Love All Cosplayers

Tolerance, Love, Freedom, Laughter, Creativity

Consent to Cleavage. Dehumanizing Because you Feel it’s Okay Based on a Costume

blogpic

Hello hello! Post-Spring Break post coming up! I have been trying to figure out what topic I wanted to write about while waiting on some interview responses and putting together questions for other cosplayers and groups, when I found some lovely gems waiting for me on a fabulous cosplayer’s page.

“People are more than welcome to comment on her boobs showing if they’re out there. If she cosplays one character that wears outfits like that, fine, but multiple? Boob-related comments are fair-game at that point.”

This comment? Pisses me off. Not because it is someone who is entitled to their own opinion and stating it, but because it reeks so bad that a rotting, smelling skunk stench is something I’d like to wear as a perfume.

Yes, this cosplayer has amazing boob-shots in her pictures and focuses heavily on sex appeal. But she also pumps out freaking amazing cosplays too. This comment was obviously written by someone who knows little about the cosplay world, and probably follows this cosplayer for her looks and not her work.

Fellow cosplayers. It is not an excuse to sexualize and dehumanize. It does not matter what kind of characters he or she cosplays. What matters is that they put hard effort into their costumes and rocked it and enjoyed it!
So. Before I get too sidetracked, let me fall back some.

If a cosplayer “puts their boobs out there” and you have a comment you want to say about them…please think first before you speak (or write!). Even if the cosplayer enjoys that sort of attention, it is still disrespectful and undermining. Call this my own opinion, but just like these people, I’m sharing it. It is about having respect for one another as human beings, not sex objects.
“People are more than welcome to comment on her boobs showing if they’re out there. “

What!? NO! Just because they are “out there”, does not mean you get to throw in nasty, sexy comments just because you like them (or the other extreme that you degrade the person for showing so much flesh). Have you stopped to consider that maybe the costume is SUPPOSED TO HAVE CLEAVAGE!? Perhaps that cosplayer DOES like that character or costume design. Come on. Have some respect.

“If she cosplays one character that wears outfits like that, fine, but multiple?”

Okay, so maybe this is the beginning of an argument. At least there is backup argument for this belief. However, maybe the cosplayer likes many characters? Honestly. Come on. A lot of Marvel and DC female characters show cleavage. A lot of anime girls have large breasts. Is it fair to say that a cosplayer can only like one character with cleavage or else she’s a sex object? NO FAIR.
COSPLAY IS NOT CONSENT.

“Boob-related comments are fair-game at that point.”

Nope. Never. There is no justification or excuse for “Boob related comments” just because said cosplayer has cleavage.
I am also wanting to point out the same thing to male cosplayers. The same thing happens to male cosplayers who show a lot of muscle or package. It is never okay.

But also, we should not assume that someone posting a comment about cleavage or package or muscles or other body parts are meaning to be dehumanizing and sexual. Sometimes it IS meant as an appreciation, but could be worded poorly or easily misread and misinterpreted.

Please understand that I am not intending to generalize this comment. I just would like everyone to stop and take a look at these sorts of things and then think about your own. 

 

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Support Your Fellow Artists

fabric

This is a particularly special topic, and sadly one that needs to be brought up.  What is it these days, about cosplayers not wanting to pay for commissions???  You are paying for unique pieces, good quality and you are also supporting an artist who probably is relying on these commissions to pay their bills and keep doing what they love. So why is it….that people anymore don’t want to put forth money into a good costume or prop???   I was shocked during my interviews with fellow cosplayers who do this for a living, that they often get customers who want to pay only a small portion of what the costume or prop actually costs. Just pay for materials? What is that? NO! When commissioning, you pay for materials, labor, time and quality.

