Cosplaying While Human

Turn on your television on any given day and chances are good you’ll see a show about cosplay. Or someone talking about cosplay. Or somehow cosplay is involved. The world of cosplay has been forever opened up to any Average Joe with shows such as ‘Heroes of Cosplay’, ‘King of the Nerds’ and even ‘Big Bang Theory’. It’s no longer just something that’s an underground thing, it’s a very viable and profitable market to the masses now. Walk into any Halloween store or Hot Topic, and with just $50 you can become Naruto, Sailor Moon, Chun Li, or whomever else.

Personally I love cosplay. I’ve been cosplaying since I was 13! It’s a fun hobby and a great way to celebrate what you love. I’ve never competed for any kind of prize and I’ve certainly never won any kind of money from doing it either. Shows such as ‘Heroes of Cosplay’, while fun, is not a representation of everyone that does cosplay. I don’t cosplay to be “famous”, I don’t cosplay to win money, and if I don’t finish a costume in time it’s not the end of the world. I also love meeting other cosplayers. Some costumes clearly take months and thousands of dollars to complete. Some were bought at a store. To me it doesn’t matter. If you love something enough to put on a costume and brightly colored hair, who am I to tell you likewise. Yet some people do feel the need to shame others for their choice of costume, the quality, or even the person’s physical appearance as well.

And that’s where I have a problem.

Guys and gals, it’s just not cool to shame someone because they don’t “have the right body type”, “aren’t the same color” or what have you. It’s not funny, it doesn’t make you look rad, it just makes you look like a jerk. If a person’s choice of costume really bothers you so much, maybe you should take a big step back and think long and hard about why it bothers you. Does the person’s choice really impact your life? Your job? Your friends and family? If you answered no, then maybe you should let it go. Cosplay is for every body. It doesn’t matter what color skin you have, how large or small you are, it just matters if you’re having fun while dressing up as something you love. It’s also not cool to sexually objectify the men and women who cosplay as well. Following them around, only taking pictures of their behinds, or even just saying lewd remarks are all rude and tasteless. They’re people with complex feelings and emotions just like you. Just because a woman is dressed like Wonder Woman or a man is dressed as a Spartan warrior, does not mean you have the right to harass them. Being a respectful, decent human being will get you a lot farther than being a creep. Summer con season is in full swing, so let’s try and make these next few months as incident free as possible. Everyone deserves a good con experience whether they are in cosplay or not!

-Lauren

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One Response to “Cosplaying While Human”

  1. Palla Says:

    I agree completely! For may years (actually, decades) I have been a fan of cosplay weather it be the comic genre or renaissance faires, “dressing up and pretending” has been not only fun but a wonderful way of self expression.

    Not to discount the problems cited in your article, I am seeing a greater problem developing directly due to a show that is on the SyFy Channel… “The Heros of Cosplay”. Prior to this show I had never heard of these people. The Asian woman is familiar but until this show I didn’t know that we in the cosplay community consider her to be the “Queen” of cosplay. hmmmm.

    I admire these people for the work and focus they put into their costumes. I enjoy watching the processes they go through to create amazing transformations. What I don’t like is the implication that if you don’t put all this effort and money into your costume you are “less” as a cosplayer! To me, the greatest cosplayers, the true royalty of cosplay are those with the sense of fun and passion for a character! When we are seen in costume, we are not always immediately recognized… but, as in my case, when I go someplace in costume and introduce myself, the reactions are immediate with smiles and recognition. Example: I cosplay as Aunt May (Peter Parker’s Aunt May,,,, you know from that little franchise known as ‘Spiderman’) I have gone into convenience stores prior to or just after attending an event in costume, people look at me questioningly and I introduce myself and from then on I AM Aunt May! That’s all it takes… The masses love us!

    Back to the show, tho: I am running into many people who do not feel equipped to cosplay. I would like to see a counter-show that brings to the table what cosplay is to the masses. Are the professionals on the show true cosplayers? Yes, but they are not “what cosplay should be”. Cosplay should be passion, fun and community above all else!

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