Kari here, and I just got back from an amazing time at Detroit's only anime convention: Youmacon! The panels were great, the celebrity guests were wonderful and the dances were great fun. That being said, I noticed a lot of women's costumes were overly sexualized. Don't get me wrong, anime in and of itself sexualizes women constantly, however, these costumes weren't already sexy anime characters. These costumes were male characters or fantasy animals that were sexualized. Most of these costumes were made by the wearers, for example:
Pikachu is a character from Pokemon, an anime and card game that has been popular with kids since I was in elementary school (I am 24 now). It is a kids' show. There is absolutely no reason that we should be sexualizing not only a fantasy pet, but a beloved character from a children's television show.
Pansy Parkinson is a (minor) character from the Harry Potter series. I understand that as the books and films grew up, so did the readers, but that is no excuse for someone to portray a school-age girl as someone's sexual fantasy.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were so cool, but as far as I remember they never wore short skirts. That's because they were fighting crime and eating pizza. They were not sexualized. Ever.
All in all, fun was had. I just think that we need to start letting women know that while it is fun to re-imagine our favourite characters, we need to realize that it needs to be for us, not for the people looking.
A NOW intern.