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Unread 08-03-2012, 04:13 AM   #1
StabbityBlkMage
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Do females have to take into account prop weight more so than males due to a differen

So I'm a fairly strong guy, and 90% of the props I've made are for myself so I don't normally take weight into consideration since 20lbs or so is usually no problem at all (most of my props are around 10lbs)

But I've recently had to make some props for my girlfriend and now I am running into a whole new set of issues. I made her a spinner (battle yo yo) and she was getting very fatigued from it very quickly. I made her a sword and a bow and both she had a difficult time wielding them even though I really truly had no issues. She's a normal sized girl with no health issues either.



I don't want to sound sexist at all, but it is an interesting dynamic that is worth discussion.

Do females have to take into account prop weight more so than males due to a difference in upper body strength?

I've had to adapt a lot of my techniques for her by switching from wood to plastic and pretty much no bondo on her props to keep weight down etc etc

Thoughts?
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Unread 08-03-2012, 05:43 AM   #2
RoMayDrako
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When I first read the title I thought damn this is sexist. But you know it is a valid question. But I don't think being able to lift certian amount of weight is dependent on sex more then the persons ability. Both sexs have strong and weak people. On another note I do know some woman who avoid weight training in fear of getting muscles, 0_o, I have never herd of a guy thinking that.

Woman also have added weight hanging from their shoulders, but nothing is wrong trying to create a light weight prop. I think many people would love to have lighter props.

-edit- PS: well I do know a strength differance, men will always be best at opening jars. :P
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Last edited by RoMayDrako : 08-03-2012 at 05:46 AM.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 08:13 AM   #3
dizzymonochrome
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First off, your gf's cosplay is super cute and that prop looks badass.

I say yes, being a small, not very strong girl myself. I DO take weight into account, and it has caused some problem solving to be done when my bf helps me build something.

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Originally Posted by RoMayDrako View Post
-edit- PS: well I do know a strength differance, men will always be best at opening jars. :P
LOL YES. So true.

Also, my bf laughs at me because of the way I spray paint my props and armor. I have very little strength in my arms, so I can't press the button on the can with my index finger like most people do. I have to two-hand it by steadying the can with my left hand, and pressing the button with the thumb of my right hand. It looks very silly, but if I try to force my index finger to do it, my forearm gets fatigued very quickly and is actually sore the next day.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 08:14 AM   #4
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I'd advise that rather than focusing on gender, when making a prop for someone else that you make it as light as you feasibly can.

In my case, I carry heavy props around with no trouble. I'd be irritated if a commissioner obliged me to do so, however--if I made it I choose to carry that weight, but if I didn't it's rude to burden someone else.

EDIT: also wanted to point out that if you do strength training, you've pretty much voided the chance to use yourself as a good reference point.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 09:31 AM   #5
Proturnal
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If weight is a problem there are lightweight fibreglass and resins that you can purchase. But any more than two layers will start to resemble thick heavy duty plastic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoMayDrako View Post
-edit- PS: well I do know a strength differance, men will always be best at opening jars. :P
I cant even count how many times i have to open jars at work...
I think im turning into a human jar opener.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 10:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoMayDrako View Post
-edit- PS: well I do know a strength differance, men will always be best at opening jars. :P
Lol yes. XD

As for the topic, I take into account the prop weight. I try to make all of my props as light as I possibly can. I don't have much muscle strength and carrying a big prop all day really does tire me out. Like when I was carrying around the furreal friend dog for my Inukashi cosplay. I was okay in the beginning of the day but at the end my arms were exhausted.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 10:46 AM   #7
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Well, biologically speaking, men naturally have great amounts of muscle mass, so it'd be a little silly to think the thought is sexist! I think you should just take your own personal strength into consideration when you make props. Some people can manage with more weight than others, male or female (I've a female friend who was part of the Israeli millitary and her strength is terrifying), so just go with your own personal capability! If your girlfriend needs lighter props, just make her lighter props. Seems very straight-forward to me.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 11:16 AM   #8
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It depends on the prop you are making, materials you use, and scaling more than the person's gender. My props always end up being in the 10-20lb range but they are not a problem for me. IMO prop manageability is more dependent on the person rather than gender.

