Firstly, I'm not a raging Tumblr feminist - let me get that out of the way to quell that fury you felt swelling up, or the barbaric "YOU GO GIRL!" you were about to yawp. I'm fairly egalitarian if you must put some kind of label on me. If anyone - man or woman - wants to objectify or become objectified, then by all means, let people jerk off to the sight of you. Other than said jerkers, no one really has any business caring, in my opinion, but this is all beside the point.
I'm not a homosexual either - though I'd have a pretty good laugh at the sight of a half-nude Elf MAN with half of his scrotum hanging out in some outrageous act of almost karmic re-balance, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't get any sexual amusement from it.
Although admittedly I am somewhat opposed to conventional fantasy as a genre, that's a topic for another post, and even though said genre tends to be the largest culprit here, it's neither the sole perpetrator nor the reason behind my frustration with this trend.
I'm also not going to play the realism card. Though it is a pretty valid argument that a woman prancing about a medieval-styled battlefield with little more than her nipples covered would be poorly defended against attacks, not to mention the danger of sexual assault - I won't dwell on either of these points because I do strongly believe in the power of escapism as it applies to fictional art.
Having mulled on my reasoning while penning all the above out, I suppose I've reached a conclusion. The idea of half-naked female character designs with spine-bending breasts, organ-displacingly narrow waistlines, perpetually flowing hair, and absolutely flawless alabaster skin upsets me because it cheapens the idea of beauty itself. I realize that the conveying the entire essence of a character though one still pose, one outfit, and one backdrop can be a very in-depth process with plenty of pitfalls, but this seems to have been boiled down to such simplified process. But the way I see it, human aesthetics offer so much more complexity, more depth. Would you say that literally every girl you've ever eyed up and thought to yourself, "I WOULD SO HIT THAT" had watermelon-sized breasts and a waist small enough to loop your wristwatch around? There are so many other ways to represent beauty and character - ferocious beauty, mystical beauty, dark beauty - than just huge tits and ⅔ of an ass peeking out.
I challenge you to tap into the human element in your character designs. Embrace and use our little so-called imperfections to your advantage. Even if the design isn't human, or of this world in any sense, it's still a driving force to a large number of character designs. You've obviously got some creativity as a concept artist, now go use it to it's full potential god dammit.
A Big Metaphor: The Gaming 'Industry'
Thoughts on People: Tragic Artist Friend
Thoughts on Setting: Conventional Fantasy
I'd agree but only in cases where beauty (as an abstract concept) is actually being pursued. (And, only subjectively, of course.) If beauty isn't the objective, then I don't have any artistic gripes with big-ass-tits.
And, even if beauty is being pursued, I certainly don't have any moral complaints. The objectification argument, which you were right to avoid, isn't particularly grounded. The body is physically an object, and appreciating it as such doesn't necessarily devalue the abstract nature of its contents or the mind that it is a vessel for.
Other pursuits include, but are not limited to:
1. Pure animalistic sexual appeal - Beauty as an abstract concept isn't measurable. Its an inherently artistic concept. But, pure animalistic sexual appeal is based on semi-measurable (in inches, no less) biochemical reactions. If you're appealing to that (e.g pornography) then anything can be used. Exaggerated tits, asses, dicks, etc.
2. Comic relief - No real need to explain here.
3. Hybrid of 1 and 2 - An example of this would be Dragon's Crown. The entire art style is essentially a parody of sexuality in general. There's nothing wrong with that.