A new chapter just got published!
In cosplay, by avoiding the “new” Red Sonja, dressed in sensible gear, and cosplaying the “classic” Sonja, women both have a way to perform the expected, while thumbing their nose at out-of-date ideologies of “feminism” which ostentatiously reject the presentation of the female body for a presumed male gaze. The photographer/subject who both cosplays and controls the media presentation of herself can present authenticity within the community, the self-branding required of post-feminism, and the adoption of a second-wave character in a way that frustrates the second and third waves both in the current cultural climate. As cosplay is performed in public, the white-washed Middle Ages, wherein whiteness is considered a sign of authenticity, makes medievalist Red Sonja a perfect conduit to perform culturally intelligible and socially acceptable heroification of white postfeminism. Many medievalist characters designed with the chainmaille bikini costume – such as Red Sonja, Tarot, Lady Death, The Magdalena, and Aydis – are all white women who lean closer to a postfeminist ideal than a second or third wave ideology. (Woock 2023: 15)
You can check out the whole volume here:
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