Body Image in the Geek Community

Photo from livescience.com

Photo from livescience.com

Hey everyone! Happy Monday!

So to keep this momentum going from my last post about Fake Geek Girls and the Heroes of Cosplay controversy, I want to address another issue that the show has brought up: body image.

So in the show, Becky discusses her insecurity about gaining weight. Her issue in the last episode was about looking and feeling confident in her Merida (from Disney’s Brave) cosplay. This issue is so relevant in the geek and cosplay community because as fellow geeks, most of our hobbies, such as playing video games, reading comic books, watching anime, etc. doesn’t really require us to be super active. Therefore, we tend to be less in shape. (And just as a disclaimer: This isn’t a scientific fact so don’t quote me on this. This is just from my experience as a fellow geek.) Now that cosplay is such a huge part of the geek fandom, it presents this oxymoron of the sorts. You spend all your time playing a video game (not being active or exercising) and then you want to cosplay a character with a tiny waist, perky boobs, and a nice ass. Well, that’s lovely and all but you just finished an entire box of Hot Pockets. Having six-pack abs definitely wasn’t on your mind as you were finishing the game.

Let me just put it out there that I DEFINITELY know these feels. I have always and currently struggle with body image issues because I dance. And dancer bodies are HOT! It can be such a struggle to keep up with the masses. Not to mention the amount of pressure and stress it can be on a person to have to look a certain way in order for society to deem as acceptable and successful. The internet can be a very scary place. People are ruthless behind their keyboards and they won’t hesitate to point out your stretch marks or love handles in your latest cosplay pic.

But I’m here to tell you to face your insecurities head on. Don’t run away from the problem or just be depressed about it. First of all, be PROUD of your body type. I’m slowly learning to love my curves and I find myself becoming more confident when taking pictures. I know it can be such a “foreign” concept, but we all have different body types! Say what?! You mean, we’re not all supposed to be those stick skinny girls on the magazine covers?!

NO! And don’t give into that crap. Love your body and love where you came from. That’s step 1. Step 2, if you do find yourself wanting to change something, then go do it! Do it at your own pace. If you haven’t worked out in 10 years, don’t jump into P90x today. Be realistic and set some realistic goals for yourself. Even if it’s once or twice a week, just take a walk in the park. As long as you’re moving, you’re being active and you’re working those muscles.

And on the other side of that spectrum, if you have a thin body type, don’t worry! There’s always room to bulk up and get that nice, toned booty! People tend to shun naturally thin girls and tell them they have it easy because society deems thin as acceptable. But on the contrary, thin girls can feel just as insecure. It doesn’t matter what body type you are, advertising companies are gonna drill this idea in your head that YOU will never be good enough. And don’t let them. You’re better than that.

And I didn’t forget my handsome fellas reading this! Don’t get caught up in the whole “bulking up, protein shakes all day everyday” culture. If you genuinely enjoy that lifestyle, then by all means, go do it! But just because your friends are all doing it doesn’t mean you have to as well. Same idea here: love and accept your body. Then if you want to make some changes, then go make some changes. Even if it’s just pledging to cut down on junk food or just doing some simple at home conditioning – every step counts. Do it at your own pace. You owe yourself that.

Cosplay can be this amazing motivational tool to help you get into shape. But don’t just strive to have Psylocke’s body or Wolverine’s biceps. Strive to have YOUR best body. Work out because you want to be a better you. Not just to look like a certain character. Trust me, you’ll feel a whole lot happier in the long run.

Body image will sadly always be an ongoing issue in our culture, but we can’t succumb to those negative thoughts. Positive energy is contagious and I encourage you to own it and spread that shit all over!

… That sounded weird and awkward. But you get my point. I hope.

‘Til next time, my loves.

-Alice

Goodbye, Adolescence

Hey everyone! Happy Monday!

Photo taken by jrafanan.wordpress.com

Photo taken by jrafanan.wordpress.com

For some of you, this may be your last week of freedom before going back to school. As for me, I see it as, “I can literally see the light at the end of the tunnel and I just want to get to the other side as fast as I fcking can.” This is my very last semester of college EVER, as I have no intention of pursuing any master’s degree. This is a bittersweet moment, but it’s a moment that I have waited a long ass time for. I am ready to be free from school.

I always hear a lot of mixed reactions from alumni who are living the post graduate life. Most of the time, I hear the “IT SUCKS! I MISS COLLEGE!!” reaction. I’m not going to lie, those reactions make me a little sad to hear because this is the moment when we literally leave the nest forever. We’re no longer kids. We’re now equipped with our professional degrees and we can pursue anything we want. To me, that sounds like a rockstar dream. I’m no longer tied down to papers, exams, and all nighters. I can finally be who I want to be and live the life I’ve always dreamed of.

Call me idealistic, but that’s just how I see it! And I just don’t understand why others can’t see it that way too. I feel like some people just fall into a rut after they graduate because they don’t find their career job right away. But why were you expecting to? Not to be a bitch, but stuff like that takes time. We gotta struggle a little until we find our dream job. And if you don’t know your dream job, then maybe that’s the the core issue you’re not addressing.

I’ve always been one to follow my passions. I never want to settle for second best. I’ll be honest, I have gotten some job offers in the past couple months. Job offers that would pay me a lot more than my current part-time job pays me. But I turned them down. Why? Because it’s not going to contribute to my future plans in any way. It’s a quick fix… meaning I’d only be doing the job for the money RIGHT now. But in the long run, I don’t want to value that kind of money. I want to value the money that I worked my ass off for doing something that I absolutely love. Not something that was a quick fix kind of job.

And I totally understand if you’re in a rut right now and trying to figure your life out. I’m in the same boat too, as with most seniors in college/recent grads. But the one thing I found solace in was knowing that I could pursue what I want to pursue and no one can tell me otherwise. I can start this blog, I can start a Youtube channel, and I can dance. Is it making me money? No, but it’s making me happy and as long as I’m happy, everything else will slowly fall into place. I’m a firm believer in positive thinking. If you do good things and constantly strive for good things, then good things are sure to come.

But my number one advice is don’t feel ENTITLED for good things. First of all, I hate people like that. You weren’t put on this earth to be catered to, mtherfcker, so you better be working hard like everyone else here. Like I said, struggle a little for now and eventually your dream job will find its way into your life. Just stay positive and remember some company out there wants YOU and your talent. They just haven’t met you yet.

-Alice