So, look, here's some information from the inside, okay?
I stopped costuming so I could find time to write. I hit my Masters class award in 2007, made a couple more suits, and then buckled down to doing the writing thing. I've made all kinds of suits as a costumer for all kinds of reasons and in all kinds of genres. And, because I've been costuming since I was a college student, I've made some skimpy suits.
Let me clarify for Joe Peacock: I made none of these suits because I wanted men to look at me or my body (because you know, all we women think about is how we can dress to get men to ogle us). When I made all these suits, I was happily in a relationship with the same guy I've been married to for 25 years, so I was not cruising the mighty geek circuit like it was a bar scene. And there is no one motivation for me making these suits.
Warning: We are about to take a trip in the way back machine. These are old photoshopped costume photos, mostly because that was also a geeky thing Bryon and I did. So, there's a bit of a humorous element as well.
Here are a couple of examples of suits I've worn and why I did it. And you will find, I think, that the reasoning for doing so in a couple of cases makes me a fairly authentic geek.
Why I Did It:
Not the best of motivations, another cosplay peer had done it rather poorly the year before and I wanted to do it the way I thought would make it look right. Several of my costumes have been motivated by this reason. It is one of the reasons I have become a master class costumer.
This was also my first costume working with hard plastic and extensive make-up, so I learned a lot.
Episode: Julius Schwartz decided pinching my butt was okay since I was in this costume. I was merely 21 and shocked, so I did not react with the indignation that action deserved.
Wonder Woman Modern
Why I Did It You're kidding, right? There's only one reason you make a Wonder Woman suit. Because Wonder Woman is frakkin' cool! I liked Wonder Woman so much, I also made this version of her when I was an older person.
Fannish Reaction: Nothing special in either case, although I did win $500 from DC Comics for the classic version.
Why I Did It: As with Wonder Woman, I am a big fan of the character. Further, I always felt that the classic magician's assistant look had a lot of great style.
Fannish Reaction: Very flattering and respectful from both men and women. I think a tux brings that out in everyone.
Why I Did It: A bunch of friends did a presentation from the Trinity Blood cartoon, and I picked the character and costume design I like the best from the series. You can kind of see a vintage influence in the stockings idea.
Fannish Reaction: Smooth sailing, since this plays very modestly in public, in spite of this picture.
My point? Listen up. My costumes, all of them, were made in reference to MYSELF. No thought went into any of this regarding men, men's reactions, drawing attention to myself or my body from men (beyond what you would expect the moment you put on a costume in a sea of t-shirts and jeans), or any other male centric stuff. At all. Ever. I made costumes that challenged me of characters I liked, improving my costuming as I went along. I was into it. I was, and am, still very geeky about it.
So...just because a woman wears a skimpy outfit, it's pretty generalizing to suggest that there's a reason a woman wears Starfire armor--say, because she wants Julius Schwartz to pinch her butt. If she doesn't want that reaction, she should be wearing, Granny Weatherwax...
I don't like any men telling me why I do things. I do understand my own thoughts, you know. And women like me are much more typical than Peacock's booth babe fantasy. Not to mention I feel I could put the geek smack down competitively on male or female geeks, depending on the area.
So, guys, stop mans-plaining my motivations. Or, to close with a great quote from this year's Convergence: Cosplay does not mean consent.
Nor, in fact, does it even imply it.
And honestly, if we were just pretty girls looking for attention and dates, would we do it at geek conventions? There's a whole broad set of generalizations that go with that territory too, that I'll not comment on, because I don't like stereotyping.