Being a cosplay girl is awesome. We dress up in nerdy outfits together, we party, we take funny photos and serious photos, we quote stuff, we burn ourselves with hot glue. We can spot someone in a costume we recognize across the room and have an instant kinship with that person. But we also have a bit of a crime problem. I don't mean crime as in literal illegal activity — I mean, as Tina Fey so aptly labeled it in cinematic masterpiece Mean Girls, "girl-on-girl crime."
That's right, I'm talking about cosplay ladies calling other cosplay ladies sluts. For most women (unless you happened to have a forward-thinking family or education), we grew up immersed in a culture where words like "slutty," "whore," "tramp," and "trashy" are tossed around freely and without thought. Most of us have both called someone a slut (to their face, behind their back, online) and been called one, regardless of how we dress or what we do. And in a performative art like cosplay, particularly one that is so closely tied to genres that have a tendency to dress women in skimpy clothes (comic books, sci-fi, fantasy, anime, etc.), this gets amplified.
And the craziest thing? As Tina Fey so rightfully points out to that auditorium of girls, it isn't guys who are the ones perpetrating the majority of the slut-shaming. It's women. And if Sailor Moon has taught us anything, it's that we girls need to stick together. So with that context in mind, I'd like to give you some thoughts to chew on.