A lot of times, it seems that people are looking for the cheapest way to make a great costume and save money that they probably don’t have in this dying economy. Well…here’s the breaking news: a good costume will cost good money and there is no way around it. You pay for what you get (in most cases. I have seen some EXCELLENT stuff be sold for much cheaper than it should sell for!).  Do not be so shocked when you are billed at $500 for an elaborate lolita dress. You paid for materials, the artist’s time and definitely good quality. If you want to commission someone, EXPECT TO PAY.  If you don’t think you can afford their asking price, then maybe you should save up a little more. An Iron Man suit made of crafting foam or eva foam is not going to be cheap. Its an IRON MAN SUIT. Come on, guys! A Chii (Chobits) dress with all those frills and lace and layers is not going to be cheap. That is a lot of lace and lace is EXPENSIVE. It is not up to the artist to have these materials on hand, and even if they did, they still have to pay for those materials.

What happens if you ask a commissioner to go down on price? Firstly, you are devaluing that artist. You are basically telling them that their time and effort are not worth your money. Instead of asking for a commission right off the bat, look around and budget yourself. Talk to the person you want to make your piece and tell them what your budget is. They can then tell you what they can do with that budget and what the difference is in materials, etc. But remember, good quality materials cost money.

I am so tired of seeing people commission something from someone and only pay for materials and refuse to pay anything more.  If that is what the artist asked for, fine. I know people who have been like, “I can pay for the materials. So if you have time then can you make this for me?”  Gah. At least expect to pay a commission fee if the artist is not charginyou by the hour.

Good costumes are expensive. It is expensive to create a costume yourself too. There is just no way around expenses.

Every artist charges differently. Some are by the hour, some have flat fees, some charge based on the difficulties of the materials.

I wish people would stop whining about how expensive so and so artist is….cause honestly?  Isn’t their time and hard work worth it? These people spend a lot of time for you, thinking about you,  bringing your dream to life for you….should you not think that they are worth it?

I have been seeing more cosplayers who make their own stuff commission others in order to support them. 🙂  It always makes me happy to see this.

Bottom line?  Budget. Plan…budget more… Expect to pay for quality…And respect and support your fellow artists! Commissioners are like the bread and butter of cosplay. Without people who make costumes, who would be able to wear costumes!? Whether we choose to make it ourselves or buy…we are buying from SOMEWHERE.

In fact, if you are someone who takes commissions, please feel free to send me your info and I will make a list of you all here on this post!

 

 

 

1 Comment »

Character Accuracy

thread

Throughout this blog so far, I have been establishing cosplay as a form of art, a way for artists to express their (our) art in whatever way we choose without being condemned for our choices. This post is going to focus a bit on taking creative liberties with characters. What do I mean by taking creative liberties? I mean that every artist has their own interpretation of a character and that every artist will do a character differently (and should!).

Every artist has their own style or preference when it comes to what is created. In regards to cosplaying, this could be fabric choices, colour choices, gender bending, change in hair style, etc etc. What I have noticed, is an increase in hate towards cosplayers who deviate from an original design. I’ve heard: “She did not have the right colour wig,” or “that Harley is the wrong shade of red!” I’m sorry, but who cares? Does the overall costume look like a lot of hard work was put into it?! Does it look like the person wearing the costume is having fun!? Then who cares? It is not up to you to judge that costume based on changes to it.  However, if a cosplay contest suggests that you should be as accurate as possible to the original design (such as the contest rules for Cosplay Summit), THEN judges have a right to discuss the accuracy of colour, style, etc. But as a general rule, all cosplayers get to take artistic liberties with their costumes.

Shiny fabric? Maybe there was reason they chose that fabric. Different hair style? Again, maybe there is a reason for it. But honestly. Please stop whining about inaccuracy to the character and that by being inaccurate cosplayers are not doing that character justice. If you have that big of a problem with it, then by all means do the costume yourself. But it is not appropriate to put down another cosplayer because of these silly little personal preferences, because that is all they are: personal preferences.

We should not force our personal preferences on other people. You would not want anyone to do it to you, but you (not YOU in particular, just “you” in general)  do it to them? Careful now. That is close to hypocrisy. 😦  There is a lot of that going around the community in so many different forms that it is not even funny.  Let’s try to eliminate some of this that is going around the community, shall wel? 🙂

4 Comments »