Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2018

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Psychological Science

Department Chair or Program Director

Kolar, David

First Advisor

Erchull, Mindy

Major or Concentration



The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between wearing sexualized cosplay and feeling empowered by cosplay. Mediation analyses indicated that, among women who wore sexualized cosplay, enjoying being sexualized while in cosplay positively predicted feeling empowered by wearing sexualized cosplay which, in turn, negatively predicted body surveillance which positively predicted body shame. Among women who wore sexualized cosplay, enjoying sexualization while in cosplay indirectly predicted body shame through feeling empowered by cosplay and body surveillance. Enjoyment of sexualization while in cosplay also related to a higher personal sense of power through empowered cosplay for this subsample of participants. Cosplayers also reported engaging in more self-objectification and enjoying sexualization more often while in costume compared to during their daily lives. The results of this study provide a unique context for studying the debate among feminist scholars regarding female empowerment through sexualization.