I want to start wearing, er, *sexier* cosplays, but I feel really self conscious about my body and also like people will judge me? Any advice?
I have lots of advice! As a shameless slattern who whips her cleavage out at any given opportunity, I will give you two pieces of advice:
1) Who cares if people judge you? Who can judge you for how you choose to participate in your hobby??? This is FUN, it’s a thing we do because it’s FUN, the second you start of thinking of cosplay as a job (unless you’re getting paid to do it/make it, then it is, in fact, a job) or an obligation, you’re not doing it right. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re “doing it wrong”, because there’s no wrong way to cosplay. As long as you’re not being appropriative or offensive, you’re doing awesome.
“Sexy” cosplays, especially ones where the source material isn’t necessarily sexy (the playboy bunny Avengers that were a huge deal a few years ago, for instance) are often looked down on as a way for women to get attention they wouldn’t otherwise get. And you know what? IS THERE ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT? When I lace myself into a corset and put on my six inch heels, damn fucking right I want some attention. There’s nothing inherently wrong with having a body, wanting to show off that body, and getting something out of it. Fuck off with your self-righteous nonsense, judgmental people. I like to get all sexed up because it makes me feel foxy, and that’s no one’s business but my own.
2) SHAPEWEAR. Which is not to say your body isn’t perfect exactly as it is, but my secret weapon re: confidence in skimpier/tighter cosplay for YEARS now has been shapewear. Most characters don’t have the lumps and lines that underwear create, and it can totally throw off the look of an outfit. I’ve invested in three key pieces that really have made a difference.
- FOR ALL-OVER SMOOTHING: An all-in-one bodysuit that goes down to my mid-thigh. I have a very large bust, so I get the open-bust style so I can wear my own bra, but if you’re between an A cup and a D cup, plenty also have built-in underwire bras. These types of shapewear eliminate awkward bra-band and panty lines, while also smoothing out your entire torso. Excellent for wear under things like catsuits - I wear one under my Sole Survivor Vaultsuit.
- FOR A SMALLER WAIST: A waist cincher. You can get one for like, $30/$40 at your local Macy’s - I have one in nude, it’s seamless, and made from hardcore powermesh. It nips in my waist, but isn’t as intense as a boned corset, so it still looks natural while smoothing out your torso. Anything that involves wearing an article of clothing that nips in at my waist, like a swing skirt or a pair of high waisted pants, will benefit from wearing a cincher.
- FOR PERKY BOOBAGE: A good, nude, convertible bra that I have reserved exclusively for cosplay. Get professionally sized. Try a bunch on. Find the best bra you can, make sure it can be worn strapless AND with straps, and put it in a drawer to be worn for cosplay only (you can wear it for a few days to make sure it’s comfy, but what you don’t want is the elastic wearing out). A good bra can really make a silhouette - but boobs are heavy and the elastic in bra straps stretches out over time and eventually the lifting power of the bra fades. So keep this one with your cosplay gear, so it stay perky!
- EXTRAS: I also have a bunch of other pieces, like high waisted powermesh underwear, padded panties that change my silhouette if I want a little more ass, and several steel-boned corsets when I want an extreme silhouette. But the three things I’ve mentioned really helped me get comfortable in tight fighting/skimpy cosplay, because I wasn’t worried about the shape of my body or visible panty line.
Hope this helped!