Why I Wear Princess Leia's Metal Slave Bikini

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Why I Wear Princess Leia's Metal Slave Bikini

There have been rumors that Disney is discontinuing new Slave Leia merchandise. It made me feel like some scruffy looking nerf herders still regard Leia's metal bikini as something for male enjoyment.

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Well this all seems a bit disagreeable. At the risk of unfairly reducing the arguments to absurdity, here is what I took from this article:

It starts with: "I don't mind wearing the bikini, therefore my argument is going to be more right about the bikini than those who didn't wear it."

The next point is: "human trafficking and sexual slavery exist, so therefore we can ignore this first world problem of objectifying women and potentially fetishing sexual slavery."

Then the next is "Han is captured in carbonite, how come no one is complaining about that? JK, but seriously."

[to answer the rhetorical joke question: because he wasn't wearing a metal thong at the time?]

Princess Leia is a badass and fairly subversive of the stereotype, with or without the damn bikini, but I can't see it as anything other than an excuse for some good old fashioned fanservice for the benefit of male viewers - I can't imagine George Lucas was terribly interested in what women might incidentally take away from it.

Also, it's not censorship for a child orientated company that is still making movies to want to step away from 80s era fanservice, or to stop making that sort of merchandise. Wear it all you like if you want, but the phrase "counterfeit feminists" takes the cake. Are we going to pretend legitimate feminists can't dislike the bikini? Hell, Carrie Fisher dislikes the bikini.

It's sad how one group of women have such a strong voice over others. At least I'm getting laughs at defenders of this actually making "won't someone think of the children" arguments.

PS Great choice in EU comics.

Symbols change in meaning over time. That it once was a symbol that resonated with feminists in the 80s is irrelevant to what it means to the majority today. And since the majority is Disney's primary market, they will act accordingly. If you disagree with Disney, more power to you, but this is what happens when giant corporations are allowed to act as cultural custodians.

That said, nobody is trying to take your metal bikini, and nobody is going to stop anyone from making them or wearing them if they are so inclined. I am sure the bikini will continue to live a full, happy life as part of pop-culture iconography even if you can't buy it from a store anymore.

Things like this keep SJWs alive. Please let them disappear. Nobody gives two shits about the god damn metal bikini, is this really the biggest problem on the internet right now? Is there really nothing better and more important to write about?

Well, it seem I'll be going against the current stream here but I agree with pretty much everything you said.
I don't really know what else to say.

By the way, your hair color is the exact same shade of red as my beard. Nice!
Ok, that sounded a lot less creepier in my head. Apologies.

stormtrooper9091:
Things like this keep SJWs alive. Please let them disappear. Nobody gives two shits about the god damn metal bikini, is this really the biggest problem on the internet right now? Is there really nothing better and more important to write about?

It is an article series about cosplay, written by a cosplay enthusiast...what are the more important issues she should be talking about?

stormtrooper9091:
Is there really nothing better and more important to write about?

Sure! We could totally be arguing about whether Starbucks using red cups constitutes part of a war on Christmas.

stormtrooper9091:
Things like this keep SJWs alive. Please let them disappear. Nobody gives two shits about the god damn metal bikini, is this really the biggest problem on the internet right now? Is there really nothing better and more important to write about?

Sadly, I have to disagree. I see a lot of intelligent, well-informed people make this argument, and I just don't see it happening. The politically correct crowd are always going to push their views down people's throat whether we argue with them or not. Is the bikini that big a deal? Probably not, but it's just one more thing. Because each time they get what they want, they're emboldened that much more. The only times they go away (if only temporarily) is if they're beaten in the realm of ideas, the marketplace, or the ballot box. Otherwise, if we just ignore them, they're going to keep things up while we just "hope they go away."

Pyrian:

stormtrooper9091:
Is there really nothing better and more important to write about?

Sure! We could totally be arguing about whether Starbucks using red cups constitutes part of a war on Christmas.

Dammit, you beat me to it!

Well put indeed! I never saw Leia as a sex symbol, dolled up, diminished, or whatever people want to call her when she wore that outfit. I still saw Leia as the "Into the garbage chute, flyboy!" woman, and of course she was going to save herself again. It's what she does. Jabba thought he could tame her, and paid for it. People who are just looking at the costume don't know Leia, don't see Leia, and don't know Star Wars.

I don't think it will matter ultimately. Cosplayers will continue to dress in it, and Disney's stand will be relegated as nothing more than a stunt. The bikini is an icon, and it always will be.

