Slave Leo, A Genderbent Slave Leia Costume

Photo: Angela Clayfield and Julia Hall

Aaron Muszalski tells Boing Boing,

Inspired by Skepchick’s genderbent Star Wars costumes at last year's DragonCon, hobbyist armorsmith Ryan spent the winter creating a version of the iconic “Slave Leia” costume fit for a man. “I could just buy a Slave Leia Costume and wear it. In a lot of ways, that would be easier; It would be purposely comedic and absurd. Nobody could mistake me for trying to look good in it. It would be a joke. But that is not at all the point.

"The point here is to make a gender-bent Slave Leia, a Slave Leo. The outfit must capture the essence, the aesthetic, and the artistry of the original costume, and twist them to suit a man. This is a fun game for any character, in my mind, but Slave Leia presents a deeper challenge. Slave Leia is a sexual icon. I am not.”

The results—including laboriously hand-crafted leather and metalwork—are impeccable, and will doubtless inspire many viewers to take issue with Ryan’s humble assertion.

"Slave Leo, A Genderbent Slave Leia Costume" (


  1. Not clear why the photo here doesn’t show him in the costume.

    Also, depressing that he goes on about how physically inadequate he is to wear something so skimpy when he is, in fact, in great shape and looks hot in the costume.

    1. No kidding! I read his insecure dissembling, then saw the pictures and said, “This gentleman has just inserted himself into ten thousand fangirl / fanboy fantasies.”

      I’m really impressed and delighted with the costume. Too often people try to make the point that skimpy women’s clothing is ridiculous by sticking it on a man and saying, “See? Looks ridiculous,” ignoring the fact that an outfit or pose designed to highlight a typical female body is not going to do the same things on a man’s. (Not to say that strict crossdressing can’t look fantastic, because it can.) This dude thought it through and made something that says, “Hey, scantily clad submissivized men can be sexy as hell too,” which is a message I can get behind.

      1. I sort of understand men wishing that they had giant muscles, but I don’t get his comment about imperfect skin. His skin is flawless; he could be a model for skin care products.

    2.  Isn’t that thing what’s hanging between his legs supposed to be hairy?

      /Y’know, like a sporran?

    3. I think maybe it was a protective move on his part. Knowing he’d be on display on the internets, he was sinking his own ship so trolls and haters couldn’t make this all about his appearance instead of focusing on the costume. It’s quicker and easier to bust out the doors saying ‘yeah, yeah I look like crap; moving on…’ rather than entertaining endless arguments with body-shaming strangers about how you’re actually good-looking enough in many people’s eye (and that it doesn’t even matter).

      That said, I hope he doesn’t truly feel that self-critical. He does look just fine.

      1. Where does that leave those of us who really are spindly, ricket-ridden, milky, wizened, dim-eyed, gammy-handed, limpy things?

          1. I’ve done the skimpy, and I was much scrawnier than him.  And I was doing it in the Castro at Halloween, where I’m pretty sure that the standards for male pulchritude are significantly higher than at DragonCon.  This is c. 1985.  Turns out that I’m allergic to zebra hair, by the way.

  2. More power to him for going out of his comfort zone, and his apparent reasons for doing so… I must admit I’d have been more impressed if he’d been wearing loincloth than a kilt, as the costume actually calls for.

    That said… folks, that’s a sporan, not a codpiece.

  3. cool costume, but I like the Lord Of The Rings theme, too.  that tattoo of the elvish tree of life on his chest is pretty sweet.

  4. The only thing I can think to say is HOT! Nothing turns a girl on like a bold feminist gesture from a man (: The creativity and costumery and balls that went into making this only add to the awesome.

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