(I wrote this on Aug. 15th, 2008, it has been reposted more times then I can count and recently I have received a number of requests to put it up here so it is easier to share)
Ladies and gentlemen, I have noticed recently a general interest in having rules; or perhaps not rules, but a framework in which to explore. I suppose this makes sense, for people are generally most comfortable if they have a structure to be free in. Often people post here wondering if their outfits are “steampunk,” or if there is a way to integrate their personal style into the steampunk environment.
Given this situation, I would like to offer those of you interested in having some basic rules the following list of points to use as guidelines. Those of you who are already confident in your steampunk style have no need to dwell upon these, but anyone who is concerned or hesitant about how to approach a “steampunk outfit” should feel free to use these points as reference. I hope that they are useful.
As a disclaimer, I should like to state that these points are based upon my own experiences, observations, reading of steampunk literature, and academic understanding of history. I will confess that where other people often spend an evening watching American Idol to relax, my idea of “vegging out in front of the TV” involves First World War documentaries; so I am very much taken by the historical aspect of things. However, given that I am the author of the Steampunk Style Quiz, which has been taken over 30,000 times with very positive feedback, I do feel that my observations are generally acceptable.
Rule One: Steampunk fashion is a real-world reproduction of the clothing that is or could be found in steampunk literature. It’s that simple.
Rule Two: When in doubt, dress Victorian and then add. The Victorians were the first people to fully capitalize upon steam technology in a way that affected everyday life, so it is no surprise that most steampunk writing either takes place in the Victorian world or is strongly inspired by it. If you’re afraid that your outfit is “too Victorian” you’re probably doing it right.
Rule Three: Steampunk fashion is about creating an outfit that delights the senses, entertains the wearer, and engages the viewer. Never feel obliged to take away from the style or appeal of an outfit simply because you fear it will be “not steampunk enough.” Do not be misled, coerced, or second-guessed into including a collection of “steampunk status symbols” (goggles are the most infamous, though we do love them) if they do not fit with the outfit, or with the vision you are attempting to produce.
Rule Four: There is no “steampunk color.” Some people have claimed that steampunk is only brown, or only black, or only white, or only light, or only dark. They are wrong. Virtually any color can be steampunk (though perhaps one might balk at neon). If you like to wear black, there is a steampunk justification; if you like to wear brown, there is a steampunk justification; if you like to wear bright colors, there is a steampunk justification. Remember, steampunk is set in a world of comparatively advanced technology, so it is perfectly reasonable to have vibrant colors and complicated machine-made patterns.
Rule Five: You are allowed to like other genres. If you like a style of fashion that does not fit into steampunk (Enlightenment era, Pulp Adventure, Mod 60s, Medieval, etc.) be proud of it. Do not feel compelled to try and wedge it under the steampunk caption. These are all genres that people have worked very hard to create, expand, and explore; so we rather owe it to them to respect the diversity and uniqueness of their differences. You are all diverse and well-rounded people with differing interests. Let that be a source of pride.
Rule Six: Have fun and be yourself. That’s what this is about. Don’t feel compelled to conform with everyone else. Don’t feel shy about posting just because you don’t want to dress like the other people who you’ve seen post. And don’t post with the question “do you guys think this is steampunk enough?” Post with the statement “I feel that this is steampunk, and here is why I think so.” At worst, someone will disagree and then the two of you can discuss your conflicting views, get to know each other, and come to an understanding; or, you can simply feel free to ignore them, and you have every right to do so if you don’t feel like arguing over a simple difference of opinion.
I hope that those of you looking for this sort of thing find it useful. Above all, I would like to emphasize that the point here is that you should be proud of having your own opinion and your own unique style.
-G. D. Falksen
have some popcorn, love mom.
amongst some Awesome things to happen to me, not so awesome things have been smacking me in the face.
my mother got me… popcorn and claimed she didnt know what to get me. I was a phone call away and she didnt bother asking me what i want, or even thought enough to get me a gift card.
