Why I Wear Princess Leia's Metal Slave Bikini

Liana Kerzner

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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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maninahat

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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.
 

Redd the Sock

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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.
 

shirkbot

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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.
 

stormtrooper9091

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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?
 

Vendor-Lazarus

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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.
 

maninahat

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stormtrooper9091 said:
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?
 

Pyrian

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stormtrooper9091 said:
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.
 

LysanderNemoinis

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stormtrooper9091 said:
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."
 

Sniper Team 4

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Pyrian said:
stormtrooper9091 said:
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.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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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.
 

Liana Kerzner

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LysanderNemoinis said:
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.
 

Liana Kerzner

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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!
 

LysanderNemoinis

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MarsAtlas said:
LysanderNemoinis said:
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.
 

Redvenge

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

Jute88

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Sniper Team 4 said:
Pyrian said:
stormtrooper9091 said:
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.
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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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.
 

Luminous_Umbra

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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.
 

Rednog

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Gethsemani said:
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.
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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Rednog said:
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.