By Tali’Belle Cosplay
Video games put a lot of emphasis on sex appeal, mostly for men using women, but sometimes it’s the other way around (Zevran Araini and Thane Krios are good examples of more sexualized males in video games, but there are others.) And you know what? This really isn’t a problem for me. Whatever, you wanna make a woman wear a skin tight cat suit that shows off a ton on cleavage while she guns down celestial beings or have a blue skinned space babe snap necks with her thigh high high heeled boots? That’s your business and as long as she’s still a good character with thought and energy put into her, I really don’t care. Hell, Sylvanas Windrunner and Jaina Proudmoore can have a drunken lesbian make out session in bikinis for all I care as long as they still command armies, cities, and respect while kicking ass. A sexy girl doesn’t have to be looked down upon and disrespected….
|Harley Quinn and Catwoman cosplays at Comicon Chile. Copyright Javier Rosh, used under a CC License|
|Soul Caliber Tira and Talim cosplay. Copyright megadem. Used under a CC License.|
Oh, but costumes that actually are skimpy aren’t the only problem. Oh no, slut shamers and jerks will make a completely ordinary costume into something overtly sexual even if it covers more than a hijab and burqa. Dressing as Sue Storm or Harley Quinn? Too tight! Ugh! All that slutty, slutty spandex! Hell, even when I dress as Tali, I still get the occasional: Oh, it’s hugging her body so tightly, she totally wants attention, she’s totally getting off on Talimancers looking at her. Or maybe I just really like and identify with this character.
And of course, as mentioned before, if your body is anything less than perfect then a ‘skimpy’ or ‘tight’ costume can be used as an excuse to take you down a peg and call you out on things because how dare you have the self-confidence to dress as a character you enjoy without being a Barbie!? Actually, this is one of the reasons Dragon Con is now my home con and not Otakon. At Otakon, catty high school aged weeaboos had begun to reign supreme. Woe to any Yoko Litner over a hundred pounds, death be upon a Seras Victoria with thick thighs. I was a ‘fat cosplayer’ there because I have large hips and my belly isn’t perfectly flat. But at Dragon Con, there were lovely ladies of every size in outfits ranging from full armor to chain mail bikinis and no one batted an eyelash I heard maybe one catty comment all week, and that was craftsmanship related and they probably thought no one could hear them anyway. No one was mean to people. My boyfriend Robert and I even got thunderous applause at the costume contest despite my thighs and belly and his magnificent chest hair peeking out of his robe.
|Yaya Han as Emma Frost, from the mistress's Facebook Page|
But anyway, immediately some other cosplayers I used to idolize let out their claws and showed how ugly their egos can be when they tore into Yaya about tiny minute details that any cosplayer could overlook. ‘Her contacts for Fiora Nightraven are the wrong color!’ ‘Domino doesn’t use that weapon!’ ‘Emma Frost doesn’t wear pants like that!’ (Actually, yes she does sometimes and also Yaya outright said she wasn’t comfortable cosplaying in a thong, hence the pants.) The vitriol went on obsessively to the point where it was no longer a critique on controversial things in her show, it was tearing down a fellow cosplayer who is doing what she loves and working tirelessly to run a business, promote our hobby as normal and interesting, and still have a good time. Not to mention the age shaming. They said she was ‘aging’ because she’s over twenty-five. Now you tell me who’s making cosplay look bad. A cosplayer who dresses sexy or a cosplayer who talks cruelly about others?
The cosplay community is so quick to accuse each other of attention whoring and being a ‘fake geek’ (which I will address next week), and forget that skimpy costumes and sexy outfits come from a point of accuracy. It rings a mite hypocritical to say ‘I need my Asari tendrils to feel EXACTLY LIKE CARTILEGE SO IT’S ACCURATE!’ or ‘I need to use nothing but real Italian leather in my Zevran cosplay!’ and then throw a shit fit because you see an Arkham City Harley Quinn prancing around in a bra with her thong showing, or a Tiny Armstrong in a bikini.