Boudoir cosplays have been a debate in the cosplay community for as long as boudoir cosplay has been a thing. But what is it, exactly?
Boudoir evokes the experience of a woman’s private bedroom, inviting a more intimate look into her life. Boudoir cosplay is as it sounds – a woman in lingerie, or a costume that acts as lingerie, with elements of the character she is ‘cosplaying’.
As you can imagine, there’s a huge rift between those for and against boudoir cosplay, and many in between who just really don’t care. So, where do I stand?
Well, if you follow my Instagram, it’s obvious from just the first few pictures that I’m not at all shy about boudoir and sexy cosplays. Believe it or not, however, I wasn’t always this comfortable about it. In fact, I’m going to admit this now – I used to hold a lot of resentment towards it.
When I first started my Instagram account, with the full intent of showing off my hard-worked cosplays and hopefully gaining a following, I was heavily disheartened. Why was the world so fucking unfair? Here I was, slaving away on cosplays I had spent months on, making every detail perfect, while others with hundreds upon thousands of followers simply posed in lingerie and barely-there costumes. I know there will be people reading this with whom this resounds with strongly – after all, I see people complain about this all the time. I was one of them (albeit silently).
Boudoir isn’t real cosplay.
I work so hard on my costumes, but apparently all you have to do is pose in lingerie. That’s not cosplay.
This isn’t fair. Mine deserves way more recognition.
I came to a realisation a few months ago. Sexy costumes are always going to be more popular. This is how the world works (and yes, it sucks), so don’t blame the cosplayer. Yes, cosplayer. She is a cosplayer. You are a cosplayer.
Since when did cosplaying become such a buzzing nest of gatekeepers? So what if you’re not entirely accurate to the character? So what if you’re wearing lingerie? What gives you the right to decide what is and isn’t cosplay? What gave me the right? Ironically, now I love these types of photos. I feel confident. I feel sexy. Does this matter to you?
Sexy cosplay, or ‘lewd’ cosplay, isn’t going anywhere. If a girl wants to pose in a sexy manner, with or without lingerie, applaud her for being confident enough to do so. It doesn’t make her a thot, or a hoe, or a fake cosplayer. If she’s getting tons of followers off of it, be happy for her. You could do the same, if you wanted. But if you’re comfortable doing the most accurate cosplay possible, and taking pride in your workmanship and detail, that’s great too.
My final thought is this. There’s no point looking round at other people’s work and judging them. All this does is make you feel shit, and all this does is make you more unhappy about cosplaying.
Cosplay is a hobby. It’s something you do for fun. Don’t take that away from someone, especially yourself, just because you don’t like what you see, just because you wouldn’t do the same. Focus on yourself, because your work is amazing no matter what.
I may write a more in-depth opinion piece on this in the future.