Let me just say now that I’m biased in that I have a horse in this race. I’m a straight guy, and I enjoy wearing skirts. It’s not a fetish thing for me, but I must say I look good in a mid-length skirt. It’s a comfort thing. Anyone who hasn’t worn a skirt before, take a few minutes and go try one on the next time you’re in a store. Tell me it’s not so much less miserable than wearing shorts, especially in the summer. The reason I bring this up is because while women breached the cultural taboo against wearing pants almost a century ago, men are still straggling along coddling their delicate sense of masculinity that some people seem to think can’t survive wearing a hoop of fabric. That is slowly changing, and I cannot help but think this isn’t a good thing, especially in geek culture.
Cosplay isn’t something that everyone in geek culture partakes in, but geek culture loves admiring good cosplay. In fact, over the past several years fandoms have arisen among certain cosplayers due to their popular images. Few cosplayers have been quite as prolific as Jessica Nigri. You’ve almost certainly seen her around, even if you don’t know you have, and a quick cursory Google search will return hordes of images that tow the line of "not safe for work." But how did Jessica Nigri become so prolific? How does one even become a professional cosplayer? And how has she managed to stay relevant against the odds of an increasingly vapid internet community?
The DC Cinematic Universe is properly kicking off with the launch of Batman V Superman, but in the gap between the release of Man Of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, DC have been slowly taking over the TV world. Shows such as Arrow, Flash and Supergirl frequently crop up all over the internet. However, perhaps the most underrated of all is Gotham.
Female cosplayers are often the main attraction at anime and comic conventions, drawing novice and professional photographers with their intricate costumes and ability to maintain difficult poses. While the eye-catching sexiness of many characters is what initially draws onlookers, many women are motivated to cosplay because of a sense of empowerment. Female cosplayers have flourished through their ability to create their own costumes while building successful personal businesses.
The buzz and excitement of a Con is unrivaled by any other geek/nerd/otaku gathering in existence. The single release of even the most popular video game or comic book is only a fraction of the atmosphere of a convention. Before you even get to the convention however, you may notice people around you that are headed to the same event. How do you know that they’re fellow convention-goers? Cosplay of course. At the 2015 New York Comic Con, a large sign stating “Cosplay is NOT Consent” greeted some hundreds of thousands of visitors upon entering the Javits Convention Center. The slogan is a part of a recent movement to end sexual harassment and tasteless treatment of cosplayers (mostly female) that may or may not be sporting revealing costumes of their favorite characters. The harassment ranges from the creepy but somewhat harmless photos without permission, to the full blown stalking, and even sometimes, sexual assault.