    • Todd says:

      I grant you all but J’onn J’onzz, who is naked in all his memories of Mars, as is his entire family, indeed the entire population, as well as the shape-shifting blobby white guys who come to conquer Mars. The naked conquering the naked.

  14. Appropo of nothing, I direct you to this article from CNN:

    …and officially give you first crack at writing the inevitable situational comedy screenplay set therein. You might as well make the money here, Alcott, because somebody will if you don’t. Just keep Pauly Shore out of it, okay?

    • Todd says:

      We should make it that it’s an African-American principle with a baseball bat, practicing tough love on inner-city kids. With computers!

      • Waving a laptop over his head: “THEY USED TO CALL ME ‘CRAZY JOE’–NOW THEY CAN CALL ME DATA-MAN!!!”

        • automatoid says:

          And once the actors get so old that nobody believes they could be in high school anymore, the series could live on as “College of The Future” where the kids are taught by a sarcastic -but caring and lovable- robot. Or at the very least, “School of The Future: The Next Generation”.