Alright you costumed weirdos, LISTEN UP
Needs to STOP.
I’m not just talking about saying crap like that to me. That minor comment is not the first time something like that has happened or been said to or about me, and its not the last. (Remember the time I got glared at and talked shit about by another Harley and her group for an entire convention?) Its not the first time something like that has been said to any cosplayer.
I’m talking about saying crap like that about other cosplayers in general.
Lets just revisit some basic etiquette here. It is rude to comment on a picture of someone you are not friends with on their own personal facebook and refer to them as a cunt. Especially if its only because they are wearing a costume you want to/plan on wearing. Its still rude to do so on 4chan, deviantart, tumblr, coscom, facebook etc. But doing so on their personal page? WOW.
I’m just using this recent comment as an example. This is tame compared to some comments I, and countless others have had to put up with.
We cosplayers have a problem. A serious problem. Male and Female cosplayers alike hate on others simply because the person in question is cosplaying a character they want to, or have cosplayed in the past. We get attached to a character, or the idea of a character, and become threatened by this other person having the audacity to dress up as the same character we want to or have dressed up as, and choose to lash out verbally. We aim to hurt, to cut them down, to make ourselves feel better.
This is not okay.
That other cosplayer that you just insulted has done nothing wrong, has done nothing to offend you by wearing a costume and having a good time in it. They are not cosplaying to spite you. They don’t have some secret connection to your brain and your cosplay list and they are most certainly not cackling evilly, twirling their old time-y villain moustaches and checking off each character on that list.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: it doesn’t matter HOW good a cosplayer looks in their costume, how much recognition one gets or doesn’t get, how accurate a costume is or even what convention the costume is worn to. It doesn’t. None of that makes one cosplayer better than another.
Calling each other ‘cunts’ and ‘tramps’ and ‘bitches’ certainly does not make anyone a better person than someone else.
It has been said to death, but I don’t think anyone is actually attempting to let it sink in. So I’ll say it again:
We are all grown ass adults dressing up as comic book, video game, movie, and tv show characters.
She’s not better than her for going to more conventions, being 100% screen accurate or having a slimmer body and bigger bustline. He’s not better than him for having flawlessly detailed costumes, having shimmering abs or knowing people in the industry.
I will say it again: We’re wearing god damn costumes, people. For 90% of the cosplay community, this is a hobby, for fun. You remember fun? You know, ha haha ha ha?
So please, for the love of all things nerdy, stop putting each other down. Stop talking trash online. Stop glaring at someone at a con because they are dressed as the same character as you.
If you think their costume is better than yours, look at their construction and try and learn from it. If you see someone cosplaying the same person as you, go up to them and talk about how awesome that character is!
Let go of that anger and jealousy, stop being so overprotective of the character you love and make new friends, don’t create nemeses.
How to determine which side is your good side!
If there’s one thing you hear all the time from people who are getting their photos taken, it’s “make sure you get my good side” but what does that exactly mean? Each side looks the same to you!
Well, faces aren’t actually symmetrical! Everyone’s face is a little asymmetrical, wether it’s by a little or by a lot! You probably don’t notice it much, but there’s a way to tell what side of your face is the “good” side!
First, take a picture of yourself in even lighting, with no makeup, glasses and your hair pulled back. I know it’s unflattering but just do it, you want to judge your natural face.
Now, go into photoshop and open your picture. I don’t have photoshop so i’m using pixlr, an online photoshop website.
The next step is to select half your face. Try to get as in the middle as you possibly can. A good judge of what half your face is is by looking at your lips, if you have heart shaped lips just make sure you’re right in the middle of them.
After that copy that half and paste it. Then, delete the background (the original, full picture)
After that, duplicate the later and flip it horizontally so you have the a full face made up of only one side.
I deleted the background so you know for sure when the two sides meet and get an accurate representation of your face, instead of accidentally overlapping the two layers on the nose. Even a few pixels can throw it off. Then you bring them together, save the image, and do the same for the other side of your face!