LysanderNemoinis:
The only times they go away (if only temporarily) is if they're beaten in the realm of ideas, the marketplace, or the ballot box.

You realize that this is an instance of the marketplace that you just mentioned deciding on its own,to get rid of the slave Leia outfit and not the result of any popular petitions or internet hashtag activism, right? They, presumably, think it would be more profitable to halt production than to continue it, so they halt it because that is how a multi-billion dollar business works.

So a family-oriented company deciding to retire a decades old outfit that fetishizes slavery from production apropos of no real pressuring from the public is "censorship" and anyone who dares think that the slave Leia outfit is anything but the most sacrosanct assortment of female-empowering fabric is a "counterfeit feminist"? Combined with an allusion to more serious issues, references to chastity-obsessed morality police, and cries of what about the mens! Someone's got an audience they want to pander to and the poor, cookie-cutter arguments to match!

MarsAtlas:

LysanderNemoinis:
The only times they go away (if only temporarily) is if they're beaten in the realm of ideas, the marketplace, or the ballot box.

You realize that this is an instance of the marketplace that you just mentioned deciding on its own,to get rid of the slave Leia outfit and not the result of any popular petitions or internet hashtag activism, right? They, presumably, think it would be more profitable to halt production than to continue it, so they halt it because that is how a multi-billion dollar business works.

I said in my original post that I don't consider this instance that big of a deal, and I personally could care less. My point to the person I was just disagreeing with was over the idea that ignoring whiny, politically correct people doesn't make the go away, it merely allows them to push through what they want unobstructed.

Now children can reenact scenes from Jabba's Palace that are less problematic. Like torturing droids and feeding scantily clad alien women to monsters.

Sniper Team 4:

Pyrian:

stormtrooper9091:
Is there really nothing better and more important to write about?

Sure! We could totally be arguing about whether Starbucks using red cups constitutes part of a war on Christmas.

Dammit, you beat me to it!

Well put indeed! I never saw Leia as a sex symbol, dolled up, diminished, or whatever people want to call her when she wore that outfit. I still saw Leia as the "Into the garbage chute, flyboy!" woman, and of course she was going to save herself again. It's what she does. Jabba thought he could tame her, and paid for it. People who are just looking at the costume don't know Leia, don't see Leia, and don't know Star Wars.

Took the words right out of my mouth. I never saw Leia wearing a bikini sexy, because the whole situation was uncomfortable and humiliating to her, and to the viewer as well.

How about you keep your metal bikini and I get to buy my son non-sexualized children's toys in a few years? Does that sound like a fair deal? I am sure most of us have nothing against the idea of cosplaying "slave Leia" for those that want to do that, but if the rumor is true Disney certainly has the right idea regarding merch that is mostly aimed at children to begin with. Besides, Leia wears a lot of other cool outfits in the movies, maybe it is time for them to shine.

Truly, a fantastic read and a great explanation about this mess. In particular...

"Yes, it's true that many people fetishize Leia's metal bikini, but people fetishize practically every heroic geeky female character ever created. Could you see DC completely retiring classic Wonder Woman merchandise just because some people do pervy things with it? Licensing money says no. Should we also ban Disney's animated Robin Hood because of furry porn? No. Furries are awesome."

I cannot applaud this point enough.

Gethsemani:
How about you keep your metal bikini and I get to buy my son non-sexualized children's toys in a few years? Does that sound like a fair deal? I am sure most of us have nothing against the idea of cosplaying "slave Leia" for those that want to do that, but if the rumor is true Disney certainly has the right idea regarding merch that is mostly aimed at children to begin with. Besides, Leia wears a lot of other cool outfits in the movies, maybe it is time for them to shine.

No one is asking you nor telling you to buy slave Leia toys for your kid. You make it sound like there are 0 alternative toys and there's only slave Leia version of the toys out there.
Searching "Leia" on Toys R Us. Has 4 toy sets of non slave Leias, the only appearance of slave Leia is in 2 decal sets.

Rednog:

No one is asking you nor telling you to buy slave Leia toys for your kid. You make it sound like there are 0 alternative toys and there's only slave Leia version of the toys out there.
Searching "Leia" on Toys R Us. Has 4 toy sets of non slave Leias, the only appearance of slave Leia is in 2 decal sets.

And Kerzner is making it sound as if Disney is about to attempt a global wide seizing of all slave Leia merch in existence and shaming everyone found in possession of one. This is not the issue that everyone is making it out to be, especially not for the Cosplay community where I doubt the metal bikini is going to wane in popularity any time soon.

All I am saying is that I think this is a rather decent business move, if it turns out to be true.

