Should Christians Be Cosplaying As The Scarlet Witch?
WandaVision is literally burning up Disney+ and watchers can’t seem to get enough of Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany. And, one of the most anticipated episodes is where Ms. Olsen and Mr. Bettany don the traditional comic costumes of their characters, the Scarlet Witch and the Vision. I won’t deny it, I’m an Elizabeth Olsen fan. I think she’s a terrific actress for the character. And, like probably 75% or more of the geek male population, I think she’s a beautiful woman. I couldn’t wait to see her dressed up in one of my favorite character’s outfits from the time I was reading comic books in the late 1970s, early 80s. Personally, I thought they both looked great, but it begged for me to ask the question: should Christians be cosplaying characters like the Scarlet Witch? First, are the cosplays just getting too sexy for both men and women? Second, she is a witch.
Let me start with a disclaimer. I don’t cosplay, but I love cosplayers. To me, there is really something special about a person who can take a character and bring that character to life via cosplay. Go to any convention or search the internet and you will find amazing, incredible cosplays. Both the men and women are a talented group of people.
But let’s be honest, male and female characters in the fantasy, science fiction or super hero genres have always been depicted as physically superior beings than the rest of us. From Superman’s bulging muscles, Captain America’s super soldier serum, a bare chested He-Man, the Spartans of 300 fame, or Wonder Woman’s basically one piece bathing suit outfit, to Power Girl’s boob window or Princess Leia’s slave girl, to Buck Roger’s Princess Ardala or Wilma Deering’s skin tight spandex, both men and women in the comics and movies always appear like they spend 20 hours a day, 7 days a week working out in the gym. We haven’t even mentioned the Disney princesses and their male counterparts. I also didn’t mention anime which shares many of the same characteristics. They’re all abnormally handsome or strikingly beautiful. It makes sense in a lot of ways, we want our heroes to be better than us, stronger than us, and even more morally sound than us (at least in the old days!)
So if you cosplay, you love one of these characters, you want to showcase your work at the next convention and you’re Christian, it’s kind of difficult to avoid the physical or sexier, if you will, aspect of the character. Should you just leave the cosplay at home and forget about it?
To my other point. Scarlet Witch is a witch. Sort of. Well, maybe. But, we all know the fantasy, superhero, and science fiction genres, all do feature what many Christians would consider aspects of the occult. Even the Bible mentions sorcerers, magicians and witches.
Here’s my personal take on both topics and we’ll start with the second one first. I think most Christians can discern between fiction and their faith. When we immerse ourselves into our favorite fandom, we know that it is just that, a fictional fandom. The challenge becomes when we are spending more time in our fandom than we are in our faith. Are we devoting more of our energy to watching movies, reading stories, making cosplays, going to conventions than we are to reading the Bible, prayer, attending church, or witnessing the Gospel to others? As Christians, we have to work overtime to make sure Christ is our top priority.
And what about cosplays? First, I’ve always been of the opinion that wherever I may go there are always going to be physically, beautiful people. After all, God made us both physically and spiritually beautiful. When I go to the store, there are people wearing short shorts and t-shirts. When I go to the beach, there are both men and women wearing bathing suits. I’m sure many of them are Christians. I don’t think to myself: look at all these sinful and immodest people? So why would I think that when I see a cosplayer? Second, I have the ability to choose how I view the person in the cosplay. Do I see only the physical aspects of the person? Do I lust? Or do I see the person as some blessed with an amazing talent and artistry that they translated into an awesome cosplay? Do I see the person as a child of God or an object for my own desires? I think the bottom line is: my behavior is on me, not the cosplayer.
So what are your thoughts? Are there characters that should be off limits to Christians? Is the cosplay community just gotten too sexy for believers, both male and female? Do you have any cosplay horror stories? Would love to hear your feedback?