Love All Cosplayers

Tolerance, Love, Freedom, Laughter, Creativity

CosFundMe

on April 1, 2014

spool

I apologize for the delay in post! I have not forgotten anyone though! This time I would like to talk a little bit about an interesting phenomena that is happening in our community. It is a new movement, but is quickly gaining attention. Please understand that this post in general is not to call any specific person out or say that personal opinions are wrong. This blog is to exploit issues in the community for further analyzing and thinking by members of the community! I want us to take a look at the below situation and take something from it.

There are cosplayers who are making fun of other cosplayers who set up donation causes on websites. AC Paradise has set up a system in which cosplayers may ask for “donations”. There are numerous accounts that have been set up for the sole purpose of making fun or ridiculing this notion.

http://www.acparadise.com/acb/projects.php

Check out some of those pages on the link to AC Paradise.

Let me tell you a story about a cosplayer who recently had a duffle bag stolen from her car. She had two, beautiful commissions inside that she had planned on delivering as well as molds for the resin pieces, leather tools, molding tools, some cosplay accessories, and a bunch of other expensive and valuable stuff that totaled around 4k. She managed to recover some of her items back (a dress and gloves) but the rest of it remained missing.

This cosplayer received amazing support from friends and family in trying to get back the items or help replace. In the end, she set up a funding account asking for help from those who wanted to. Mind you, she was not begging for money or scavenging for help and cash. This amazing woman had a wonderful support system.

But what happened? I noticed that there were cosplayers who were taking things out of context. People were blaming her for getting the cosplay stolen in the first place. That it was “her own fault” that she carried it with her (though she was going to drop off the commission to the buyer) and therefore she doesn’t deserve the support she is getting. That it is “wrong” to ask help from friends, family and fans.  There are people saying that her costume quality was not worth the amount of value claimed; that they had seen “better” costumes or made “better” costumes with “better” materials.  Here are some of the comments I had found:

“There is NOTHING in those costumes that was stolen (before or after finding parts of it) that even comes close to what she is trying to raise. BOTH of those costumes wouldn’t cost what shes trying to raise even if you had to start from scratch. No matter WHAT she used. You want to charge crazy amounts of money for labor and find some sap to pay it, great. but don’t start a ‘fundme’ or something like that to help recover your loses. When you didn’t actually lose a damn thing, just some time, because of your own negligence.
“THAT costume didn’t cost $1825 to make, especially with the recovered pieces. A few pieces of armor and leather, no fucking way. I’ve built a higher quality Zelda and Link, and they combined didn’t cost that much in their entirety. Glass? Its called glass insurance. Labor is one thing, but that costume didn’t and will NEVER cost that amount of money in materials to make.”
“Honestly, funding for any costume is ridiculous. This is a f****** hobby. If she really ended up spending that much on a commission (the $1825) then I guess I’m not doing right since my cosplays combined don’t cost NEAR that amount. I’ve even start calculated how much my Zelda cosplay would cost and so far it may be $200 max.”
Impossible to make a costume like that cost $4k. I’ve built one, and we just dumped money into it, cost make $400 and that was with the over night shipping from Canada for the glass gems.”

 

“It’s simple if it’s your fault that the costume got stolen cause you didn’t leave it in your house then it’s clearly your mistake & you have to pay for it…. I’m not shit talking on the girl cause I feel for her that something that she worked hard on got stolen but if she want’s to commission she seriously needs be more careful with her products & doing this whole thing & getting people to pay for her mistake needs to stop because it is not professional at all.”

 

“I need someone to rob me so I can rob others emotionally.”

 

Someone who puts way more value on their worth than they should.

 “It doesn’t matter whether she’s big or not. We can feel bad that her cosplay was stolen but honestly that’s kind of her fault? I want to know why she would leave a $4000 cosplay commission all stuffed in one duffle bag and led unattended, even if it was in her car? Sure, she can go ahead and raise money but everyone is also entitled to say what they want about her here.”

 

“This is just as f****** ridiculous as this one chick who was begging money from her fans just so we could buy a d*** wig.”

 

“Guys, none of you are reading it correctly….she put her heart and soul into it, do you have any idea how much those things cost lately? Although I know a guy that can get you good souls for pretty cheap, she totally overpaid”

 

You might be wondering why I am highlighting some points. Some of these link back to previous posts about cosplay vs. hobby and the value we place on people who do commissions. We undervalue people based on our own perceptions of their work. These people are looking at pictures online of this person’s work and then claiming that the quality is crap. Firstly…looking at pictures online? Pictures often do not do anything justice. Saying that it was her own fault she got robbed? Saying she should have clearly kept the commission at home (though she was going to deliver this in person) constitutes that she was the one in the wrong?

This is just as bad as “she asked for it because of how she was dressed” as an argument for rape. How can people blame someone for being a victim of thievery? It isn’t like she had a sign on her car that said: “Hey! Bust my windows and steal my expensive costume making bag in the trunk!”  Come on. Let’s not be hasty.

This type of judgement and ridiculing can honestly ruin our community, guys. It puts so much hate onto one another and although we can judge (because we DO), we should not take that extra effort to humiliate. It makes you look bad. Seriously. It can lower the public’s respect for you. We don’t act and think and feel objectively in the world. What kind of world is being created through this kind of attitude and behaviour?

