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Costuming the risqué -- A discussion

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Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By Duckeh. 27/09/12, 04:10 pm

Something that's been on my mind!

Scantily clad women in cosplay are often criticised and told they haven't played the game/read the comic/actually enjoy what they're cosplaying from. And why should cosplaying a scantily clad character without actually being a fan of the source affect your opinion of that person anyway? Plenty of people choose cosplays because their friends are doing it or they just like the design. For some people the designs they feel flatter them and that they feel comfortable in are simple and a bit more daring.

Popular examples are:
Spoiler:
 
Yaya Han and Jessica Nigri.

Both obviously enjoy doing it, so why do some cosplayers automatically dislike the two because of costume choice?
Personally I think it's pretty impressive they both have the confidence to do it.
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Re: Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By Kicho. 27/09/12, 10:30 pm

I don't think being criticised for dressing up in something they don't know is the problem. I think the problem is that often these costumes attract the wrong attention. I have heard of more than one story from cosplayers who have been harassed or molested in their costumes. And then there's the fact that having your photo taken in the age of social media could mean you can ruin potential employment in the future.

I actually think it is a bit sad that women's confidence is defined by what she wears; but maybe that's just me.
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Re: Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By Mischa. 28/09/12, 02:06 am

Let me preface that I don't know either of these ladies, I have to go by what I've seen online...which may not be the most accurate description!

Jessica is appealing to many guys because she looks like the classic hot girl in high school they never got to talk too. She is nice in her interactions and usually has a big smile. She is not famous because of her costumes, she is famous because she has charisma, was there at the right time at the right place and puts a lot of hard work into her figure.

THE reason it gets up peoples nose is it feels stink to work for months slaving on something to be overshadowed by a pretty blonde in a brought bikini top. Life isn't fair
----

No-one can deny Yaya has a LOT of skill, which makes her more interesting.

(EDIT WILL WRITE MORE)


Currently I'm working on a skimpy costume and they are a LOT of work. There is much less margin for error because of the size...you can hide some crooked stitching in a skirt with 12 mt of ruffles...not so on a bikini.
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Re: Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By Duckeh. 28/09/12, 02:12 am

I think it's sad that abuse is justifiable when you're wearing less clothes and you're able to start victim blaming.

As for jobs, we shouldn't drink or attend clubs for the same reasons then. So long as you're doing it with self respect I think it would hurt just as much?

Sorry! I don't think I said that very well. I find it refreshing when someone does have confidence in their body after all the media digs, saying you should not. You should try fix this or that is constantly thrown at woman, as well as, get your summer body etc. But I'm in no way saying it is more important then confidence in other things or skill. You can have confidence in a lot of things. I understand what you're saying but I'm hoping I didn't come across that way?

I admire skillful work a lot more than someone being confident, most of the time. When there is a badly put together revealing costume, I probably cringe a lot more than when there is a full on badly made costume. But when both are put together, that's pretty cool & it just seems a lot of people get flack for it.


Edit: Ahhh! Mischa posted before me but I'm in class and can't spend much more time on this. It's really interesting what both of you have said though.

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Re: Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By Suixelo. 28/09/12, 03:54 am

Quote :
I admire skillful work a lot more than someone being confident, most of the time. When there is a badly put together revealing costume, I probably cringe a lot more than when there is a full on badly made costume. But when both are put together, that's pretty cool & it just seems a lot of people get flack for it.

I think the same way, if it's a good costume it's a good costume! I'm both pretty terrible at sewing and have a lack in confidence with my body so put the two together and I'm in awe of a person that can do/has both! I think girls get jealous and catty if they don't have the same confidence, knock the girl down instead of building themselves up. I've been working on my confidence recently and I can really tell the difference. I don't feel jealous any more, I just see a goal that I can work towards. To be that confident, no matter what your body looks like, is a beautiful thing and I applaud those girls that feel that confident! Personality is a different matter I think, considering none of us actually know the two girls used as examples.
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Re: Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By Kicho. 28/09/12, 07:41 am

Mischa wrote:

THE reason it gets up peoples nose is it feels stink to work for months slaving on something to be overshadowed by a pretty blonde in a brought bikini top. Life isn't fair

I've seen a lot of discussions about this, but the fact that she was "stealing all the attention" wasn't the problem. The problem was that she showed up in a revealing costume at PAX, which was banned, because the gamers themselves voted against too much fanservice. The problem was that E3 is a games convention, and the booth babes/ revealing cosplays ended up outnumbering the actual games.

