Thursday, May 12, 2016

Keep That Web Slinger in Your Pants

It's another Cosplay post! 
The topic of dance belts in spandex suits. It's cropped up again. I had a couple of messages hit my Facebook inbox from page fans asking why there is a call for dance belt awareness.

I should preface this post is meant to be informative. A general awareness post, because I feel that a number of individuals don’t realize there are a multitude of undergarment options available. As women, we’ve known for decades. For men outside of theater, dance, and sports it's not as common knowledge. TLDR: Strongly encourage everyone (male, female, trans, all people) who cosplay to invest in undergarments. If you opt not to, that’s your call. Remember, just because it’s cosplay doesn’t mean that it bypasses all laws and physics.

As men, or anyone who chooses to not dress in female clothing, you may not be aware of the number of undergarments women put on in their day to day life. It’s not just a bra and panties. For quite a few we wear body shapers, hosiery, control tops and bottom, dress slips, etc. Not all of these pieces of underwear are meant to adjust our body shape - they exist to keep everything neat and smooth so garments can sit correctly on our body (i.e. no bunching). And in some cases, like dress slips, it’s to help those garments where the fabric and lining used are translucent - the opaque slip is an extra layer of comfort and protection from prying eyes.

Underwear is there to complete the outfit and help create the final look with seamless lines. Without it, you see all the jibblies.

That’s the real issue with the dance belt topic, which can get overlooked in the comments.

As a cosplayer, without the undergarments I won’t look or feel as fantastic in the outfit. Everyone has some part of their body they are not happy with. I wear dance tights because my legs look horrid and I’m prone to bruising. I wear a control top so my garments will sit clean on my body and there won’t be excess wrinkling. I wear the extra undergarments because it takes my costume to that level of amazing. It’s a necessary expense.

Especially in spandex costumes.

Men, you are not immune from this. There are plenty of undergarments out there that can do the same. From dance belts (Google 'full back dance belt' if the "thong" concerns you) and jock straps, to shaping underwear (yes these do exist for men at large stores like Macy’s and Amazon) and tops, there are a myriad of options available to help pack in your manly parts. And you know what? It’s not uncomfortable. *gasp*

That’s one of the biggest concerns I see on this topic. While I don’t know what it’s like to wear one, I can tell you from male friends (first timers in spandex and habitual users) they find them no different than wearing speedos. If you could wear a jockstrap for your high school sport years, you can wear a dance belt. Or you can wear one of the hundreds of products in men’s shapewear. They do the same thing, and those are more like traditional briefs.

If you want to argue that women are not upheld to the same rule because their boobs and butts are out, you can. My counterpoint is that we’re still covered up. We’re still wearing the dance tights and pantyhose. We’re still wearing the underwear. Our nips are still kept hidden behind fabric. You can have a very provocative costume and wear appropriate undergarments.

Why is the dance belt thing such a big deal? Well...it’s not so great to see someone in a spandex suit with their baby making parts outlined for the world to see. I’ve seen them loose, squished, and at attention in spandex suits. It’s not a sight anyone wants to gaze upon. It makes your costume look half-assed. Not to be mean, but it’s the truth. It looks like you didn’t put any care into what you were wearing or that you were too lazy to be bothered with putting on underwear. It doesn’t make you look cool. And it is most definitely not a hit with the ladies, or the gents.

So you don’t rail against me for not calling out women - ladies who don’t wear undergarments, it’s the same situation. Cameltoe and a sagging top do not showcase your costume in it’s best light. It looks sloppy.

And, as with anything involving our community, you’ll get made fun of it too. How often do we see female celebrities get picked on by gossip magazines for having cameltoe? It’s no different with cosplayers, men and women.

If you still feel like you don’t need underwear when you put on that spandex suit, that’s your choice. You are technically covered up in accordance with decency laws. But think before you make the decision. When you wear that suit, go to a full-sized mirror and take a look at yourself. Would you go to work with your pecker and sack outlined like that? Would you want to show off your red and blue spandexed dilly to your grandparents and relatives? Are you comfortable with little kids running up to you and looking directly at your Peter and hoo-ha’s and asking you 'what is that?'

Strap down the dongle and keep the girls in place.

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