One of the biggest bones (no pun intended) when it comes to costuming/cosplay is the number of young women and men who utilize the body to populate the Facebook feeds and like buttons. Sexualized versions of costumes based on popular characters DO get noticed, and of course, some tend to feed off this kind of attention, and do tend to rise quickly in popularity and “fans”.
This in turn tends to turn off those who have some SERIOUS talent who deserve recognition, in some cases, more than the less clad counterparts. This debate has gone on for years and there are thousands of people in each camp both with pros and cons to costumes that show more skin than probably needed, and causes jut as many arguments and forum based (heated discussions) on the topic, ranging from serious slut shaming to outright accusations of prostitution. (The internet is full of opinion apparently)
First, we need to face facts. Sex sells and in the business of cosplay, there are some who do it very well. Others not so savvy within the circus of marketing, come off differently and are more than often the targets of those who feel that there is no need to sexualize a pre-existing design, and that the only reason it is done is to gain attention for oneself. This may very well be true in some cases, what better way to gain, than to target a very specific audience?
I came across this article the other day and decided to take a read through it.
I did not know what to make of it at first. Was the writer saying that sexy costuming and cosplay is what the community needs overall? We already have that to a certain degree, and look at the negativity that surrounds it. No, the community doesn’t need it per say, but what it could USE is an OUTLET for those who DO like to that style and kind of costuming.
Events like SEXPO would do well to take a look at the geek side of things to include such activities like sexy costuming, role play and similar aspects. Not to say that such things pertaining to costuming should be kept behind closed doors, of course, but it just might draw a little more attention from those that do outstanding work, are body positive, and want to flaunt what they have/worked for/etc. It might not be for everybody, and of course, the events putting on this type of show would need to suit (I’m positive this wouldn’t fly at a family friendly style event) but if it makes an aspect of costuming more enjoyable, and allows for people to be more creative in the art of such (original design, anyone) then I would be but one to support it.
Last I heard, that was part of the current “mandate” of costumer/cosplayers. Be supportive.