In the end, who are we to judge the prices of commissions and agreements between two or more people? These are effectively private agreements. Who are we to judge how much materials cost in a costume? Resin and leather are expensive. Thermoplastics are expensive. These people said that this costume was not worth anywhere near 4K (obviously since she did say that materials were also stolen!) or anywhere near the asking amount. This cosplayer asked for $1825 to help pay for materials to remake the costume and perhaps some of her time. There was hand embroidery, leather work, armour making, resin casting and sewing done for this costume. Is this cosplayer’s work and time not worth it?

Now…there are a few other things I want to address about this particular situation.

 

“The sad part is as long as the person who made it is hot of course they will get their money back plus more if they did a fund raiser.”

 “Don’t hate the hustler if they making bank and you’re not.”

 

“I’m sure you could get $4k for a costume. Just tell the buyer you’ll wear it first. Sort of like used underwear. That’ll add a couple thousand right there.”

 

 

Hang on a minute? You mean that there are bigger issues with this situation simply because she is a female cosplay celebrity??? You think she feels entitled simply because she is a cosplay celeb?

These are dangerous thoughts in our community because it sets up a stage for hobby-cosplayers versus elitist cosplayers. These negative stereotypes that we place on elitists is, in fact, a deadly notion. What exactly IS wrong about being a cosplay celebrity? So what if they are famous because of a cosplay(s) that they do? So what if they get attention? So what if they are female? Male cosplay celebrities do not get nearly the amount of hate that female celebrities do.

I want everyone reading this post to stop and think about this for a moment.Why do we treat other cosplayers the way we do based on social status? Why do we place negative connotations to certain “brands” of cosplay? Sure, we may not agree with what someone does because we may believe differently about our hobby, but in the end: WE ALL DO IT FOR THE SAME REASON. A person will not invent the time or money into a costume if they did not love it. Cosplaying is expensive.

I did reply back to some of these comments, and people of course told me off for reading what I don’t like. But if I didn’t read, then how would I learn the issues in our community? 😛 Sure, go ahead and tell me that I can’t say that these posts are “obnoxious” until I create a “white knight cosplay” first. The fact of the matter is, there are good people out there that are blinded by their own views. Rather than opening our minds up to the world around us we lash out in the most expected and unexpected ways.

 

There were some positive arguments too, and one particular comment that stood out for commissioners:

 

“Several in-demand prop builders start at 1k for a prop weapon. Just the weapon. If they do it full time for a living (need to pay themselves a living wage, especially if work comes and goes), and people with money like their work, the price is right. Too many costumers severely undercharge. Making yourself a cosplay is one thing. If you were doing it for a commission, and took a month to make it? You’d want to make enough to cover your month of expenses, extra to save, and materials. It adds up. If she’s got 10 people begging for her work a month? She can charge what she wants. Don’t like the price? Find another costumer.

Source: We do commissions and if people don’t like our prices (which I think are reasonable for the time and materials), they are welcome to find someone else.”

 

Next thing. This particular cosplayer in this story had a “cosplay consultant” perk for donations.  It was just a little optional something to help out cosplayers who wanted to donate and they would still get something back. Let us assume that this cosplayer is super busy. She was willing to help out with anything. This included personalized tutorials. This opened up an entire slew of “anti-fundme” comments and jokes from people who did not take consideration for what was actually happening. Let us look at a few of them:

 

“No way. “Dirty it up” and “make it look used ” is not consulting. Literally the only things you say.”


“But when you feel you’re that special, you can call yourself a consultant.”

“What the heck is a “Cosplay Consultant?” Honestly. What’s wrong with people? #TheFameThirstIsStrong

 

“Pay me $250 and ill tell you alllllllllll about it. and then we can talk more about me.”
“OMG, let’s start a Cosplay Consulting Firm! We can dress in power suits with Ray Bans and look important.”

 

“Wtf is a consultant? Is that like an internet troll? A “slut shamer”?”
“Always kind, and willing to help people out. But when it comes to consulting friends, it’s gonna cost you.”

 

WAIT THIS IS A THING NOW? I’ve given out sooo much advise. D***, I would have been able to afford to do my whole future cosplay list by now. :/”

 

“Shes doing a great job helping the homeless person by offering 5 whole measly dollars. Would you like to try to explain that one? Because I see NO reason for that bullsh** other than just feeling like an entitled a**. #willcontinuetocomplainaboutit

 

What about stopping and thinking for a moment that it isn’t consulting services that people are paying  for, but people are optionally helping her out because they want to and she is offering something in return. I highly doubt that she pays friends for tips and cosplay advice. Come one. Get real gaiz. This was an individualized and isolated situation. Is bashing her so horribly necessary?

Moral of this post? Cosplay Fund Me pages and Cosplayers should not be ridiculed or frowned on simply because you don’t agree with it. You don’t agree with it? Fine. But don’t tell others that these pages make them something “lower” or “foul” in any form of words. Because what do you know about it? Is it really exploiting fans and friends and family if they legitly want to help sponsor? Who are YOU to say that they shouldn’t? Is it exploitation if donators legitimately WANT to help put towards a costume? Keep in mind that these donations are entirely optional and no one is forced to do them. People would not donate if they did not think it would be worth it. You don’t like it? Don’t do it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but how we act defines us and our community.
Just give this a thought.
(*Note that I use the term ‘elitsit’ and ‘elitism’ as meaning that cosplayers who do not cosplay just as a hobby, but as a business too. In no way am I referencing any of the negative connotations or stereotypes that have been placed on the words ‘elitist’ and ‘elitism’ by cosplayers in the community.)

 

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