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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Slave Leia: Nice Girl, Bad Hype

Greetings Scholars and Warriors.

I hope your day is going well. Last year at Gencon I was cosplaying as young Obi-Wan when a girl in a "slave Leia" costume asked me to be in a picture with her. I had no problem being in the pic with her but did not get one taken myself as my camera was put away and I just didn't think I need to get my picture with every random cute girl I meet. This week I wanted to share my concern about the hype around "Slave Leia". This is not about the costume itself or the girls who choose to cosplay as her, but the hype often found around it.

Here are a few things to consider first:
  • Leia Organa rarely ever wore anything that revealing so I doubt that she enjoyed wearing the outfit, particularly considering where it came from.
  • I do understand that actress Carrie Fisher did like the costume.
  • We must remember that there is sometimes a difference between why people choose certain cosplays and what the hype about them really is about.
  • Hype can be a fickle thing; often having multiple motivations
  • The situation of the costume is one of sexually minded slavery
I feel like the hype around this does not come from a good place. I know that some people respect her for killing her jailor, Jabba the Hut (which I am not sure if it counts as self defense but I do think he had it coming). Yet I think much of the hype about it is based on sexuality, not respect.

What concerns me about this is what is forgotten about the real world. In the real world, millions of women are held in sexual slavery through jailing, drugs, and coercing. This takes place all over the world and in every state in the USA.

Here is the point: if some of these women, many who are kept on drugs 24/7 and raped 10-20 times a day, could see us getting excited about this outfit like this, would they really appreciate that? I remember one partner-cosplay I saw (I think in a picture online) where Boba had Leia chained to him with the chain around the neck. I think that was a poor choice of cosplay because it glorified something that is deplorable and treats human beings as sexual toys instead of amazing, wonderful creations of God.

I realize that many of the people engaged in this hype are not aware of the situation that proliferates our world. They don't know that girls in area schools are coerced into this by perverts. They don't know that many girls in porn are told "if you don't want to do this video job you agreed to because it is to much for you, then you must pay 300 dollars".  They don't think about the women in Africa that can not find another job because the men there only see her as a sexual object.

But the thing is, a lot people just don't care. That is what is so dangerous about the hype. The next time you see or consider this costume, please remember the women who are in this situation and the women who are trying to recover from such issues.

If you are unaware of how this kind of attitude has affected our culture, go here. Cosplay is not Consent is a great group with a very important message about how cosplayers have been treated.

I feel like if Leia were to come into our real world, she would not appreciate people choosing this moment of her life to replicate. I think she would like us to choose other moments, such as her part in the battle of Endor or her outfit from the celebration at the end of Epsiode 4 where Han and Luke were given their medals.

6 comments:

  1. No. People have a right to act however they wish, and bondage/slave play IS a thing people like to roleplay.

    I avoid bars because my friend got shot going into one; no one is under any obligation to avoid bars on my account. They are free to keep attending bars.

    Similarly, a couple is free to roleplay regardless of the feelings it invokes in those that have suffered a cruel and unfortunate fate. they should be able to differentiate between fantasy and reality.

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