Genderswap in Cosplay

Down with gender assigned roles. Be what you want.

A few years ago I was dressed up as Padme in Star Wars Episode 2 (the all white outfit) for Halloween.  While I was getting into my car a little girl on the balcony of my apartment asked “What are you dressed as?” So I replied. And then she tells me “Star Wars is for boys.” And my heart died a little inside for her.

I’ve been very successful thus far to raise my daughter away from that type of thinking.  She likes what she likes and doesn’t let and gender stereotype ideas affect the things she likes. She’s both girly and tom boy-ish. Last week she wanted her nails painted gold and red – because those are Iron Man’s colors. She’s been Batgirl, Poison Ivy and the 10th Doctor for Halloween. She has no concept of “that’s a boy character and I can’t dress up as a boy character”.  The only influence I have is saying yes every time she asks me if she can be so-or-so for Halloween. Whatever you want to be, YES.

I enjoy a good cosplay, a lot of work goes into it.  And for this post I bring up that I love the acceptance of genderswapped cosplay. If my favorite character is Gambit why should I not dress up as Gambit just cause I’m a girl? Why should I limit myself to female characters? This is fantasy roleplaying, limiting myself would be defeating the purpose of the game. I’m no more Rogue for putting on a Rogue costume. Screw it, I’ll be Gambit.

So this year with Avengers, my little girl wants to be Hawkeye. YES. For some reason there’s no child costume for Hawkeye, not even marketed for little boys I mean, nada. But if you click the link or saw the movie you’ll know there’s really not much to it. I’m sure I can make it for her. She’s been dressing up as Black Widow around the house for a few weeks now. It’s an even easier costume choice on her part.

I understand some characters already have the female version (batgirl, supergirl, spiderwoman), but I think sometimes it’s just not the same thing. Character backgrounds are different and a person might identify more with one than the other.    Plus there’s also this problem…

I love letting guys look up my skirt while I fly around. tee-hee.

Also this problem…

“Captain Wonder, don’t you want to fight in a costume where your junk might fly out? Trust me, it’s liberating. Um, what’s all this white stuff?”

Sorry about that. Sometimes it’s just hard to swallow the problems with female roles in comic books.


It’s a Men’s Avengers T-Shirt World

As can be seen above, there was no female interest at the Avengers movie premiere. Unless you count all those girls.

When I was in high school, before the massive outbreak of internet users and a world of seemingly endless possibilities, I was a petite young girl.  Today I’m still petite and yet in the world of the internet and seemingly endless possibilities, I sometimes reach a limit. I’m actually talking about t-shirts. T-shirts for my fave bands only ever came in men’s sizes. Well, perhaps Unisex, but to me that’s the same thing as being a men’s size. It’s a large shapeless piece of cloth that makes me look like I’m wearing my (hypothetical) dad’s Led Zeppelin shirt.  The same thing happens if for some reason I find a boy’s size. It’s just a shorter boxy shirt.  I suppose I could have bought a shirt and tailored it – if I knew how to sew.

So today, even with the advent of the widespread internet, finding an officially licensed, not bootleg, shirts for my fave nerd themes is almost as difficult.  Why is it I can only find two shirts for THOR? One with cover art (eh, it’s okay) and one with his comic self making out with Sif?  Is it cause I’m a girl so obviously I want a t-shirt with kissing?

This all started when I was trying to find an Avengers shirt for the Avengers movie next week.  What I really wanted was something with Loki on it, but as a girl nerd I wasn’t holding out too much hope.  I go to Marvel’s website and when I finally find the women’s shirts, of which there are 4, the first thing I see is a shirt that says “I fight in heels” written in glitter pink.  If you’re not insulted, the second was “I only date Super Heroes.” Why Marvel, why?

Disney Store only sells Avenger shirts for boys or men, Walmart only has men’s, Hot topic only has men’s… and so on.

I didn’t expect to find a shirt, but I also didn’t expect to feel insulted