cosplay is consent

8

Because harassment happens to all genders. But guys get the short end of the stick when it comes to cosplay and consent.I intend to change this. Even if it’s a small change.

Flighting the concept on my personal page, so let me know what you guys think? You’re more than welcome to inbox me your experiences as a male cosplayer, you’ll stay anonymous.

Borrowed from THE INTERNET:

• Avoid using degrading language.  This applies to Expo social media as well.  Commenting on someone’s body in a way that is derogatory is considered sexual harassment and our convention won’t stand for it.  
• Rape jokes, or jokes that are marginalizing to someone, are not funny. Please don’t make them, and if you feel that you have been the subject of such harassment, please come forward to Expo staff so that the issue can be dealt with confidentially.
• Always be respectful of someone’s physical space. It can be pretty close quarters at the Expo during peak hours, but that’s no excuse for inappropriate behavior.
Finally, perhaps most importantly…
• Always remember – we are ALL people.  Gender, age, ethnicity, orientation notwithstanding – we are each individuals who deserve to be treated as such.  

*This is a non profit project done out of the love for people.

Just a Reminder

With the Wonder Woman movie coming out this week please keep in mind: Cosplay is Not Consent.

Please if you see any beautiful Wonder Woman/ Wonder Fam Cosplays (it’s a known fact all Wonder Woman / Wonder Fam cosplayers are beautiful) ask for permission before taking pictures and DON’T TOUCH. Cosplayers are people not toys!

Thank you so much and have a Wonderful time!

It’s funny, now that I’ve seen people genuinely expressing their intention to harass KS cosplayers at cons, I’d just like to point out that I’m SURE these would also be the first people to yell about how “COSPLAY IS NOT CONSENT” (which it’s not, don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying I disagree with *that*). But by extension, I would imagine in any other situation, they would agree that appearing in cosplay is also not the same as cosplayer consenting to verbal harassment either. Apparently, except when someone is cosplaying something THEY don’t like. Then that cosplayer is fair game.

Remember kids, harassment is a-okay if you can claim the moral high ground!

Stalking VS. Making friends: COSPLAY EDITION

I really need to address this, it’s something I’ve been dealing with the last few years.

So, this especially is for cons, but is also kind of general. I know we all get excited when we see someone we look up to, and someone we love, but please. DO. NOT. STALK. THEM.

“But I just want to be their friend!” You might say, or “What’s the line between being persistent and stalking?!” Well, let me explain to you.

This is surreal that I have to make this post from the point of view of things I have experienced. I don’t consider myself someone who people get excited to see, but that’s been changing in the last few years, as people have started to catch wind of my art and cosplay. So I guess now I can stand on both sides of the problem.

TOUCHING/PHYSICAL CONTACT:

If you want to make friends with someone, especially someone’s who’s “well known.” Please don’t open with screaming at them/glomping them/TOUCHING THEM IN ANY WAY WITHOUT PERMISSION (THIS INCLUDES HUGS)/ or following them.

If you are constantly touching and hanging off someone without their permission, that is a no-no. I know you’re excited, I know they’re great, but they are a person just like you. They don’t like being touched without being asked, and they don’t like being treated like they are some public marvel for everyone to grab.

If you see people touching them without warning and them reacting positive to it, it probably means they know those people, and that you shouldn’t follow suit.

FOLLOWING THEM. EITHER WITH YOUR LEGS OR WITH SOCIAL MEDIA:

Following their social media pages shouldn’t be a problem, but if you start digging and seeking out their personal pages, you’re being creepy and crossing boundaries set for a reason. I’ve had to deal with this at cons. People ask me for my Facebook, and I tell them no, and they STILL attempt to seek me out MULTIPLE TIMES. I have a public Facebook page, I have tumblr, they followed me on both, but they STILL wanted my personal page. Please do not do this, especially if you’re trying to get to know them. Treat people like people because that’s what they are!

Following people around con can create a problem. Sometimes cons can be really crowded and people want to get away with their friends or by themselves. They don’t want to be followed. Ask if you can hang out with them, if they say no, DON’T PUSH IT. Saying hi when you see them is different than following someone around the con the entire time.

This also has happened to me, and it’s literally the creepiest thing. It can ruin any connection you had with the person. I had a cosplayer follow me constantly, and whenever I took a picture with my friends and I, they were in the background. They followed me into a dance and tried to dance behind me. It was freaking SURREAL.

Give people their space, give them their time out alone. We all get worn out and need space.

If you’re finding out where cosplayers live, shop at, who their closets friends are, finding where THEY live too, just. STOP. PLEASE. THATS TERRIFYING.

COMPLIMENTS VS. CREEPY COMMENTS:

Compliments:

“You look really amazing!”
“I love your wig/hair/face/makeup/ect.!”
“Your figure/Physic really compliments the cosplay!”
“You’re really pretty/handsome!”

Creepy Comments:

“Your _______ turns me on”
“Wow, nice ass!”
“Woah, I love your Ass/Tits/ect”
“You’re so hot.”
“Would you do _____ to me?”

It isn’t that hard to tell the difference, kids.

