Monday, 30 June 2014

The Not-So-Sexy side of Cosplay

Ok, so maybe this is just a little rant of mine, but I always feel better after getting these things off my chest. So here goes...

I can't help but feel a little disappointed in the cosplay community lately. Anyone that is into following cosplay will know what I'm talking about. Numerous articles with and without the intent to 'shame' cosplayers that are modifying characters into something of their own tastes. 

'Ohhhh, you mean like a steampunk version of a well known Disney Princess?'


'Ok then, a gender bender costume of a well known video game icon?'

Nope again.

I'm talking about people that take an existing character, remove a bunch of clothing and make a sexier or 'sluttier' version of it.

Now, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. We can like and dislike what we please, and that in no way should affect the person sitting next to us. But a lot of people are of the opinion that sexualising certain icons is ruining cosplay and it's image. But I don't think it's anywhere near as damaging as excluding a particular genre or style when our community prides itself on being so 'inclusive' and welcoming to everyone.

Now, forgive me for being blunt with my words, but I can't help but feel it's quite hypocritical of us to say we need to give the overweight person some slack and let them do what they want to do, however the hell they want to do it. But then for people to turn and say 'but hang on, THIS is unacceptable' when referring to a perfectly attractive person who has taken creative initiative so make an outfit more alluring or provocative.

I've noticed that the majority of complaints seem to be not directed at the cosplayers, but the audience. People are worried that outsiders of this hobby think of cosplaying as some sort of sex fetish, or something of the like. Well there's only one way to fix that. It's up to US to educate them. 

People also think that it's taking the spotlight away from the truly talented craftsmen in the industry. Well here's a thought, help promote that struggling artist who's work you so dearly admire. I can guarantee you, the people that follow someone who gets there boobs out all the time are there to see boobs. For those people wanting to see excellent craftsmanship, they will go to a place where they can see that.

But all that said, lets take a step back from the whole 'cosplay' thing and think about the people behind the costumes.

How would you feel if people started saying that the way you chose to cosplay was ruining it for everyone else? 

We all cosplay for our own reasons. Wether it be an expression of love and devotion to a particular fandom, or pushing and furthering our abilities in crafting. If people choose to cosplay as something because it gives them a confidence boost and makes them feel sexy and good about themselves? Well more power to them I think. It in no way affects the way we go about our lives, and is frankly none of our business.

Bringing people down because we disagree with their choices and preferences is a pretty low act. I'm really hoping that this small controversy will pass quickly, and that the cosplay community is back to being the welcoming, all inclusive place I first found it to be.