Thursday, January 28, 2016
THE UNTOLD LAWS OF COSPLAY
Comic Con is a place of many untapped talents, artists of all types come to showcase their work and possibly make money for the things they create. Cosplay and Costumers are a huge market now (wether we like it or not) and what forms we see any character in is only limited to the amount of work that the person wearing such costumes are willing to put into it.
Sexualization of any character is a huge part of Halloween marketing and a huge joke in the eyes of the fans of the franchise that these companies, like Leg Avenue, Rubies, and Spirit Halloween, are taking the licence from. Payed cosplayers are now bringing in as much fans as a celebrity from a long running TV show to a convention, because of their exciting portrayal of our favourite characters. With that also comes the sexualization of the characters that we otherwise wouldn't see in the series, which can bring a positive and a negative response from public forums.
There really is no law against being original in the creation of a costume, however some conventions are trying to ensure that there is a limit on how much skin one can show before it borders on indecent (that limit is pushed every year with new incarnations of characters). Wether you are a fan of the person's original take on the character or not, it is up to the person or persons who make the costumes to determine how often the costume is worn and to which event they wear the costume at (depending on the subject matter of the event). As an onlooker we can chose to like it or hate it, and voice our opinions on it if we so wish. Some may take that opinion to social media to maliciously attack a person's creativity by sharing (without proper permission) a picture of the cosplayer in their version of a costume they have created, and the comments the follow suit are just as horrendous. The same reaction may fall upon a fan of a series that just wants to share their work with other fans, comments such as "You're Fat" or "You do not look like the character, please stop dressing as my favourite character" often come up. The moment you try to defend yourself to the haters is when you get told you're butthurt and that you should just let them post their hateful words without getting defensive. Seriously?!? I've come into contact some funny trolls who think telling me I'm fat is going to be the ultimate insult that will make me stop dressing up as Jill Valentine. The moment I show them that being called fat isn't an insult is when their little minds explode and are incompetent to come up with better insults. For me, stating the obvious about someone's features is not an insult. I know I'm a chubby girl, I'm also well endowed in the chest department then most females, so any costume I do will have to be taken into consideration on how much cleavage I want to show off. I try to stay fairly conservative with my costumes, but I also like to be able to play up the sexiness as much as I can. Elvira was the most revealing costume I have ever set my sights on, plus I have an agreement with the hubby to only do the costume if he is around or a trusty handler (never know if people will get out of hand). For the most part convention goers in my city are well behaved, but I like to surround myself with a group of people just to be safe.
Cosplay bullying will inevitably be worse the more you try to put yourself out there for the world to see, I'm going to level with you, yea we want the attention. That is why we share our pictures, we love the input from our followers that suggest what costumes to do, we want to have fans. The fact that people are making money and being invited to conventions as a guest blows my mind, gives many of us a goal we can hopefully achieve to one day be as good at making costumes as a famous cosplayer. However there is a downside to the fame too, the hatred becomes greater, constantly being bombarded with messages from fans wanting to have sex with you, death threats because of your popularity is also a reality. I know a few people who refuse to turn on their private messages some days because of the amount of questionable behaviours that people seem to act out over the Internet.
What it comes down to folks, is we have to start treating people online the same way we treat strangers that we see walking down the street or at a mall. You wouldn't go up to a good looking person and ask if you can see their tits or their penis would you? So why is this acceptable online? Anyone who dresses in costume are doing it for themselves, if you are lucky enough to be important in the life of a cosplayer, they may consider your suggestion and make a costume of that character.
Instead of knocking people down, let's try to build confidence in people. Let's encourage people's creativity, and provide creative criticism instead of bashing the works of someone who is only trying to share their work with others who are of like mind. Let's change this hobby this year, LET'S BE COSPOSITIVE!