You may have taken note that comic books and “entertainment” (video games, fantasy card games etc.) have changed since Superman was created back in the dirty thirties. The level of graphic violence has skyrocketed, and the level of sexualization of the female form couldn’t be increased without comic books entering the realm of porn. It appears that the violence cannot be translated into reality, but the sexualization sure can.
What would you conclude if you walked around a corner at a public event, one with children everywhere, and saw a woman’s buttocks bulging below pink and green camouflaged shorts? What about the 5th Element girl, with her nipples showing through the small strap of material intended to hide at least part of her breasts?
It was stunning to see how many women were dressed like the ones pictured here. We all know that comic and video game girls wear almost nothing–the market, boys and young men, clearly want it that way–but does, or better yet, should, women promote this media by imitating it in a public forum?
Yes, women have the right to dress any way they want, and we’ve all seen the naughty nurses of Hallow’s Eve, but, culturally speaking, comic conventions like this one say a lot more about our society and gender representation than one might first perceive. It’s clear that media is having a strong effect on women who dress up for conventions like this one, enough to cause a complete alteration in public persona, albeit for a weekend.
This isn’t to say that the men weren’t out posing in their garb. Before the weekend was over, He-Man and Skeletor had posed for literally hundreds of photographs. The one at the top of this article is not unique. There was a magnificent demon costume, Scorpion and Sub-Zero from Mortal combat, and many, many other male costumes.
One gender-bending poser, a shemale Riddler, seemed to grasp what was going on and satirized the event while basking in his own moments of fame. From his lace panties creeping downward beyond his butt crack, to his flat chest and bulging manhood, he was ready to jump inside the memory cards around him.
On departure, the men had it much easier as almost all were fully clothed, and many had masks to protect their pimpled faces from the cool Alberta winds. Cotton muscles and various shields were also of aid against the elements as the women struggled in their heels, shivering from the cold. It seemed that the roles were stripped away and that they were once again simply Calgarians rather than super heros.
What it comes down to is that the convention was filled with those looking to be desired through either masculine or feminine fantasy and those wanting to watch the spectacle. It was all in good fun, and it was a lot of fun. However, one mustn’t forget that cultural events are a great measure of culture.
According to the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, if we were free to do as we want, when we want, where we want, without judgement, many men would cover themselves in false, fantastical masculinity, and women would be nearly naked or worse.