The ironic thing was, while a lot of male attendees were upset that Jessica Nigri was removed from PAX, they unanimously agreed that the male attendee Nathan Barnatt should be removed for dropping his pants.

Duckeh wrote:
I think it's sad that abuse is justifiable when you're wearing less clothes and you're able to start victim blaming.

Abuse is never justifiable, but it becomes a matter of "how do you define abuse?" It is almost impossible to wear something flashy and not expect unwanted attention, rude gestures, or having your photo posted all over the internet. But there are people who don't mind that. Essentially, it comes down to your personal choice. I'm not blaming anybody here, but I still think getting harassed is a bigger issue than simply getting criticized for not understanding your character.

For some people, seeing someone dressed up provocatively makes them feel entitled to do whatever they want to do. Take Kate Middleton for example -- she spends a day getting an all-over the tan, and the next day her body is out there for the world to see.

Duckeh wrote:
As for jobs, we shouldn't drink or attend clubs for the same reasons then. So long as you're doing it with self respect I think it would hurt just as much?

I'm just saying certain things come with certain risks, regardless of how much self respect you have for yourself.

Duckeh wrote:
Sorry! I don't think I said that very well. I find it refreshing when someone does have confidence in their body after all the media digs, saying you should not. You should try fix this or that is constantly thrown at woman, as well as, get your summer body etc. But I'm in no way saying it is more important then confidence in other things or skill. You can have confidence in a lot of things. I understand what you're saying but I'm hoping I didn't come across that way?

Majority of the media and ladymags I've seen have nothing but praise for a woman who is "brave" enough to go topless or do a risque scene in a movie, I'm almost tired of it. I could understand if this was buttoned-down Victorian England, but it isn't. =/

There are a lot of other women who make important achievements in society, who advocate for an end to poverty or speak out against abuse, yet they never get half of that praise.

Duckeh wrote:
I admire skillful work a lot more than someone being confident, most of the time. When there is a badly put together revealing costume, I probably cringe a lot more than when there is a full on badly made costume. But when both are put together, that's pretty cool & it just seems a lot of people get flack for it.


Edit: Ahhh! Mischa posted before me but I'm in class and can't spend much more time on this. It's really interesting what both of you have said though.

I don't think getting flack for not understanding the character they're cosplaying as is the main problem (after all, it isn't that different from the flack that normal cosplayers get). The main problem for "risque cosplays" would be the fact that a lot of the attention that follows your costumes may be unwanted, not just in countries where cosplay overlaps with prostitution. I remember reading a few years ago that Satine was groped in her Catwoman costume, and this was right here in NZ. =/
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Re: Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By Mischa. 28/09/12, 08:06 am

Kicho wrote:
Mischa wrote:

THE reason it gets up peoples nose is it feels stink to work for months slaving on something to be overshadowed by a pretty blonde in a brought bikini top. Life isn't fair

I've seen a lot of discussions about this, but the fact that she was "stealing all the attention" wasn't the problem. The problem was that she showed up in a revealing costume at PAX, which was banned, because the gamers themselves voted against too much fanservice. The problem was that E3 is a games convention, and the booth babes/ revealing cosplays ended up outnumbering the actual games.

The ironic thing was, while a lot of male attendees were upset that Jessica Nigri was removed from PAX, they unanimously agreed that the male attendee Nathan Barnatt should be removed for dropping his pants.man costume, and this was right here in NZ. =/

the question was "Both obviously enjoy doing it, so why do some cosplayers automatically dislike the two because of costume choice?"
I was talking about cosplayers opinions, rather then the PAX thing
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Re: Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By Kicho. 28/09/12, 09:38 am

Mischa wrote:

the question was "Both obviously enjoy doing it, so why do some cosplayers automatically dislike the two because of costume choice?"
I was talking about cosplayers opinions, rather then the PAX thing

If by "people" you meant "cosplayers," then wouldn't it be a bit unfair to assume that other cosplayers were criticising her (if any were), because they were all hard-working but jealous, unpretty women? Or that other cosplayers were all fighting for attention?

You would have to keep in mind she wasn't technically cosplaying, she was hired as a booth babe by the Grasshopper Manufacture, who most likely made her two costumes as well.

Again the thing I think is that a scantily-clad cosplays come with a lot of complications, like having it come back to haunt you ten years down the line, but knowing the character or series isn't a big problem at all. How can you even tell without talking to them?
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Re: Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By Mischa. 28/09/12, 09:51 am

I *am* a hardworking, jealous normal unpretty woman- what I wrote was Mischa's opinion :) I do not speak for all.
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Re: Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By Kicho. 28/09/12, 09:59 am

Mischa wrote:
I *am* a hardworking, jealous normal unpretty woman- what I wrote was Mischa's opinion :) I do not speak for all.

