9.15.2016

Cosplay: good or evil?

This post laid inside my head for quite a while.
I want to write what I think about cosplayers and cosplay-haters; actually, more than my thought, I'd like to give this phenomenon an explanation.



As you may know, I occasionally do like cosplay at the comic conventions. it's really fun for me to go around finding accessories, sewing, getting my make up ready and all.
Cosplay for me represents a chance to pretend to be one of my heros for a day and to meet new friends sharing the same interests.

How do I choose the character to cosplay?
It needs to be a character I know everything about and which I relate to. For example, despite Kise is one of my favorite characters in the Kuroko no Basket series, I would never cosplay like him because we just aren't connected.
This is even more important than the appearance, I mean, I don't cosplay any of the Tokyo Mew Mew at the moment (despite they were one of my favorite anime) because I don't relate to any of the characters and it's hard for me to remember which mood they were... thus I can't cosplay as a Tokyo Mew Mew at the current state.
Wish it was that easy to get a costume done!

I don't dress up as charcters I like just for their appearance because it will make no sense to me at all.
Dressing up as a character you rely to is important and will also make you feel more at ease with the costume itself. For what concerns me, I'd feel uneasy about that.
This also explains why I dont have the urge to make a new costume every comic convention I attend.
I've been cosplaying since 2013 and the total amount of characters I dressed up as is 4 with a total of 5 costumes (two versions of Murasakibara).
Now, feelings aside, let's go to the interesting part of this post: Pros and cons about cosplaying.
Nowadays, small and big comic conventions are crowded with cospalyers of any kind: the well done one, the standard, the funny, the sexy... a bunch of them.
Unfortunaltely, like all the existing things in this world, this phenomenon undergoes critics.
When I started cosplaying, I didn't understand why some people would do that and thought that they were all just dumbasses, time being, I learnt that not all the people who don't support cosplay are the same. To some extent I can also understand why they don't really like this fandom expression.

1. Some comic conventions are giving always more space to the cosplay events shadowing other important events
That's true, the most disappointing fairs I attended were the ones in which taken the cosplay and some stands away there was nothing more and it turned out to be pretty boring.
Comic conventions should pivot around the main object that is comics.
I myself don't take part to cosplay exclusive conventions (unless it is a kind of a fandom specific meet-up, which is different) because it would be all about going walking around aimlessly. With a wig on.
Cosplay is part of the comic convention, but it isn't just all about it.
Anyway, if the fair is made up of two counted stands ant 3/4 of the events involve Cosplay, get angry at the people who settled the comic con up, leave cosplayers out of this.

2. Some cosplayers aren't aware of which costumes they are wearing.
I'm not talking about models here (those are paid to dress up as Hamtaro as well as they are paid to wear some other stuff)but about a consistant amount of people who does it 93% for some cool pictures or 15 minutes of shame fame.
"Look at y modern AU Lucky-Luke cosplay!"
Getting nice pictures is part of the fun in cosplaying, but it's not all about it.
If I am visiting a con in cosplay and someone stops me for a picture, that's fine, if he/she doens't it's fine either. I wouldn't just stand there wearing my pretty Yoko costume waiting for people to come and get some selfies with me seeing nothing of the surroundings.

The second point here pivotes around one of the concepts listed above: it's better to know your character to feel better at ease with it. Sometimes this just doesn't work and some people would dress up (making even pretty elaborated costumes) as characters they have just seldomly seen on dA or Google images.
Dressing up as a character you don't even know the name of isn't cosplaying, it's just dressing up for an occasion.
Standing hours under the sun, waiting for people to come and have pictures with you (for free), it's not cosplaying, (It's having iron nerves though).
Several accuses are launched, especially to girls,  who "expose their body too much". Am I against it? Not really, let's recall that several comic heroes or villains are actually half-naked with Jupiter-sized boobs:
Black Cat

Revy

Naga

Mystique
Anna Williams

If someone's a big fan of a character with that appearance like I am with Atsushi Murasakibara, then it makes no difference. What bothers the community around is the awareness of some girls cosplaying as a certain character just because of its appearance and sometimes not even knowing who the character is (this speech here applies for boys as well, don't worry).
If source characters aren't sexy chicks at all (such as Mario), no problem, let's use  along haired wig and put a shrunk crop top and make it as the female version.
The image explains my thoughts better than words

What enrages me the most isn't the fact of people going around cosplaying half naked characters knowing just their appearance, it is the circle of intellectuals that condams a whole community just for the behavior of a few (and let me tell you, I don't think they committed a crime). Each girl in cosplay, and each cosplayer wearing even just a wig, becomes an ignorant attention seeker to their eyes and this is much more wrong. They are enraged for such a trivial thing to the point that they go around insulting people.
The reason why I am telling this it's because it happened to me in first person: last year at the comic convention Forlive. I was wearing my Julia costume from Pokèmon Reborn (game that most of people there weren't even aware of), I was checking some comics out, when I heard a 14 years old guy at my back commenting "Damn, fucking cosplayers!"
If I wasn't 22, I would have beaten him up. Children whose major problems are their short term girlfriend, what to wear in the morning and a bunch of homework, going around repeating what they read on social media like parrots. I would have loved to have a conversation with him regarding Pokèmon Reborn...

Sometimes, even if the one wearing the wig is a complete dumbass and paid 10€ to access a comic convention just sto stand in the middle of nowhere hoping some photographer go and get him, this isn't a reason to insult people. Proceeding this way, you're going to switch to the wrong side, that's not what you want.
I'd like you to think that not all the cosplayers are all the same, that maybe, the one behind that Luffy costume really knows as much as you about the manga and animated series. You might find a friend out there.

I am perfectly aware that cutting a skirt up the butt, wearing a red bra and a long haired wig isn't exactly a Mario Cosplay, but have you ever thougt about all the fanarts around? How many of them protray a character in a sexiest female/male version? Maybe the person in question is a big fan who wanted to show his/her admirationin that way.

3. That cosplay's made with feet
Because at every comic convention there's someone whose wig is a mess (see my N.Gin cosplay...), or hasn't the body of an athlete or doesn't have its clothes properly sewed.
This looks like some good wig in progress...
Cospalying isn't always as easy as it appears. If you're lucky, you find a costume on the internet and that's all, other times (especially for more elaborated costumes) the ones find on the net aren't good enough, thus you've got either to take the fabric and commission the work to a professional seamstress or to your other/aunt/grandmother.If the seamstress is too expensive and your relatives can't do it, go buy needle and tread and start sewing! I can guaranteee it's not easy at all, and the resuslts show it.
A disappointing result on the first time is perfectly normal. Practice will help.

Now, is having an accurate costume a problem that should affect the others around? Not really, if the person wearing the costume is fine, that's all.
If you don't like the way a costume is made, or is dressed by the cosplayer, you have all the rights to think it but try not to denigrate people. In the end, there's no written law that the cosplayer must match the character 100%. If the problem is a not so accurate costume, try to give the person some tips, maybe it's his/her first costume attempt all they need to do is practice a little longer.
I don't have to recall you that bullying someone for their appearance is low. Keep insults and dirty jokes in your mind please.

I know I might have sounded a bit confusing in this post, but I just don't see the point why we should argue on such a trivial thing.
If you don't like cosplaying, don't go and like cosplayers page just to insult them, don't do it at the comic convention, just walk straight on and go.
I also have some advice towards all those cosplayers who do it just because it's a trend thing: at the comic convention, don't just stay there under the burning sun waiting for fans and photographers to get to you (unless you're paid for that...), try to go around and see what's in the convention, you might find out something interesting to spend your time on!









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