Better hope the SJW's and morality police don't get wind of this. They'll have a field day.

chocolate pickles:
Better hope the SJW's and morality police don't get wind of this. They'll have a field day.

They already caught wind of it, mostly because the sort of people who can't help but complain about SJWs at every single opportunity just can't help themselves but get loud and obnoxious over every tiny thing a company does that might appeal to them. See also: Skullgirls changing a few frame of animation on some of their characters and Capcom moving a camera angle slightly.

If she said:

"I like the bikini outfit because it's sexy and cool, and I think it's dumb to hide sexy costumes, so I'll wear it even more in protest for Disney's dumb sex-ophobic plan"

....I couldn't have agreed more.

But no, she said:

"I wear the bikini outfit because IT'S EMPOWERING!!!"

....and that's kinda ridiculous.

That line about choking Jabba with the very chain he was using to try and keep Leia under his control is exactly what I about the article where they were talking about Disney discontinuing it.

As an asexual guy, I've never fetishized Leia's slave outfit (this might only be because I have no interest in sexuality, but let's pretend I'm just a nice guy for now; it makes me feel better), and much about feminism just kinda shoots past me because I pay little attention to political movements, but as a storyteller, I thought the turnaround of having Jabba attempt to dehumanize Leia, only to have it be his very undoing was the most appropriate way to take the fat bastard out. He's undone by his own failings.

Wow people are really taking the bikini thing seriously, huh.

Wear what you want, but calling people "counterfeit feminists" for disliking a bikini is kind of silly.
You have every right to like the bikini, I have every right to not like it. I really don't think that makes me a better or worse feminist.

Oh well.
Tell you what, though, I bet Star Wars toys are selling more right now, what with all the righteous indignation from those who like the bikini. Well played, Disney.

Phasmal:
Wow people are really taking the bikini thing seriously, huh.

I highly suspect it's because it's merely the latest part of a much larger trend, and with the trend now hitting things as iconic as the PLMSB, it's giving them all the more reason to take the matter seriously.

A bunch of people telling a woman that her opinion is bad or wrong or disingenuous. Is this what feminists are going on about?

OT: You tell them!

Phasmal:
Wow people are really taking the bikini thing seriously, huh.

Wear what you want, but calling people "counterfeit feminists" for disliking a bikini is kind of silly.
You have every right to like the bikini, I have every right to not like it. I really don't think that makes me a better or worse feminist.

Oh well.
Tell you what, though, I bet Star Wars toys are selling more right now, what with all the righteous indignation from those who like the bikini. Well played, Disney.

I think "counterfeit feminists" is more a point about how these people are approaching feminism. I've seen the idea thrown around a few times, though not in such direct language. Here is the basic idea as I understand it, though I am not saying I agree with any part of it:

The basic idea of feminism is concerned with expanding freedom and equality for women, generally allowing them to self determine. Now, women have been legally equal for some time, but that has not meant as much as it should because women are not social equal. There are limits placed on women of what they are socially allowed to do (the penalty for which is being shunned, shamed, and often loss of opportunities). The idea is that these people professing to be feminist are working against the ideal of women being able to self determine by making it socially unacceptable for a woman to do certain things, such as wear sexy clothing.

Women, and cosplayers in particular, who enjoy dressing in sexy clothes are often targeted by these feminists as bimbos and sluts that are willingly subjugating themselves to the male gaze. There is a strong and growing stigma against women who would dare to dress sexy, and this stigma is being purposefully cultivated by people who call themselves feminists. Meaning we have "feminists" deliberately setting up a situation where women are socially shunned, shamed, and often lose opportunities for acting in a way they wish to act, which is the antithesis of feminism. Hence counterfeit feminist.

Basically, the problem isn't that people don't like the outfit. It is that many women feel they are being slut shamed for wanting to wear it (or similarly sexy outfits). And, really, that particular bit is hard to argue with. Slut shaming of women who dress sexy and of cosplayers in particular is well documented.

Not sure if I buy the entire line of thought myself, but the idea is something to consider.

You know, I'd would almost never post in a thread like this but, fuck it.

Here's a thought: If a woman wants to cosplay as Slave-Girl Leia, why should she have to justify herself to ANYONE?! All she has to say is "I like the Slave-Girl Leia costume, and want to dress up in it." She shouldn't have to make any explanation as to why she finds it appealing. To force her to do so it to take away her agency over her own actions. This is total bullshit. The slave-girl costume is an iconic image from Star Wars, pervy or not. I would just think that's what a person wearing it was going for. Now in the interest of honesty, I might still think "Huh, she's kind of hot.", but I do that anyway on a daily basis, and I keep it to myself. It's not like I'd bother her in any way. I also believe at least 90% of men would act similarly. Ladies, if you want to cosplay as this, don't feel like you must explain yourself. To think that you have to is to give these ding-dongs power over you that isn't their right to have.

