Cosplay, Slut-Shaming, and the Fake Geek Girl
On the off chance I decide to scroll through my news feed on facebook, I very often see guys from my groups of friends re-posting pictures of girls in revealing cosplays, and this just got me thinking about some of the stupid double standards that go along with cosplay, body image, nerd culture and all that kind of stuff. Before I elaborate, let me just say that these are my observations, and things that I’m questioning based on those observations! I’ve been a part of “nerd culture” for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been cosplaying and attending conventions since I started middle school, so my point with that is that these are things that I have seen first-hand. Again, not saying that these things are always true, these are just repeated instances that I have observed.
I’m just going to get right to the points with this. First, why is it that, often, when a girl who does not necessarily meet societal standards of what is “hot” and “sexy” dons a revealing costume, She is attacked with “SLUT.”, “Attention seeker!”, and “No body want’s to see that!”
While a girl who is considered “hot” could wear the exact SAME THING, however she is considered “So hot!”, “Best (insert character) ever!”, and “Awesome cosplay!”
This is something I see often. For example, this image, originally from 4Chan, is an image that I encountered just today on Facebook, with the comment “Brilliant cosplay!”
Now I think this cosplay is great! It looks like it’s good quality and looks just like the character! Now, this next image was one of the first to pop up when I Googled “bad cosplay.”
Now… Please tell me… what is the difference between these two costumes??? Answer: Absolutely NOTHING. These costumes are almost IDENTICAL. Similar looking fabrics, and both look JUST like the character’s. So, why is it that one is a “brilliant” cosplay and the other is a “bad” one? (I mean personally, the second one is more accurate to me, look at her awesome braid!) The obvious answer is that those opinions are based on ridiculous societal standards of what is considered “hot”, “good”, etc. Come on people, why??? Both of these girls are beautiful! First of all, who are YOU to judge what costumes are good and bad? Second, even if those appearance standards are true for you, why are judging the quality of a costume by the person in it? That is just ridiculous. Being a cosplayer and having worked in a theatre costume shop, I know how difficult it is to build them. It takes a lot of time and effort, and if you are a cosplayer too, you should know this already! I know everyone is entitled to their opinion, but circulating things like THIS on the internet is just horrible and rude…
Again, guys, what is the difference between these two costumes??? NOTHING!!! Don’t even get me started on that comment, because I want to move on to my next point.
Okay, now, why is it that the girls who are socially considered “hot”, are often the ones who are targeted most for being “fake” and “not a real nerd.” Seriously??? How messed up it that??? So it’s basically ‘We’ll ogle you because you’re hot but, you’re not a real nerd, you’re still a fake.’ This is a completely ridiculous double standard. You do not have to be a male, OR look a certain way to be a nerd. I’ve heard guys ask “Why aren’t there any hot, nerdy girls out there?” Uhh, she just left because you called her a FAKE.
Now, I know that there are all types of girls who are slut-shamed and called “fakes.” These are just some common things that I’ve seen in my experience. Just some thoughts and things I noticed that I wanted to point out. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
Anyways, to sum up this post, I would just like to emphasize:
- Thick or thin, wearing a revealing costume does not make you a “slut.”
- Someone’s appearance does not determine the quality of a costume.
- Quality of a costume does NOT determine whether you should wear it or not, cosplay is for FUN!
- You do NOT have to look a certain way to cosplay.
- You do not have to be male, or look a certain way to be a “nerd” or a “geek”, or participate in nerd culture.
- You don’t have to please anyone but YOURSELF.
And most importantly,
Do not EVER let anyone determine or tell you what you are.