If you want to continue using wood, you can always select different species that are still sturdy but lighter weight than what you might use for yourself. Think of it like a hiking pack: leave out any extra weight you do not need. Scaling is also important [and you may already take this into account OP]. However, if you are making props scaled for you, then handing them off to her, it could be part of the problem.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 11:21 AM   #9
Pocketfightr
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I've never thought of making props lighter just because I'm female but more so because if its a large prop (like my 5 ft sword) I want to have the stamina to carry it with me the whole day so I can show it off. It does make sense though, in a lot of cases, on the female versus male. I do feel I've done well so far with prop weight.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 11:58 AM   #10
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ther is a definite difference in the weights girl and boys can carry for props. my Pyramid head sword is light enough for me to drag around behind me but its length and weight is far to much for me to lift. it limits my photos to certain poses.
my guy friends on the other hand like to take my sword and say..awww this isnt heavy! as they lift it straight out >_>
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Unread 08-03-2012, 04:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
my guy friends on the other hand like to take my sword and say..awww this isnt heavy! as they lift it straight out >_>
Ha! My dad does that too, with the sword of my length. (Luckily not my weight.) It wouldn't be that hard to lift if not for the balance.
But yeah. Weight should be considered when making props for most of the females... Although it only gives me more reason to work out and get stronger. xD There are a few like me, but... There are a few who aren't.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 05:37 PM   #12
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There's a huge difference between a man and woman's prop(in my opinion, to me, don't friggen ragefit me for having an opinion). My boyfriend's props so far have been huge. The weight of the props don't really bother him, he cares more about the weapon being gigantic. I'd say I'm stronger than the average woman, but the first prop we made together was maybe a little too much for carrying around a convention. The best solution is to go for lighter materials to use while making your girlfriend a prop. My boyfriend usually uses wood to make his props and I go for cardboard. It's just better to find something lighter when making a prop for your girlfriend.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 05:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creative Genius View Post
my guy friends on the other hand like to take my sword and say..awww this isnt heavy! as they lift it straight out >_>
EXACTLY. I recently made a sword that probably weighs 5 pounds and I can't even hold it out straight. But my guy friend holds it like it's a flipping twig.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangochutney View Post
I'd advise that rather than focusing on gender, when making a prop for someone else that you make it as light as you feasibly can.
This I agree on. When I commission weapons, I try my best to make them look like the way they do, adding on all the details and everything, But I try to make them as light as possible. That way either them being male or female, it'll be easier for them to roam around cons without having a strain on themselves. I know for most guys, 5+ pound prop isn't anything to them, for me, I'm lugging things around and tiring myself out ~_~.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 05:51 PM   #14
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I guess it is a pretty good question. As far as me, I have props for almost my costumes, but they're all really light. Stuffed animals, parasols, fake apples, the thing Kankuro carries, but it is just fabric and batting, and a Luffy flag, etc.

The last convention I was at, I was talking to this guy. I didn't recognize his costume, but he was carrying around a giant actually 3D cross, and I asked him if it was heavy. He said it actually wasn't that bad, but then out of curiosity, I asked if I could pick it up, and it was pretty heavy. Just to be honest, I have a good bit of upper body strength, but I know I wouldn't be able to carry that around all day!

Sexism aside, yes, I think usually females go for lighter options (I know I would!) But the great part is that if you know what to use, no one would know the difference looking at it
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Unread 08-03-2012, 06:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenTigerLilies View Post
But the great part is that if you know what to use, no one would know the difference looking at it
I agree. When I was cosplaying Lizzie, I was carrying around a huge sword thing that was the same size as me. A couple guys asked to lift it and when they did, they were surprised about how light it was.
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