Just the fact that popcorn was all she could think of kills me inside. i read between the lines often. i try to understand what and why people do what they do. and all i can think is hatred towards me. im chop liver.
On top of that, my best friend didnt even call me to say happy birthday. i tried contacting her to no avail. its been like this for a while now. she probably doesnt even think about me like i do her. i remembered her bday. i texted left fb and left a message on her phone and she didn’t know about it till I got a hold of her. i wish she never left. she doesnt even know anything about what’s happened in my life. im totally in fuck my life mode. i just dont care about anythong right now. everyone is an asshole. i want to start drama and laugh at them when they get pissed, cause right now i wanna watch them in my pain that i have right now so they know how i feel.
welcome to colorado! we have demon horses!
Yes! Demon horses that kill their creator!
home sweet home
I love going to the airport and seeing this I’m not gonna lie it’s great
^ I think you meant to say that it is the worst thing about going to the airport
Welcome to my state e n j o y y o u r s t a y
People don’t believe me that the eyes glow red. The fools. They live carelessly.
Knight - Leg Armor Detail
My friend Rachel spotted these cuties at this years Comic Con SD
omg… cutest thing EVAR
I will follow all of you
*smirks* all of the above, my friend…
OMG THAT GIF I LOVED THAT SHOW
At Comic Con today, I went as Black Cat. This is a shitty picture and there will be better ones of my whole costume coming up but I just want to say something.
Black Cat’s costume has a fair amount of cleavage (conservative compared to many other female comic characters but a good amount as far as what I’ve ever shown). I guess I was not surprised to have a couple men ask to pose with me and then do some doofy “WHOA LOOK AT THOSE KNOCKERS” poses. I just make a really ugly face when I see they’re doing it. One guy with the social graces of a lemur said to me “I was this close to wearing that same outfit. My breasts are large and supple and I think it would have been nice.” Nope. Stop talking.
But aside from guys being doofy and awkward (but clearly not foul-intentioned), I did have my first truly skeezy experience at Comic Con today.
And my first truly empowering moment as well.
This group of men from some kind of Stan Lee fan club blah blah internet video channel blah blah asked to interview with them on camera about Comic Con. I said well okay, sure. Camera is rolling. The “host” is a middle aged, rotund dude. It’s an all-male crew and lots of people (mostly guys) were beginning to crowd around. The following is the interview as burned in my mind. Keep in mind that I expected this to be about Comic Con in general.
- Him: I’m here with…
- Me: Mandy, aka Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat
- Him: ..And she is HOT. Do you think I’m hot enough to pull that off?
- Me: Uh, I’m not sure, I’ve never seen you in drag.
- Him: I’ve got a great ass. Go on, spank me.
- Me: (look at his large ass, popped up mere inches away from me then look into the camera like are you kidding me . No thanks. I may hurt you, I’m a lot stronger than I look.
- Him: Aw come on!
- Me: No, seriously. Stop.
- Him: Damn, alright! Well let me ask you an important question then…what is your cup size?
- Me: (big talk show smile) That is actually none of your fucking business.
- Him: Oh! I think that means to say she’s a C.
- Me: I actually have no breasts at all, what you see is just all of the fat from my midsection pulled up to my chest and carefully held in place with this corset. It’s really uncomfortable, I don’t know why I do it.
- Him: (to the male crowd) Aw, come on what do you guys think? C cup?
- —a few males start to shout out cup sizes as I stand there looking at this guy like this has to be a fucking joke, then look at the crowd and see that no amount of witty banter or fiestiness will stop making this whole thing fucking dumb. It was clearly a ploy to single out cosplaying women to get them to talk sexual innuendos and flirt with this asshole and let him talk down to them simply because they were in costume and were attractive. Whether I’m in a skintight catsuit or not, I’m a fucking professional in everything I do and I don’t need to play nice for this idiot.
