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If the Shoe Fits [Opinion Article]

If the Shoe Fits [Opinion Article]


A friend of the site Gillian O'Rourke sent us her opinion article on the unfortunate judgmental side of the geek community...

I thought, that as a community we were the under dogs. Aren't we constantly being portrayed as the people in high school that had no social skills, few friends but oh it's okay.. you are clever. You know, while the footballer makes money on the back of raw talent, and the pretty girl marries well - you will be okay in the long run because you have a brain. But no social skills. So no love life.

But wait, that isn't right really is it? Just look at the people involved in Geek Girls - gorgeous bunch of people! I have made friends via this website, so clearly the social skills isn't really an issue. And you can name without giving it a second thought, members of the community who clearly work out and are athletic (Miss Sin and Danquish?) so we, as a community are a little more rounded that previously suspected.

Cosplayer: Danquish Photo: SGH PhotoArt

So why is it that, if as a community, who haven't just been dealt with the 'at least she is clever' card - are we being so damned rude to each other? I have lost count of the number of plea's from authors of posts for people to be kind, for trolls to kindly refrain from posting, or for having massive disclaimers on their posts to ensure that the topic isn't derailed.

It can be down to the classical 'nerds being nerds' about something - an example is The Simpson's making fun of a panel involving their own voice actors being brought to task by fans. Or sometimes it is something darker - often coming down to body type - the person portraying a character is to tall, too short, too asian, too female, the body isn't right, the boobs too big. But surely in a community that values imagination, we should be embracing the individual interpretation of the character?

Artist: AlexandraDal

I mean really? Think about the body types portrayed in comics and cartoons. Is there actually a massive difference between them? Or are they all fairly similar but with a change of costume/hair colour etc TA DA they are now someone completely different?

This isn't something that is a female concern - I have known several men that don't want to dress up for a convention because they aren't a beefcake and don't feel that they should be dressing as their favourite character. Why not? I mean surely with imagination you can build a costume that fits your body and that you feel comfortable walking about in? Just because your fav comic book character spent most of him time walking around in a skin tight jump suit - does it mean that you can't adjust the costume to something more suitable? And girls, oh I can think of 3 girls who at conventions this summer were shamed for dressing up as Emma Frost - a corset, stockings, hotpants and a cloak.

Artist: Annonymous

So really you can't win - you either get told off for not being true to the costume because it doesn't fit your personality, comfort levels or body type - or because you choose to dress as close as you possibly can to the costume, spend hours putting an accurate costume together only to be made to feel like a slut.

What should you take away from this article? Well if you see someone at a convention or on a website and you love the work that they have put into the costume - say so. Likewise, if you see someone and you just think.. wow.. erm... not for me. Keep it to yourself. You don't need to let them know that they aren't your type, that you hate Mortal Kombat, or wish that they had bigger boobs to fill out the costume. If you have nothing nice to say, keep it to yourself.

Artist: Hinoneko: "Fun fact if you make fun of people for having a less-than-perfect cosplay or for not looking enough like the character or whatever you're automatically a gross person."

Article by: Gillian O'Rourke

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January 07 2014

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