Friday, May 27, 2011

Spandex Guilt - When costuming loses its fun

While I truly applaud the effort of Viva London for showing the black and white compositions of these models without the use of makeup or retouching, I still feel that the fashion industry is promoting the "heroine chic" look of boney sunken-eyed young women. When, oh when, will a healthy body grace the runway?

Is it possible for some women to be naturally thin? Yes of course. But look around you at any venue: the classroom, the gym, church, the bar scene. Most of the ladies in my own social network are a size 6 (US) or higher. I know that arbitrary number probably means nothing to the men out there who are lucky enough to have measurement equate to their "size" in apparel but for women it's different; it's also different from one designer to the next.

Today I reluctantly stepped on the scale and sure enough, the lax attitude I've had this past year and the over abundance of alcohol have been contributing factors to me falling back into the "unhealthy" range. According to SHAPE magazine's BMI calculator (see image): "Your score indicates you have a unhealthy body fat." My BMI is 25.6 which I really didn't think was that bad.

SHAPE magazine has praised the "fit" look of Kelly Ripa on numerous occasions. I like Ms. Ripa. I find her funny and entertaining. But "fit" I do not. If any ordinary woman confessed to the workout schedule of Ripa, she would be immediately identified as anorexic and then told to medicate and seek therapy for the compulsive behavior.

I used to read SHAPE while I ran on the elliptical (followed by a couple issues of RED SONJA) for what is called "thinspiration." That's when a woman stares at images of bodies that are out of her reach to make her exercise harder and starve. That, plus vicodin had gotten me down to 120 back in 2009. Oh well, 20 pounds are back on after a terribly emotional break up and moving home where Mum cooks every single day and bakes usually once a week. Yeah, I eat now.

Why am I venting now? Because it's Comic-Con season. Everyone that dons the spandex and capes for the con floors are talking about getting into shape. Getting into shape is truly wonderful; I would only promote that. I'm not dissing the benefits of exercise. I do have a problem with the attitude that one should not appear in a costume because they don't look like they just walked off a Hollywood set.

Whether it's a fellow costumer, a fan or a creator, people need to step back and realize why someone puts themselves out there in a costume in the first place. It's supposed to be fun! If you have nothing better to do than call people fat or nitpick if their hair isn't the right shade of red, then you need to re-evaluate the situation. There's such hypocrisy too. There can be a hot blonde as Slave Leia and that's "great" to these shallow d-bags, but show a Rogue with 20 extra pounds and she's not safe from the trolls on the internet.

In a nutshell, if you see a costumer that you find does not meet up to your high standards, just be polite and don't even bother taking a picture. Don't take it just to post and criticize later. In other words, DON'T BE A DOUCHE. Be a fan.

3 comments:

Jovial1 said...

It's sad that the fashion and weight loss industries both thrive on promoting a female self-image that only a small percentage of women can achieve.

I question 'BMI's use as a medical tool, since it was devised by a mathematician over a century ago for non-medical uses.

It's a shame that some people feel the need to criticize people who put on a costume at a show. It takes courage to put yourself out there - especially when you don't have a body straight out of a comic book. I know my share of anorexics and bulimics - that 'ideal' body does no end of damage.

Ashley said...

Very well said Amber. It's the trolls that have kept me from cosplaying for so long and it's only recently that I started being confident in myself (I still have my low moments). But it's people like you that keep my confidence up. You are beautiful just the way you are, never change.

Manu said...
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