You’ll be left with three VERY different pictures of yourself! The first is your real face:
Then your face it it was symmetrical with the right side:
And your face is it was symmetrical to your left!
Finding your “good” side is just a matter of deciding which one you think looks better! (Personally I think my left side has a bit more character so I choose to photograph myself from that side as much as I can).
This trick is great if you’re going into modeling, if you’re a cosplayer, or if you just hate looking at photos of yourself and your friends and not liking what you see!
“Cosplaying in and of itself can be stressful enough; I've definitely had convention days when I did not feel confident enough for tight spandex. But for non-white fans, the additional pressure felt when not playing a character of the same ethnicity can add an unspoken anxiety to the experience. It often feels like a white cosplayer can not only dress as their favorite characters of color but also do so in the most offensive way without comment. But when a non-white cosplayer colors outside the lines in the same way, there's a risk of getting an awkward look because--instead of seeing the costume--no matter how perfect it might be, others see the color of your skin and you can see the confusion in their eyes: Why is a black girl dressed as Zatanna? Worse are the ones who aren't confused, but then think they're being inoffensively clever. You know there probably weren’t many Black USO Girls in the 1940s, right?” Or, my personal favorite, “Wonder Woman? I thought you would’ve done Nubia. It's an extension of the "default to white" privilege many fans still engage in on a regular basis. An article in the April issue of Wired Magazine confirmed and put into words a theory I've always secretly harbored: young people who engage in paracosmic play are developing creative skills that pay off later in "real life." The examples are numerous (is the upcoming novel-turned-movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter anything but a historical AU fanfic?), though the article cites the Brontë Sisters (best known for Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre) as a prime example of those who began writing early through creating and building upon imaginary worlds as children. "It now appears that, like the Brontës, kids who engage in paracosmic play are more likely to be creative as adults. In 2002 researchers Michele and Robert Root-Bernstein conducted an elegant study. They polled recipients of MacArthur "genius grants"--which reward those who’ve been particularly creative in areas as diverse as law, chemistry, and architecture--to see if they’d created paracosms as children. Amazingly, the MacArthur fellows were twice as likely as "normal" nongeniuses to have done so. Some fields were particularly rife with worldplayers: Fully 46 percent of the recipients polled in the social sciences had created paracosms in their youth." When I started in online fandom in 1999, mostly writing fanfiction, I was always looking for relatable figures to participate with. Often I had to create them out of thin air, or widely embellish the often slim back-stories that side minority characters were given in my favorite fandoms. I was willing to do the legwork that Joss Whedon wasn't for characters like Kendra (and, fortunate enough to even have a personal computer to engage with the fanfic communities) and, thanks to years of not being recognised in Halloween costumes, I've grown used to having to explain that I'm dressing as non-white characters and why I'm doing it. But what happens to the kid who isn't encouraged to participate because the white default removes the impetus from the start? Paracosmic play isn't the only childhood activity that nurtures the development of creative skills, but for me the benefits are too great to ignore. Fandom turned me into a writer, taught me Photoshop, forced me to learn how to code by the age of 13, showed me the basics of web design, and helped set my course of study in college. All of these elements helped me score my first job after college. Spending years making the singer Monica look like Max from Batman Beyond for online role-playing paid off when I was asked to design ads for a Tony Award winner's concert series. I can't imagine what my own life would be like if fandom hadn't shaped it the way it did, and I'm going to guess that there're several white fans who would say the same. Luckily, they have a framework to participate in that’s constructed specifically to cater to their needs.”—Wild applause for Kendra James’ brilliant post on cosplaying while of color on the R today!
Cosplaying Truth: Costume Does Not Equal Consent!
Whether someone is dressed as your favorite character or in attire that falls on the more revealing side, the normal rules still apply! Wearing a costume does not give someone the right to glomp or inappropriately touch someone else. This is never OK, and especially in an environment that should be fun and safe for all.
Costume does not equal consent!