So, about this.
These costumes are phenomenal. I think Iron Bunny needed a modesty patch or something down low because that was… it was riding high for the Sunday floor, but the quality of these costumes was insane. Extra special props to Coulson Bunny because OH MY GOD. COULSON BUNNY.
That said. I have an issue with this.
These women were on the Marvel mainstage on Sunday for probably twenty minutes being photographed. Why. Other than the obvious answer, why? Look, if I had the legs to pull off a playboy bunny costume, I probably would have by now. I think it’s iconic and sexy and fun. I don’t even protest choosing to do a group costume of this nature, although I generally speaking abhor ‘sexy’ Superhero derived costumes. I give these props for creativity and construction (though definitely a missed opportunity not having white bunny ears coming out of the Cap helmet), but at the end of the day, I would rather have seen straight up genderswapped non-hyper-sexualized versions of these heroes. Alas. But none of this was why I got fucking annoyed and disheartened by the amount of time and attention these women were give on the Marvel booth stage on Sunday.
The reason I ended up being scowly about this particular set of costumers is that there was, at the stage at the same time, a very small girl. Maybe four years old. She was adorable beyond measure, with her mom and dad, and she was dressed as her hero- Captain America.
Not Miss America. Not American Dream. Not a skirted version of Captain America. Captain America. Helmet-mask, tunic, pants, boots. Her hair was pigtailed to allow for the mask straps. She was dressed as Captain America and she stood and watched these tall beautiful barbie looking women get fawned over and lauded with praise and attention at Comic Con for being dressed as playboy bunnies. For dressing not just as sexy heroes, but in the livery of heroes being applied to a uniform that was intended to evoke a sense of sexual availability and commodification. I’m not about to say the women above are what’s wrong with Comic Con or anything ridiculous like that, but I am going to say that it’s a problem when little girls go someplace to celebrate their heroes and get shown that women are only celebrated for being sexy.
I was obsessed with Catwoman when I was 7. BtAS was my jam. Dressed as her for halloween several years in a row. Covered HEAD TO TOE in black and grey. If my dad had taken me to Comic Con to look for Catwoman ANYTHING, he would have found precisely two items on the floor that did not feature her with her costume unzipped nonsensically to her navel: Mattel’s DC Villains Polly Pocket, and Mezco Toyz’s SDCC exclusive Catwoman keychain. That’s it. I know, because I looked.
I’m all for feeling sexy and having fun and being stylish and whatever, but it just… This shit drives me crazy. That we spend so much time telling little girls they have to look like this or dress like this to matter. It’s bad enough the rest of society is bombarding them- us- with airbrushed, altered pictures of girls that aren’t real to make us feel bad about our skin and our hair and our teeth and our size and giving us nothing but stories that tell us we need men to make our lives important. When it comes to comics, and by extension comic con, creating worlds where girls can fly and lift cars and punch super villains and have stories that don’t rely on men and where they can literally look like anything because they’re drawings on a page it just… it just really sucks that they don’t. That they’re not. And that they learn that lesson on Sunday morning at Comic-Con, as much as anywhere else.