Saturday, September 22, 2012

Article - On Cosplay, Girls Being Sexy, And Levels of Geekdom - Abby Dark-Star

Abby as Lady Jones

I came across this article in Fangirl written by San Francisco based cosplayer, Abby Dark-Star which I thought was rather interesting.

Lately there's been a lot of hate and mud slinging on the net bout female cosplayers: girls wearing too revealing outfits to seek attention to themselves instead of being true fans of their character, levels of geekiness and that 'people aren't allowed to break characters by re-inventing them and making them sexy versions'

Abby says in the article regarding geekdom and levels of it

"Standards of geek don’t exist. There is no red rope or leveling program. Maybe some people at conventions are just working and not in the culture, but it’s the same concept as any job. Someone who works at a clothing store doesn’t mean they need to have an intense knowledge of the history of Coco Chanel, just what sweater is in style at the moment. Knowing who died in Infinite Crisis and then was reborn in issue… It’s no different."

Agreed. I think its unfair to judge people on the 'levels of geekiness', I guess people just like to one-up each other in terms of how much pop culture knowledge they have to feel better about themselves.

As much as we like to believe that all cosplayers should love and know about the character they're cosplaying, some people are hired to be booth babes and mascots in suits and they probably don't know as much about said character they're cosplaying because its a job.

There's also people who cosplay cause they just like the look of the character. Some are actually models and porn stars parading around in costumes hoping they'll get recognized for commercial reasons. Everyone has their reasons for cosplaying. We can't stop these 'non-geeks' from cosplaying because hey, people in costume sell stuff and if they see there's money to be made doing it, they'll continue to do it.

Abby then goes on to talk about Sexiness in Cosplay

"For approximately 82 years, comics has been a male-dominated industry. Even with the influx of female writers and artists recently, sexy is still the standard by which the genre is done. So if women embrace this sexuality and their own, or do something original or creative with a costume, we are now to be championed as sluts and attention-whores? To quote Spock, “illogical.” Girls have many different reasons for wearing a sexy costume. Without knowing her reasoning, it’s unfair to make a determination about any individual."

Let's face it: pop culture is fantasy and its entertainment. Things are supposed to be sexy, fun, bold and dangerous. Because you know, real life is boring. I personally feel if you can make things a little different from the regular look of the character, sure go for it though level of skin showing, how much boob and butt to show is subjective.

Finally, Abby talks about cosplay haters

"The truth is, people are going to judge. The costuming hobby can get called tons of names on a blog by a person who makes fun of us for dressing up, but then goes to scream at a bunch of men in tight pants throwing a ball around. (See what I did there?) The point is, everything we do, in this hobby or not, might be judged."

Cosplay is considered a craft as well as a performance art. People are gonna judge cause that's what they do. You're pretending to be said character from a comic book, game, tv show, movie. People have something to compare you to. Sure there will be haters like 'oh you don't look like said character' or 'so and so was more pretty than she is' but hey, like as you've seen on so many reality TV shows, it's a harsh world out there and people are harsh critics.

If you chose to cosplay an iconic character, the judgement will get pretty harsh. If you can't take the heat, cosplay a less important character and do it well. It's ok if you aren't the superstar because like in a movie, the cast isn't just made up of Meryl Streeps and Tom Cruises. There's supporting actors and they all work together to make a movie work.

Anyways, that's my thoughts on the matter. Read the full article here : )


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