Discussion – Cosplaying: An Art that Lacks Freedom

Halloween turns everyone into a cosplayer.

Halloween turns everyone into a cosplayer.

Introduction

If you are visiting our site, then you probably have no issue with cosplaying. In fact, I suspect that you either enjoy it or you want to try it out in the near future. I appreciate cosplay myself and I would like to pull one off at the next Fanime Con. Unfortunately, something that should be fun is full of a lot of unwarranted judgement. The general populace definitely sees cosplayers as a bunch of freaks. I use these harsh terms because convention goers know what can happen once you leave the convention floor to grab food or swing by your hotel. “The crazy people are back in town.” That is something that you can hear more often than you should. What is even worse? The convention floor itself isn’t even a safe haven for cosplayers. People are subject to ridicule if they happen to not fit the body type of the character that they are dressed up as. Is there nowhere safe in this world? We are going to take a look at some of the struggles that cosplayers face and why the ridicule is utter bullshit.

Designers are going out of their way to do this now.

Designers are going out of their way to do this now.

Halloween

Halloween is my favorite holiday. There is candy, great television specials, and you get to dress up. For people who enjoy cosplaying, this can be a time to both test out a costume and collect supplies that are not available during the rest of the year. Costume stores can provide you with various accessories or cheaper versions of fancy clothing that can really help you out. What else is great about Halloween in this regard? It is pretty much socially acceptable to dress up. Walking around dressed like Captain America won’t get you odd looks. It is Halloween and people expect to see stuff like that. So, is it timing that makes dressing up socially acceptable? It has to be in this regard. People in the United States are brought up on Halloween from a young age if your parents didn’t fear this Pagan Holiday. You may still have some trouble if you have to explain your costume, but the level of ridicule is at an all time low. Has Halloween turned into a lingerie show recently? I would like to say yes, but I won’t blame marketing. Sure, designers have decided that all female costumes should be “Sexy Insert Thing that is not Normally Sexy” for the most part, but you do have the option to not buy those things. It is sad that you have to put in effort to find costumes for women that aren’t simply throwaways from low budget pornographies. I guess that it won’t change as long as women wear them and men get to see it.

Cosplayers at conventions should have a future in costume design.

Cosplayers at conventions should have a future in costume design.

Conventions

Here are places that become isolated spheres of Halloween. What I mean by this is the fact that people expect to see cosplayers at a convention. This is great fun if you ask me. I have only been to Fanime and I can tell you that seeing cosplayers was one of my favorite parts of the experience. Unlike Halloween, the costumes have a clear focus. That focus is anything and everything that appeals to the convention goers. You will see things from video game characters, to ponies, to Gundams regardless of the type of convention. People are having fun and the general quality of the costumes is at an all time high. So, is it the setting that makes it alright to cosplay? I will say yes. On the convention floor, people will not wonder why you are dressed up as Sephiroth. Some random people in the city may wonder why you are in line ordering pizza, but the shop owners will at least know that it is that time of year. I also assume that they appreciate the business. Unfortunately, this “safest” of cosplayer havens can also be one of the most dangerous. I say that because nerd rage is greater than that of most other forms of emotion. If you don’t fit the cosplay well, especially if you are a larger lady, then you can be subject to unwarranted ridicule. Is nowhere truly safe? People are just trying to have a good time.

Those guy would receive some ridicule as well, but not nearly as much as the girls would.

Those guy would receive some ridicule as well, but not nearly as much as the girls would.

Society Kind of Sucks

It is truly unfortunate that the country with the highest obesity rate and supposedly the most freedom would have shit like this going on. Halloween is a great holiday, but the costumes on the market kind of suck. Designers to force women to wear slutty outfits because guys like that. There are more penis joke costumes for guys than actual scary outfits. Heck, it is easier to find a racist costume than it is to get something that resembles Frankenstein nowadays. Conventions are great places that should be a safe haven for people to dress up as their favorite characters, but you better look exactly like that fucking character if you don’t want people to say shit to you. I don’t get it in all honesty. If I want to walk around town dressed up as Zuko, how does that affect you in any way? I mean, I do think that there should be certain costume rules. Don’t show up to work at Chuck E Cheese dressed up as Miley Cyrus. If you work around children, then have a bit of modesty. What do you think? Is Halloween a joke now because of the costume lineup? Should people who complain simply make their own costumes? Do you cosplay at conventions? Should you have to be built like a character in order to dress up like them? Do you fear cosplaying because you can’t fit the unrealistic expectations that character designers have set? Are you going to Fanime 2014? Just some questions for you.

Advertisements

2 responses to “Discussion – Cosplaying: An Art that Lacks Freedom

  1. I’ve always had an urge to cosplay as Squall from Final Fantasy (whether for Halloween or just the hell of it), but what’s held me back is the time/money investment and the (likely disappointing) payoff. In order to resemble Squall, I’d need a wig, custom-made gunblade, his iconic jacket, and the rest of his get-up. Granted, cosplaying as Squall is a lot easier than most other Final Fantasy characters, but it’d still be a pain tracking down and buying all the necessary materials.

    In the past I’ve cosplayed as Two-Face (liquid lated, face paint, and a suit) and Indiana Jones (fedora, beige button down, brown pants). Both cost me less than $30 and about an hour of searching. What can I say? I’m cheap and lazy as it gets.

  2. Pingback: #FanimeCon Announces Hiroyuki Kanbe as Guest | MMA, Wrestling, Comic and Gaming News·

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s