comics / equality / Feminism / gender

Emma Frost: Why I’m Okay with her Costume

In the world of Marvel, especially in the wake of Marvel NOW!, the vast majority of female characters have been given a work appropriate make-over in the last few years. There’s a lot less exposed flesh, and more functional and practical costumes that are closer counterparts to those of the male characters.

That said, there has been one glaring omission – Emma Frost.

There is definitely a pattern here...

There is definitely a pattern here…

Personally, my first exposure to Emma Frost was the X-Men cartoon of the 90s, where she dressed like a dominatrix with a penchant for the colour white. Emma Frost actually came into existence a decade earlier as a enemy of the X-Men before becoming allied with them and later even developing a romantic relationship with lead X-Man Cyclops.

Cartoon Emma

Cartoon Emma

In her 34 year publication history, one thing has been consistent and constant – her taste in clothes. And that’s ok. Because whilst the likes of Scarlet Witch went from the old swimsuit style to, y’know, actual clothes, it was ok that Emma didn’t.

One of Emma's more recent costumes, black looks rather well on her!

One of Emma’s more recent costumes, black looks rather well on her!

On planet earth there are billions of women. Each and everyone of those women have unique tastes and styles sculpted by their personalities, cultures, societies and fashion fads. There will be some women amongst the throng who like to dress full time in as little as possible. Emma Frost is such a woman, and that’s ok.

Classic White

Classic White

As long Emma isn’t drawn provocatively and the clothes aren’t used as an excuse for artists to do so (seriously, don’t do that because all women should be respected no matter how they dress!), we should be ok with that fact that she likes to dress the way she likes to dress, and if that’s a bit fleshy, well… that’s ok.

X-Men First Class gives us some suitable 60s attire as well as the classic look

X-Men First Class gives us some suitable 60s attire as well as the classic look

Whilst some people out there would like to shame all women into dressing modestly, even if that isn’t their choice or desire, Emma is having none of it. And though the others have been given the chance to cover up and they are glad of it, she is happy as she is because not all women like to cover up and that’s ok.

Even when possessed by the Phoenix, Emma retained her personal sense of style

Even when possessed by the Phoenix, Emma retained her personal sense of style

Emma Frost is a confident, fierce and sensual woman who likes to express that in her clothing, and there are plenty of women in the world who like to do the same. And you know what? THAT’S OK!!

Sad times that high school girls have to remind their elders of this!

Sad times that high school girls have to remind their elders of this! Read more here!

Unfortunately, much of the world is yet to catch up to Emma, and instead insist on shaming women for their choice of clothes, and all we can do about that is keep repeating over and over, louder and louder – THAT IS NOT OK!!

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8 thoughts on “Emma Frost: Why I’m Okay with her Costume

  1. Great points. Emma Frost’s costume is a reflection of her personality and character. She is a confident, sexy woman and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    • Thanks for the comment. Although overall I am in favour of giving costumes an appropriate update, I think it is also important to realise that women are not one big grouped to be lumped together and Emma proves that! 🙂

    • Thank you 🙂
      For me being a feminist is strongly attached to the idea that we should all be able to do/say/wear what we want, regardless of gender, without judgement or negative consequence. To me, Emma makes that point!

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  3. I love this. Emma has been a favorite since Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men and I’m tired of her being brought out as a bad example. Your defense of her kicks ass.

    • Thanks 🙂
      I don’t think it is something that should be applied to all female comic characters (for crying out loud would someone put a blanket around Power Girl!), but covering up every single one of them makes them all homogenous in another way.

      If they are in a leotard or less for no reason at all, put some clothes on them! But Emma isn’t underdressed in that same way, in other words she’s underdressed in a believable way that you might see in the street. Having her cover up in a one option fits all way brings the danger of all women having to follow one rule and/or being shamed for their choices.

      I totally believe in her being used as a positive example 🙂

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