25-JULY-2011 My past blog about certain costumes combined with certain activities left my inbox full with a broad range of feedback from outright condemnation of my own body and career to people agreeing with my stance that risque cosplay has an appropriate time and place.
I’ve never been to San Diego’s Comic Con International nor Dragon*Con so I’m only able to form thoughts on the vast amount of pictures found online through places like twitter and flickr. It’s my understanding that wardrobe and activities one would consider for the 18+ crowd are reserved until a particular time and set location (ie, not the con floor).
My hackles get severely on end when critics, whether comic fans or not, condemn costumes like Wonder Woman and Power Girl for considering them “scantily clad” discriminations against women. People that point to costumes like Zatanna, Catwoman and Black Canary as misogynistic representations of a purely market-driven business don’t seem to understand the personalities of the characters. Yes, all of us are entitled to have different opinions on “taste” and what we consider “modest” vs. “scantily clad.” Let’s agree to disagree right away. I’m putting that out there because after all these years of costumes getting skimpier and skimpier, I’m quite at the end of my rope defending Power Girl and her boob window. If you don’t like the boob window, she has had other variations – make one you like if you like the character; that’s what I’m saying about Power Girl. I don’t think that my cleavage in my costume shows too much to be around young children and I actually don’t find that it’s a sexy costume. I think what you bring to it in terms of personality, poise and attitude are what make that costume sexy.
I can complain and rant about the DCnU version of Starfire and her new barely-there Emma Frost ripoff outfit which I consider an unnecessary change bordering on the ridiculous; but I heed my own advice here – I don’t like it, so I’ll never cosplay it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about take a look at the image of Starfire and the new version is the first panel. What about characters that aren’t actually designed in skimpy outfits? If choices of costumes for female cosplayers already include a fair amount of “sexy” and “scantily clad” offerings, why do some feel the need to be extreme?
I met a rather lovely young lady at the 2009 NYCC, Day 3 who wore only leaves pasted on her particulars and body paint as DC’s Poison Ivy. She was thin, pale, and gorgeous. She also couldn’t really walk without issues. She had a large male companion at her side. And she was, to my knowledge, dressed as a particular version of Ivy. I’m not sure that makes it appropriate for her to appear on a con floor that way. I was impressed at her confidence to go out in public that way because I dread donning my Wonder Woman outfit. Maybe I’d be confident too if I was rail thin.
The reason I’m bringing this topic up now is because I read some criticisms about the “Oh You Sexy Geek Panel” wherein the author digs in pretty hard against the opinions of model Adrianne Curry. I don’t mind the criticisms. I find their timing “interesting.” Jill Pantozzi alerted the twitter feed that Adrienne “got into trouble” for her Aeon costume. Adrianne had a problem in the past in her Slave Leia outfit when she was outside on a break and someone not attending the con, reached under her loin cloth. It sparked outrage from fans and con-goers but also controversy from people who dislike the Slave Leia outfit.
So why was Adrianne into any trouble for her AEON FLUX outfit? It’s a known eye candy design revealing about as much as possible.
But here’s the thing… apparently a woman wearing nipple prosethics and a clear G-string with a plastic dragon covering her pubic triangle was walking the con floor. The photo is from Neil Grey’s public tumblr. First of all, I’m concerned for that girl’s well being. It looks like she’s got exceptionally huge bruises on both her thighs that she’s tried to cover up. Now, I don’t know her at all – maybe they aren’t bruises or maybe she got them “consentually.” But otherwise, I’m in the WTF group on this. This is not cosplay and it should not be allowed ON A CON FLOOR. In a private party – yes. On her own website – yes. On a paid website – yes. But NOT at a convention.