- Me: This is not an interview, this is degrading. I’m done. (I walk away)
- Him: (clearly dumbfounded and surprised) ..Come on, it’s all in good fun!
- Me: Being degraded is fun? That was unprofessional and I hope that isn’t your day job because you can’t interview for shit, my man.
And the entire crew and the crowd were SILENT. NOTHING. SHOCK, HONEY. It felt like I was in a heated fog, full of rage and pride and I sashayed away feeling like the most badass motherfucker in the whole damn room, but kind of also on the verge of tears. A slow build of applause would have been appropriate, but from the looks on people’s faces, they were just completely not expecting me to do what I just did- which was really nothing more than speaking up for myself. It wasn’t something one should feel brave for doing but crazy for not doing when necessary.
It’s because many people at these cons expect women cosplaying as vixens (or even just wearing particularly flattering costumes) to be open/ welcoming to crude male commentary and lecherous ogling, like our presence comes with subtitles that say “I represent your fantasy thus you may treat me like a fantasy and not a human in a costume”. And maybe that will always be how the majority of people see us. But that does not mean we have to put up with shit that crosses the line, it does not mean we owe them a fantasy, it does not mean we dress up to have guys drooling over us and letting us know that we turn them on. It is not all about your dicks, gentlemen. So I encourage cosplaying women everywhere to be blunt and vocal with their rights, their personal boundaries, and their comfort level at conventions. I actually encourage girls to be brashly shameless about these things, to not be afraid to speak up if you feel uncomfortable and to let the person doing it know that they are crossing the line. Don’t keep quiet because you’re scared of what they might say or think- because if you say nothing they will continue to see what they’re doing as OK.
Wow. Just wow. Shes an amazing icon of strength against a hole douche bags everywhere. That takes real guts hon. That gives me hope beyond hope that we as women as cosplayers can stand up to men who are quite plainly sick horny bastards. Being a woman that leans towards women in general gives me strength to stand up to jerks who degrade women.
It amazes me how judgemental people are today. I got curious and wondered why men thought of virgins and many of them though they were inexperienced, or had no idea how to pleasure themselves.
Many of their assumptions were far from the truth.
I chose to be a virgin for the sheer want to give my vcard to the person that uncontrollably turned me on to the point I never wanted I anymore. Its a bit of a fantasy, but there is a man or a woman who would be willing I’m sure to traipse down kinky land with me and take my vcard. In hopes that I make this jump that I may spend my future with this person. If not ill be pretty broken… but this is life and ill have to suck it up and move one.
To claim that virgins have no idea what sex is, is a myth. We as female virgins (the less uptight ones) that take pride in our bodies and sexuality made a decision. I can pleasure myself. I know when I can peak and whe I can’t. I know my turn ons and my turn offs. I know my limits.
I have taken part in learning the bdsm style and know the philosophy behind it. Its not a lifestyl built on sex but trust and pushing the limits. From what I learned I have a pretty good outlook on myself and body.
After reading these assumptions I cried. I literally felt judged despite none of the people actually knew me. And that is the thing… they don’t know me. And they made the judgments of all these girls based on pure stereotypes or assumptions. Men should get to know the person they date before they jump in bed with someone. If they are that desperate for sex go to a bar and find a drunk girl who is willing and irresponsibly ready to jump in bed with any man with twigs and berrys between their legs.
Men make me sick. I haven’t met a single decent attractive man that isn’t desperate or npushing the boundarys that is single. Every date I’ve gone on bored the shit out of me, touched too much and acted like we were a couple already before even knowingme (desperation isn’t cute), or were looking for a one night stand. I swear dating is a pain in the ass. I’m happy being single, but I don’t want to be single forever. I want to be with someone and find my lifelong partner. I want to fulfill that gap. Its just been a pain to find the right person. People may think I am picky which is true, but the puzzle piece that fits my heart is out there, I just hope I can find it soon. I’m not getting any younger.
Cant believe people are still whining about this. -_-