Sorry, I didn't mean to come off as sounding confrontational. I've only been reading opinions from attendees, because it seems like cosplayers aren't really vocal outside of cosplaying sites.

I didn't think you would consider yourself unpretty from your avatar. :)
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Re: Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By kyokyogirl. 28/09/12, 11:32 am

Mischa wrote:
THE reason it gets up peoples nose is it feels stink to work for months slaving on something to be overshadowed by a pretty blonde in a brought bikini top. Life isn't fair
^I would say something along these lines is about right. For those that know little about costume construction: less of a costume = less work/effort put into it. We know that's not the case.

And then the rest of it could be just jealousy. I have huge respect for Yaya's skills but I sure can't help but be very envious of her figure. She really did hit the genetic jackpot. And I'm sure she looks after herself well too to keep her body in good shape.
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Re: Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By Leaven. 28/09/12, 11:42 am

I have seen Yaya Han in real life at Dragon*Con and her work is FANTASTIC!
I am jealous of her figure and confidence to wear what she does so I hate her a little bit lol
If you can pull it off then cosplay the heck out of what ever you want Very Happy
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Re: Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By PIe. 05/10/12, 10:24 am

It greatly saddens me that female cosplayers get negative attention for cosplaying less clothed characters and yet males who cosplay someone like Kamina get praise. As someone who has done a few skimpy cosplays herself, I want to second the opinions that a good costume is a good costume no matter how small it is and if you do genuinely appreciate the character, there is nothing wrong with cosplaying it. I always say that you should try and cosplay to your body type but ladies like Yaya and Nigiri don't deserve the hate.
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Re: Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By Le_Saboteur. 08/10/12, 02:26 am

People hate them because they're jealous of the attention. I think it's definitely a case of WHY NOT MEEEEEEE.

Jessica Nigri has shown a lot of improvement in her costumes over the last few years, and Yaya is obviously mindblowing. If they didn't wear the costumes that they do, and present themselves in the way that they do, they would receive nowhere near the amount of petty insults and online harassment (I doubt many congoers have the cojones to actually say something mean to their faces) that they do. That's just pathetic.

I MEAN, LOOK AT THIS. This costume is beautiful. How can you possibly accuse someone of being nothing more than a walking sex doll when you make something this gorgeous?

Spoiler:
 

With Yaya especially, there is a lot of self-promotion, and I know that really rubs people the wrong way. But if you can actually make enough money out of doing something you enjoy, wouldn't you do everything you could to keep it happening?

Also, when you get your butt or boobs out, you KNOW there is going to be some measure of unsavoury attention (I've done a few superheroines, so I know this firsthand), but the reactions of other people aren't decided by you. If someone is going to verbally, sexually or physically abuse or assault you, that's their action, not yours, and it sure as hell isn't your fault. You should be able to wear what you want (as long as it's actually within the realm of public decency*) and not have people harass you.

For the record, I applaud the heck out of someone wearing a skimpy costume at a place like 'Geddon- I don't really care if it's just for attention or if they actually like the character. It takes guts. Nerds can be vicious creatures. Maybe sometimes we take things like cosplay WAY too seriously. Not every one wants to do things like this competitively, or spend three months making a beautiful eight-tiered silk ball dress with 50,000 hand-stitched beads and a ton of embroidery. Some people just want to have fun, get a little attention and have a good time.

* I'm not saying that wearing something considered NOT decent is asking for it, or any such thing, just to clarify. I'm just trying to keep this within 'cosplay' and events like 'Geddon and such.
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Re: Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By Highlander. 08/10/12, 10:46 am

I don't think that lots of say the female cosplayers out there are necessarily jealous, or necessarily blaming these women as the victims. I think however that they do want to be able to go to a con in cosplay and not be considered sexual objects. And on a purely practical level, putting aside any right or wrongs, they may see these people as being seen as sexualising cosplay, and encouraging certain people to attend and/or behave differently in a con. We are talking about a small and either immature or vile group of people, but they do seem to have a rather large impact on some girls/women. So I can't blame them for wanting safer desexualised cons.

I think that them being employed as scantily clad booth babes presumably to promote or sell more stuff is an example of outdated sexist attitudes that belie the fact that more consumers are female, and that many guys find it patronising. Many fans are discerning about their interests, and want to be informed. My opinion.