Off topic:

Pyrian:
Sure! We could totally be arguing about whether Starbucks using red cups constitutes part of a war on Christmas.

Ahhahahaha! SERIOUSLY? Man, that's hysterical. I go to Starbucks a bit because I have early courses (8am, ugh!). There's a Starbucks on campus and I don't think I'd survive without some caffeine. I noticed the red cups, but thought they'll probably follow it up with green cups to match, but I haven't seen this yet. Still, a "war on Christmas"?. That's just hilarious. Thanks, I needed that.

ThatOtherGirl:

Basically, the problem isn't that people don't like the outfit. It is that many women feel they are being slut shamed for wanting to wear it (or similarly sexy outfits). And, really, that particular bit is hard to argue with. Slut shaming of women who dress sexy and of cosplayers in particular is well documented.

Not sure if I buy the entire line of thought myself, but the idea is something to consider.

Yeah I kind of get where the thought is coming from but equating `you don't like this bikini` with `therefore you are a bad feminist` is very silly.
Feminism is good when its about choices.
She can choose to love and wear the bikini.
I can choose to think it's kind of lame.

By the way, anyone want to buy some counterfeit feminism? Looks just like the real stuff, I swear. But just don't come cryin' to me if you get busted by the Feminism Police.

Phasmal:

ThatOtherGirl:

Basically, the problem isn't that people don't like the outfit. It is that many women feel they are being slut shamed for wanting to wear it (or similarly sexy outfits). And, really, that particular bit is hard to argue with. Slut shaming of women who dress sexy and of cosplayers in particular is well documented.

Not sure if I buy the entire line of thought myself, but the idea is something to consider.

Yeah I kind of get where the thought is coming from but equating `you don't like this bikini` with `therefore you are a bad feminist` is very silly.
Feminism is good when its about choices.
She can choose to love and wear the bikini.
I can choose to think it's kind of lame.

By the way, anyone want to buy some counterfeit feminism? Looks just like the real stuff, I swear. But just don't come cryin' to me if you get busted by the Feminism Police.

I don't really think she did equate `you don't like this bikini` with `therefore you are a bad feminist`. Not how I read it at all, and I am almost 100% sure she didn't mean it that way. She is saying that telling women "you are a bad women for wearing that and should be ashamed" is being a bad feminist.

TheMann:
Now in the interest of honesty, I might still think "Huh, she's kind of hot.", but I do that anyway on a daily basis, and I keep it to myself. It's not like I'd bother her in any way. I also believe at least 90% of men would act similarly.

Heh. 10% may be a small minority, but in absolute numbers it's an awful lot of people.

Smart article, picked up mostly in the second half.

Hopefully one of these days the whole "Stop thinking about that" approach to "progressive" ideas will go out of fashion, at least in this subculture where it's seen some worrying flare ups of late.

Assuming the writer reads these, I'd be curious about opinions on Carrie Fisher's recent advice along the lines of "Don't be a slave like I was" when giving advice to new Star Wars' female lead.

I like to simply interpret it as "I hope you play your own character and not Leia 2.0." but it could be interpreted in some unfortunate sex negative ways. It could even be seen as a condemnation of the original scenes.

crimson5pheonix:
A bunch of people telling a woman that her opinion is bad or wrong or disingenuous. Is this what feminists are going on about?

Yes, as it turns out, feminism is about telling someone with bad, disingenuous arguments that they're wrong when they call anyone with a different opinion of a particular outfit a counterfeit feminist and rely on little more than what amounts to a checklist of anti-feminist rhetoric to support it. That she's a woman just means that we use feminine pronouns when addressing her.

LifeCharacter:

crimson5pheonix:
A bunch of people telling a woman that her opinion is bad or wrong or disingenuous. Is this what feminists are going on about?

Yes, as it turns out, feminism is about telling someone with bad, disingenuous arguments that they're wrong when they call anyone with a different opinion of a particular outfit a counterfeit feminist and rely on little more than what amounts to a checklist of anti-feminist rhetoric to support it. That she's a woman just means that we use feminine pronouns when addressing her.

Oh alright. I guess it's okay to say a person's opinion is wrong when it's the wrong people having the wrong opinions.

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