I Have More To Offer Than My Naked Body: A Rant About Sexism in Nerd Culture

I think Star Wars sexual puns are as entertaining as the next person. And I openly welcome clever “who shot first?” innuendos in response to my “sexy Greedo” cosplay. The costume is meant to be funny; it’s a play on the current sexualization of Star Wars; I can handle the jokes and I actually invite them. But when the harmless nerdy fun transitions into uncalled-for sexist and downright objectifying behavior, that’s where you awaken the brazen feminist bitch within me.

This last week, my Facebook fan page received an influx of new followers in appreciation of my Greedo cosplay from this last SDCC. Cool. Great. Awesome. But then I got this comment from some random dude on an unrelated post about what my followers would like to see more of from me. The comment read something like this (he since deleted it after my response): “With all due respect, the only answer to this would most likely be, ‘You. Naked.’ Don’t blame me; I just came here after seeing your Greedo cosplay. ;P”


:now entering rage mode:

So my cosplay somehow warrants disrespectful comments on unrelated posts? Because I cosplay as a “sexy” character, I cease to exist as anything more than a body for ogling, void of any additional interests or talents? Sure, make all the premature ejaculation jokes about Han “shooting first”. But don’t step onto my turf and tell me that the only thing people would be interested in seeing more from me is my naked body. Certainly I don’t have anything else of interest to offer my followers. +1 for trying to preface a disrespectful comment with “with all due respect”.

This obviously isn’t the first time I’ve ever had to deal with sexism and misogyny in the geekdom. And I’m certainly not the first to ever rant about it either. But what numbs my mind about this comment is I think this guy (and so many other offenders) actually thought he was paying me a compliment. That I should be flattered people enjoyed my cosplay and think I’m attractive to the point that they want to see more.

This sort of ignorant objectification needs to stop.

Women are not pieces of meat for your visual consumption. And while some of us may embrace our sexuality and enjoy flaunting our assets or dressing up as our favorite scantily-clad characters, none of it is for you. You don’t suddenly gain authority over our bodies or permission to make comments about it simply because we choose to show it. “Cosplay is not consent.” Ladies, take a stand when you are, or you see someone being objectified. Say something, speak out, and have it be known that it is NOT okay to reduce women, and people in general, to mere things to be used and disrespected.

// This has been a PSA from your friendly neighborhood female cosplayer with a smokin’ hot bod who also is a blogger, published photographer, freelance graphic designer, antiques & taxidermy enthusiast, bone collector, horror movie fanatic, and studier of feminist theory (in other words, I have more interesting things to share than another set of boobs on the Internet).

Femme Greedo Cosplay

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Going somewhere, Solo? Comic Con is finally here! And I’m so excited to make the big reveal of this costume I’ve been planning since last year. You better believe this sexy lady Greedo always shoots first.

The last two years I rocked the sexy Chewbacca costume I made in 2010. But as absurd as it sounds, scantily-clad wookiees apparently became an overabundant trend at the Con and some Reddit-trolling nerds got their whitey tighties in a twist over seeing their favorite walking carpet sexualized by “fake nerd girls.” In response, I’ve set out to upset a few more Star Wars fans by sexualizing one of the most unsexy characters in the galaxy far far away — Greedo. Yes, our beloved overzealous bounty hunter with the infamous sloppy marksmanship.

I started conceptualizing and designing this costume just weeks after SDCC’12. I picked up the blue pants and tank at Forever 21 and ordered a pair of $1 round sunglasses on Ebay. Next came the custom pieces. I made the belt, holster, and vest myself and I was super proud since it was my first time using the sewing machine on my own. Then my mom and I slaved over these ridiculous details down the side of the pants and spent hours upon hours trying to figure out the best way to attach them to the pants without having to tear them open. Finally it all started coming together. I made the hands with rubber gloves and rolled paper painted over with liquid molding latex. The antennae were formed by sculpting paper with masking tape and then painting over with the liquid latex. For the mohawk, I painted Q-tips and glued them to a strip of fabric bobby-pinned to my head. And lastly, the ears were made by sculpting a form from clay and painting on a removable layer of liquid latex. All of it was a huge learning experience and I had no clue what I was doing the entire time, but I think it all came together pretty decently.