I think that making money out of cosplay or modelling is fair enough. However people will perceive if others have an ulterior motive, and if they are self-promoting. To make money you do have to promote yourself. But for the average fan who just wants a little genre love, and does it purely for fun it may well feel grating. However if I see a cosplayer/model who does a wide variety of costumes and modelling I would be more inclined to think that is cool and normal. But if almost every costume and model shoot on their page is scantily clad, then it tends to make me, and I assume others, ask why. Cosplay is normally seen as playing the character, and not yourself. So when someone takes a character who would be disgusted to be played sexy, and you start cutting 90% of the material out of the costume to make it sexy, to the point where it has barely any resemblance to the character, then people are going to start saying things. Things like lack of respect for the character, doing it for the attention, etc. Peoples opinions will vary on if they see that as cosplay or not, or good or bad. (Yes there are much more blatant examples out there than the ones posted here, or on most places this is discussed. And Yaya and Jessica will get lumped into a generic sterotype.)

Personally I would not change the way I treat someone whatever they are wearing. I have had to get over the worry of photographing sexy cosplayers, and let people hopefully judge my albums as a record of who was at an event. I started following one cosplayer on FB purely for her Gundam photos (model plus CGI plus cosplayer!). Now many of her status updates are, meh, another shot of sexy costume number 10. But the interesting ones are about her life, those are the only ones I comment on. Those are the ones which get more conversation going.

Given that most of these cons are in fact open to families and young kids, then surely that has an impact in choosing cosplays appropriate to the venue too?

On the other hand I have seen good examples of people who have some non-attractive feature (eg. weight), pulling off cosplays despite that. And that sort of confidence I find an attractive feature in a person.
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Re: Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By squeakk. 08/10/12, 01:35 pm

I've always found it odd that wearing a bikini is fine and that we have underwear ads everywhere, but the equivalent at a convention is suddenly weird and not appropriate.

I think that our society is way too caught up in itself over sexiness. Especially when it comes to women, because PI is right, this is a topic that is pretty much centered around women. You don't see anyone questioning the motives of a scandally clad guy. You never hear 'OMG, that guy is such a skank! He only ever wears costumes like -that- so girls will like him. I hear he's slept with people outside of marriage. OMG.'

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Re: Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By Mischa. 08/10/12, 08:29 pm

Right on Squeak!

On woman's bodies being family safe :

I feel I can safely say that young children are not harmed by seeing cleavage...actually most infants are pretty keen on boobs Surprised
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Re: Costuming the risqué -- A discussion
Post By Highlander. 09/10/12, 10:52 am

squeakk wrote:
I've always found it odd that wearing a bikini is fine and that we have underwear ads everywhere, but the equivalent at a convention is suddenly weird and not appropriate.

I think that our society is way too caught up in itself over sexiness. Especially when it comes to women, because PI is right, this is a topic that is pretty much centered around women. You don't see anyone questioning the motives of a scandally clad guy. You never hear 'OMG, that guy is such a skank! He only ever wears costumes like -that- so girls will like him. I hear he's slept with people outside of marriage. OMG.'


Just two examples of double standards. No society will ever be free of them. But we are seeing a change in peoples perceptions, and I'm sure the bikini was part of that process. Ultimately I believe in dressing modestly. But what is modest varies by society and often by circumstance. I believe that working hard in heat allows for less modesty. But then I read the old Lincoln Agricultural College regulations and they required working suits for practical work on the farm! Having said that my cosplay for Auckland involves less clothing than normal for me, as it's a intended for a very hot environment, complete with cooling vest. And I think we have such divergent views in current NZ/Western society that we tend to settle on the lowest common denominator. Which leaves it to each person's judgement.

On the underwear adds thing though. I guess they feel they have to sell them. And as long as models are prepared to model them .... But most people would think twice about seeing someone walking down the street in underwear. So when we see cosplayers in underwear, because that is what is starting to happen at the odd american con/on the net, then you will get reactions. And if you start to see some people who do almost all their costumes really skimpy are actually models, then you wonder if being use to modelling underwear is a factor in them choosing those costumes, and not others? Or if they are use to using sexy to self-promote, or something? Again if I saw someone who just did a range of cosplays of whatever they like, and did it accurate to the costume, then the odd skimpy one would not seem so out of place. But these are just my observations/musings. I don't know enough about what's happening overseas. I offer no conclusions. And I don't pretend to judge anyone. I guess it's really up to the con organiser.

PS. I have read of a cosplayer running into these problems in the 1970's, but for different reasons.
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