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Rose Ivy Wallace as Sweeney Todd. Image: Killer Cupcake Photography

 

“For every given male character, there is a female version of that character….” Rule 63 of the internet.

Crossplay, Gender-bent and swapped–whatever you want to call it, is in essence a celebration of the universality of characters. It’s prominence is seen in the con circuit where males and females transform popular characters into alternate versions of the opposite sex. In turn, more avenues to explore this ‘what if?’ pop up in the media and world of the internet.

Take for instance Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake which takes the shows characters and switches their genders while still authentically keeping true to the spirit of the characters. Another example is Shepard on Mass Effect video game who can be played as male or female and is the hero of that game’s universe. There’s even been rumors of the Ghostbusters reboot being led by an all-female cast, Rebel Wilson was reportedly in talks.

And most recently at a live read of The Empire Strikes Back, actress Ellen Page portrayed Han Solo, which like the aforementioned examples demonstrates that these characters can still remain interesting and engaging even if they were portrayed by women. It’s something we want to see to continue, the creation complex female characters that can be classic hero archetypes.

In the first piece of a series that sets to explore popular characters in film and media that could work as women, Legion of Leia reached out to cosplayers who have gender swapped at conventions and asked them to share with us their favorite recreations of male icons and why they chose to embody the female versions of them.

 

Adrianne Curry as Clockwork Orange’s Alex

” What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.” -Alex Delarge

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“Is anyone surprised in such a male dominated world that women are ready to take on their roles? If we can do your jobs we can certainly portray your deepest and darkest manifestations of yourselves. “-Adrianne Curry

Kim Horcher as Han Solo

 “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”

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“This is the first and only time I’ve ever crossplayed, but I would do it again. My outfit was very comfortable, so I could wear it and walk all day. Plus- POCKETS! I would love to find a Lando (Landa?) cosplayer to hang out with at conventions so we could quip/threaten each other, depending on the time.” -Kim

Rose Ivy Wallace of E.R. Collective as The Bandit from The Fall

“What a mystery this world, one day you love them and the next day you want to kill them a thousand times over.”

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“My favorite crossplay of mine is The Bandit from The Fall. Lee Pace plays that character so well, he’s elegant, passionate, fierce and strong, making for an easy transition to a female version.”-Rose

Chloe Dykstra as Zer0! From Borderlands

“I say, BOOM biatch/That’s what you get for messing/With the assassin. “

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“I love crossplaying because it takes the character and throws it into another context. You’re forced to see that person in a different way- and oftentimes, it’s a really cool new perspective. Also, it’s fun to redesign a character exactly the way you want to and not have people get on your butt about accuracy.” -Chloe

Legion of Leia’s Melissa Molina as The 4th Doctor

“There’s no point in being grown up if you can’t be childish sometimes.”

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“I’ve always greatly admired the 4th Doctor the most out of all the incarnations every shown on BBC’s Doctor Who. Tom Baker’s rendition of the Doctor combined all the aspects of myself that I’d love to fully emulate one day; courageousness, a wonderful sense of child-like wonder, incredible intelligence and the perseverance to overcome any obstacles, no matter how difficult the terrain may appear to be. At times I wish that there was a Doctor that inhibited all of those wonderful qualities and was in the body of an amazing woman like Sarah Jane Smith. So naturally, I fell in love with the 4th Doctor so much that I decided to dress up like him at San Diego Comic-Con a couple years ago.”- Melissa

 

Thanks to all the cool ladies who sent in their contributions and thoughts! Readers, got any cool gender-swap cosplays you’ve done yourself? Feel free to share in the comments below and let us know why you chose that icon!!

 

 

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Sabina Ibarra

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  • These are great, though they range in quality (as some are more “pin up” than others which defeats any feminist angle). Pretty clearly, if we had to decide from most successful to least, Sweeney wins hands (and meat pies) down.

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