Her historical counterpart is currently docked in the Port of Los Angeles complex as a museum ship, making her the first ship to appear in the game which wasn't sunk, scuttled, scrapped, or expended as a target. She is also the first Allied ship implemented in the game.
See post #3226119.
As portrayed, she is given stereotypical Caucasian American traits, based upon old WWII-era US Navy pin-ups: long blonde hair, grayish blue eyes, and a well endowed body with visible cleavage. She wears a corseted bra with the number 61 written on the right side and attached to a pair of differently colored thighhigh socks (red vertical stripes for the right, blue for the left). She also wears black fingerless gloves attached to long white sleeves and a miniskirt with a belt with the US Navy emblem on it.
Her rig (as shown in her official art and on her figma version) consists of her three 406 mm/16-inch triple mounts Mk7, one to her left/portside, two to her right/starboard. She also carries three of her ten 127 mm twin mounts Mk28, one beside the starboard main guns, two to the back of the portside main gun. Her funnel carries searchlights on either side and has two 40 mm Bofors quad AA mounts below the searchlights.
Due to her long golden locks and sparkling eyes, fans often see a resemblance between her and Shokuhou Misaki of the Index/Railgun universe or Hoshii Miki of the Idolmaster series. Fan artworks of Yang Xiao Long from RWBY in KanColle as Iowa have been noted for easily qualifying for the "Hilarious In Hindsight" pool, because the official Iowa is more Yang-like in appearance than either of the fan arts in question.
Her first seasonal CG came for New Year 2017 with her wearing a "Inverted American Flag" print furisode.
Much like Kongou, Iowa is loud, friendly and energetic. Also like Kongou, she uses English mixed in with her Japanese speech (though Iowa uses it more often). Further like Kongou, Iowa's English is so broken and accented many find it incomprehensible. These similarities have led to some fan artists pairing the two up, often with Kongou as Iowa's reluctant companion. As her hourlies imply, Iowa maintains a friendly rivalry with most other battleships, particularly Yamato, even asking her for gunnery practice, even though she accidentally calls her a hotel (and later tries to cheer her up). She's also the first ship in-game to have a killer-victim relationship, being responsible for sinking Katori. Also, unlike Mutsu, she survived a turret explosion, albeit in 1989, well after WWII.