Members of the Lubbock community joined cosplayers and artists at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16 at the Museum of Texas Tech University for this month’s Museum by Night theme, “The Wonder of Women.”
The Wonder of Women theme focused on women artists in the superhero genre and the issues that permeate throughout it.
The evening featured speeches on topics such as cosplay, women in media and art, and depictions of women in comics. The speakers ranged from artists to scholars.
The keynote speaker for the night was Christopher Bell, an associate professor of communication from the University of Colorado and consultant for Pixar Studios. In his speech, Bell detailed the sexualization of women wrestlers from the beginning of women’s wrestling to now and how women are taking back the ring.
“These women turned a sideshow and turned it into a main event,” Bell said.
Other speakers included Senja and Brent Collins, two members of Lubbock’s cosplay community.
“(Cosplayers) come in all ages, shapes and sizes. We embody what we do. This is our form of art,” Senja Collins, a physical therapist at UMC, said.
Decorated in elaborate outfits, cosplayers dressed as Wonder Woman, Queen Hippolyta and other women super heroes could be seen taking pictures with guests and discussing the work they put into their outfits.
“My mom and I worked together to make everything,” Amanda Spearman, a junior print making major who dressed as Wonder Woman, said. “You attach yourself to a character that you find powerful, beautiful and strong. Being able to dress up as that character and embody them, you can’t help but feel confident,” Spearman said.
Themes of hyper-sexualization of women in the superhero world and the need for more female representation could be heard throughout many of the speeches. Other presenters included Rob Peaslee, Rob Weiner and Julie Raven.
Following the conclusion of the presentations, patrons were invited to mingle in the museum and enjoy the big band music of Finessence.
“It’s important that young girls have strong, energetic women as role models. We are taught to be nice, we are taught to be pure, submissive and pleasant, but we aren’t always nurturing girls to be strong, powerful leaders, so superheroes are important for that reason,” Patricia Hawley, a professor in educational psychology, leadership in the college of education and co-sponsor of Museum by Night, said.
Museum by Night happens the third Thursday of every month. For more information about upcoming events visit http://www.depts.ttu.edu/museumttu/.
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