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A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]

Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]

Science fiction and fantasy cosplay has changed a lot in the last 35 years. Back in the late 1970s, there weren't very many rules, if any. And there certainly was nothing like a separate costuming fandom. There were also an awful lot of naked people (which eventually resulted in the only rule I ever remember seeing posted: "No costume is no costume"), making authentic Edgar Rice Burroughs characters fairly popular subjects.

Here are a few choice examples of 1970s cosplay, from my personal photo collection. Warning: Many of these are NSFW.

One thing I noticed in going through the slides — mostly taken at Worldcon masquerades and a few other cons — is the great sense of whimsy that permeated SF costuming decades ago. This is something that seems to be missing, now that costuming is taken so much more seriously.

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I recognize a lot pros in some of those old pictures, too — such as Elfquest creator Wendy Pini as one of her own characters.

Oh yeah — I remember another rule. Food was nixed for costumes after one joker covered himself entirely in peanut butter (he was a turd literally and figuratively), which eventually turned rancid after 3 or 4 hours under hot lights. Oh yes, indeedy, those were the days...

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Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
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Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
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Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]

Tars Tarkas

Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
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Dejah Thoris

Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
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Elfquest's Wendy Pini is on the right

Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
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Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
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Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
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Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
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Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
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Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
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Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
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Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
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Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
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Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
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Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]
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Illustration for article titled A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW]

Want to see more cosplay photos from 1977? Here's a second gallery:

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DISCUSSION

old-shuck-ate-bob-d
old Shuck ate bob_d

These are fantastic! Not only are there a few great costumes here, but it's nice to see that there was a time and place where people felt safe, free to be creative and relaxed about their bodies in the context of a sci-fi gathering. Modern nerdery seems sadly infested with misogynistic body-snark, which is unfortunately only one of many reasons why cons are obviously not the cool, relaxed places they once were.