It’s hard to find a topic on which I have a strong opinion, but I found one today discussing Halloween costumes.
I love awesome costumes. I love the skill and creativity that goes into them. I love Star Wars. That is why it pains me to say
Slave Leia is a bad costume.
Please, let me elaborate.
I have nothing at all against dressing in a way that makes you feel sexy, or attractive, or awesome. That’s what Halloween is for. But Slave Leia represents so much that is wrong with geek culture I don’t know where to begin.
Argument the First: The Character
Princess Leia is a badass leader of a galactic rebellion. She is intelligent, willful, respected and skilled. However, during her time in the slave costume, she has had her power stripped of her; she is reduced to chattel and is used and abused by a filthy, fat, deplorable letch. By choosing the slave costume, you are choosing that part of the Leia character to portray. You are implicitly making the statement “I’d rather be sexy property than a reasonably dressed human.”
Argument the Second: Nerd Girls
There is a well known issue with attracting women into nerd culture. Slave Leia is a symptom and a cause. She and her ilk are ubiquitous in any nerdy gathering. Those wearing slave Leia costumes do other women a disservice. They get a lot of attention largely because they’re mostly naked. This means girls uncomfortable wearing less than their normal undergarments in public may feel both pressure to do so if they want acceptance, or unable to gain attention and acceptance and therefore leave the community.
Argument the Third: Real Nerds Dress as Voltron
This is a bit of a personal tangent, but I think it’s worth noting. My anecdotal evidence has shown me that Slave Leias don’t understand what they’re doing. They have chosen their costume for no reason other than they think it’s hot. They don’t know about or care about the character. They don’t even necessarily like the movies.
Argument the Fourth:Don’t Feed the Trolls
There are more than a few people out there that want to be Jabba. Not in body, but in essence. Dressing as Leia feeds that. Supports it. Says that’s all fine and dandy. Is that the message you want to send?
Argument the Final: The Boys
So far I’ve been talking about the ones in the Leia Costume. The reason that the costume is popular, though, is how the rest of us react to it. Don’t support it. Tear your eyes away from the cleavage for a second and notice that Zoe, or Amy Pond just a few feet away. When a girl asks for advice on what costume to wear, talk about characters or concepts that she likes and knows about rather than ones that are wardrobe malfunctions waiting to happen.
Whew. Rant over.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to the other Mad Art Labbers.
Admissions of guilt:
1. I have engaged in hyperbole, excluded the middle, and stated opinion as fact for the purposes of making a point.
2. I have trouble not giving undue attention to women Slave Leia costumes. I am part of the problem.