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ps. Before I get harassed for it, I apologize for using Han Solo’s blaster and not a DT-12. It’s the best I could do. Also, thanks to Cryssy Cheung for this awesome little “Han Shot First” pin featured on my vest.

Snapshot – Zombie Walk 2012

It’s that time of year again! I can assure you that as long as a Zombie Walk exists in my city, I’ll continue to bloody up and shamble the streets of downtown San Diego year after year (I’ve lost count of how many I’ve done already). This time, I took two zombie newbies with me, and I must say, they definitely brought their Z game (ah, see what I did there?) and we all had a bloody good time. I handed my camera off to Dave, so these lovely photos are brought to you by my handsome man. Enjoy!

Zombies, Zombies, and More Zombies

Oh my goodness guys! The Walking Dead season 3 premeires tonight! I can’t even contain my excitement! In honor of its return, I decided to make a compilation post of all the zombies I’ve created over the years. My mom and I were laughing one day about how when I was 12, she’d freak out when she discovered my morbid artwork and hoped it was just a phase. Almost a decade later, this is what I’m still doing…

And then can’t forget this adorable photo of me and creator Robert Kirkman at Comic Con 2011.

Here’s to another amazing season of The Walking Dead!

Machete Cosplay

Halloween is nearly upon us! At least for me it is. I dedicate the entire month of October to celebrating Halloween and thought I’d kick off the season with a feature of my latest costume.

I’m a sucker for bad splatter exploitation films. I love movies that lay the gore and cheesy one-liners on super thick. I’m especially fond of them if they feature ultra badass females in impractical battle costumes. I’ve always wanted to dress up as Cherry Darling from Planet Terror, a go-go dancer with a machine gun leg. Alas, I have two legs and no intentions of removing one for a weekend convention. So I decided to go for another one of Robert Rodriguez’s equally awesome girls — Shé from Machete.

This is the most scandelous costume I’ve ever attempted and probably the most the Internet world has ever seen of me (you won’t find me partaking in Topless Tuesday or posting bikini pics on Facebook). And for that reason, I really needed to whip my butt (and the rest of my bod) into shape. I spent months working out like crazy to get a body that at least somewhat resembled Michelle Rodriguez. I’m not one to unrealistically compare myself to celebrities — I recognized that Michelle and I have similar body types and a quick Google search informed me that our height and weight were also approximately the same (5’4″ 125lbs). That gave me enough confidence and motivation that there’s no reason I couldn’t have the same body with a little hard work. I followed a basic routine of exercise, eating right, and drinking lots of water. And I couldn’t be happier with the results. You can read more about my fitness routine here.

So I got the body; now I needed to put together the costume. When planning to make a costume, I do extreme amounts of research, gathering up all the reference images I can find and looking into what I can buy and what I can realistically make. This costume didn’t require a lot of clothes obviously. Just a lot of weaponry. Thank the Interwebs for discount sites, I was able to find all the toy guns I needed and some empty bullet casings on Etsy without breaking the bank. Urban Outfitters’ “additional 50% off all sale items” sale was also a lifesaver and I scored these vinyl/pleather pants for just 5 bucks!

1. Scorpion belt buckle $7 from eBay
2. Black bra, already owned
3. Pleather and black denim fabric for making belt and holsters $10 from Joann
4. BDG Cigarette Mid Rise Jean Coated Black on sale for $5 at UO
5. Empty bullet casings $20 from Etsy
6. 4 Toy pistols $20 from Toy Arsenal
7. Brown combat boots, already owned
8. Toy sawed off double barrel shotgun $10 from Amazon
9. Eyepatch, already owned

Combine all of that together with a quick photoshoot, and voila! A successful cosplay of femme badassery!

Photography & editing by me (Corinne Alexandra) For those who like the technical info, these photos were taken with a Canon 5D Mark II and 24-105mm L lens, and lit from behind left and right with Alien Bee strobes and one strobe in front diffused through a large soft box.

Hope this inspires some of you to get out and make your own costumes this year!