The Fantasy and Frippery Inside the World’s Greatest Wardrobe | The Victoria and Albert Museum
Photograph by Michael Roberts
Pronounced "ska-lya." A little curated space for my interests. Primary fandoms: Spider-Man and Doctor Who. Proportion of political content may vary.
I also run @#$% Yeah, Spider-Wife!, a Mary Jane Watson tumblog.
Icon credit: made by me using art by Andie Tong.
This is the first of a series about how male superhero costumes are affected by gender norms and sexual stereotypes. My hope is to build a larger cohesive narrative throughout the posts, but I’ll admit upfront that I don’t have a hard and fast outline. Come with me and see where it goes.
The standards of acceptability for superhero costumes have been changing of late. A great deal of discussion has revolved around female super-costumes. How skimpy is too skimpy? Is a skimpy costume even a problem, or is it really all about how the heroine is written and drawn? Should Power Girl have a cleavage window? Should Wonder Woman wear pants? While these valid and important conversations are happening, male costumes have been evolving too, with far less discussion.
Everyone hates the new Superman costume, and I have to agree. The unnecessary lines make it way too busy, and the lack of yellow in the belt throws off the color balance of the whole outfit. The most discussed change, though, is the loss of his traditional red shorts. Superman is far from the only hero to give up the trunks, however. Batman’s lost his too, as has Green Lantern. The younger DC heroes, like Superboy and Robin, had already evolved into trunks-free looks before the recent reboot. Marvel Comics has never been as dedicated to traditionally designed costumes, but those Marvel heroes who used to wear the trunks, like Cyclops and Wolverine, have also given them up in recent years. Even the Beast and the Thing can be seen in long pants these days.
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Grace Duval (aka “OBudah” on the Craftster forums) created this impressive suit of armor based on the type of design that Joan of Arc might have worn. The project took some 50 hours to complete and consists of cardboard, brown paper, bicycle tubes, glue, spray paint, and various metal fastenings.
“The Masquerade on Monday night was very numerously attended, but there was no great discrimination displayed either with respect to the selection or dress of the Characters; the best were men in the female garb. The representation of Aunt Deborah, taken from Charles’s picture in the School for Scandal, was very appropriate, and had whimsical effect. Two or three Billingsgates, and an Old Cloathsman of the Tribe of Judah, were happily delineated, but others were, with very few exceptions, composed of noisy Watchmen, Maids of all Work, and the customary et cæteras of vulgar ribaldry.”
(source: The London Times, May 23, 1798.)
So basically we were just as unoriginal then as we are now…
except a couple like miss france thats terrible, what are you doing
miss USA, I…
I wept for my country, that is so fucking dire
I like miss ukraine’s skirt thing
and everyone who is dressed a dragon
i was a bit disappointed that miss israel’s was so simple but I guess like making her a bikini top out of two kippahs would have been pretty tasteless
miss tanzania looks like BADASS FUTURISTIC POINTY WONDER WOMAN
I think i might like miss venezuela best tho
WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK
I like how all the tropical countries are basically having a contest to see who can come up with the most ridiculous bird or fish costume.
USA is embarrassing and Canada is racefail, thanks for that!
I think Miss Georgia, Miss Guatemala and Miss Vietnam are my favorites in the “not especially spangly or requiring special lessons to walk in” category. Hungary and Tanzania win as super person cosplays. Miss South Africa wins as Best Attitude because LOOK AT THAT SASS. Miss Trinidad and Tobago wins “yes I am wearing a bikini again, wanna make something of it?” Miss Chile wins “Most easily translatable to a Sexy ____ Halloween costume,” though I actually like Miss Botswana’s miner+traditional dress getup better. And Miss India gets a sympathy vote for not being able to participate because her dress was stuck in customs.
It was pretty great. I had people come up to me and peer reaaaaaaaally close at my mask and then be like, “Do I know you?” And they tried to get me to talk to them but I either didn’t say anything or said “SQUEAK” as all-capsily as I could. (Not very.)