OKAY, SO, HOW DO I MEET COSPLAYERS/MAKE FRIENDS?:

Talk to them! Be friendly, smile, and ask them how they’re doing. Approach them in a calm manner, you know? Like how you’d do with someone who’s not in cosplay. Talk to them about what they’re cosplaying, ask to take a selfie with them, just be nice! If there’s no connection, don’t freak out. Sometimes people just don’t click! They’ll still appreciate you even if you’re not instantly best friends. Having friends is about liking the other persons company and having people you can trust and rely on. You don’t use other people just because they’re famous. Be genuine.

That’s just a little bit of what’s been on my mind. If I missed anything, feel free to add on!

Boundaries and the differences between ‘friend’ and ‘fan’ in the cosplay community

Okay, time to get serious, folks.

In the last year I’ve suddenly found myself friends with some pretty damn popular cosplayers. I don’t say this to be a braggart, I have a point to make, promise. In my conversations with these excellent human beings there’s a topic that comes up quite a bit and that topic is the unsettling reactions they sometimes receive from their fans when they meet them at events.
Now whilst the majority are, I’m sure, genuinely positive experiences for all parties involved, there are a few situations where lines have been crossed.

Having experienced similar things myself and having been a part of the cosplay community for seven years this year (and having seen this sort of thing a lot in that time), it seems fair to say that this is pretty common among cosplayers, their fans and casual con goers. 
There appears to be this perception that popular cosplayers are celebrities, just much more accessible ones. And that apparently makes it okay to treat them in a way you would not treat, say, Scarlett Johansson. And more importantly, in a way you would not and should not treat a perfect stranger.  

The international cosplay community has been excellent at tackling the notorious ‘con creeper’. We’re all familiar with the phrase 'cosplay is not consent’, but a much less widely discussed topic is this newer culture of idolising popular cosplayers to the point of objectification.

To me it seems that there are two obvious forms that it takes, the first being the illusion of friendship. The second being the illusion of something more than that, or, at the very least, that romantic or sexual advances are desired and will be appreciated.

In the first of its forms it seems to be most prevalent among young female fans (aged 13-16 ish). This sounds relatively harmless but I can promise you that being followed around all day at conventions by fifteen year olds that you barely know, or stalked -for want of a better word- on all your online accounts (even private ones), is hardly harmless. Outside of the cosplay community and the internet these things would be considered social taboos, so why are they okay here?

Something that I really think needs stressing is that just because you follow someone’s cosplay Facebook or Instagram does not make you their friend. It is totally one sided. You may feel like you know each other because you see everything they post but chances are they only really know your name and that you like their cosplays. With that in mind, being approached at a convention with the exaggerated familiarity usually displayed is pretty unnerving.

The second form of this illusion of familiarity does fall under the 'cosplay is not consent’ umbrella. The same as above applies here also, you do not know the people you follow and they do not know you.
To that end, you cannot and should not hug them, touch them or their costume/props without their permission, ask them out, make lewd comments or take their picture without asking. These things are harassment and just because we as cosplayers put ourselves out there, regardless of the size of our following, it does not mean we waive the right to personal space and boundaries.

If any cosplayers with personal experiences of this sort of thing want to add to this post, please feel free to do so. It’s a topic that I believe needs to have some light shed on it as it can have quite serious and negative ramifications for the cosplayers involved.

tl;dr: just because you follow someone, that doesn’t mean you are friends with them. Treat popular cosplayers and cosplayers you meet at cons with the respect you would afford a stranger and by all means be excited and enthusiastic but try not to breach their personal space or make them uncomfortable. Please and thank you.

Cosplayers are NOT objects

I received some comments today that really made me laugh at their stupidity. 

A young man commented on one of my cosplay photos saying that Kevin and I can’t do SasuSaku anymore and that I’m “not ugly but can’t cosplay Sakura.”

His reason?

“Sakura doesn’t interest me so this cosplay does nothing for me. Maybe if you cosplay another character I will like it better.”

I told him he can’t tell people who to cosplay and he replied, “Lol sure I can, you make these cosplays for me or why else would you post them?”

PSA:

COSPLAYERS ARE NOT HERE TO FULFILL YOUR SELF-ENTITLED, DISGUSTING FANTASIES. WE DRESS UP FOR OURSELVES AND FOR FUN, NOT FOR YOU TO PLEASURE YOURSELF TO. Stop objectifying women of cosplay - we are not your toys. You can dislike someone’s cosplay, sure, but you can’t tell them to stop cosplaying a character just because you don’t like that specific one, and you are definitely not allowed to tell a cosplayer who they can or cannot cosplay based on your likes. You also do not have any right to tell a cosplayer that they’re only allowed to cosplay what you want because “they make their cosplays for you.” How stupid and delusional can you be.

If you say “cosplay =/= consent” in response to someone asking you not to be mean to little kids when dressed as a beloved childrens character, you’re not mature enough to be cosplaying.

Cosplay =/= consent refers to being touched or harassed by strangers, not taking 10 seconds out of your day to say hi to the 3 year old who thinks you’re actually, honest to god, Elsa in the flesh. I don’t care how edgy you are or that you hate kids with every fiber of your being. You’re not being assaulted by a toddler ffs.

Half the time they ask you if you’re the character and all you have to say is “yes” and they’re satisfied. wHaT a NiGhTmArE!! It’s not like kids have long attention spans.

If you think a kid is an entitled brat because they dared try to speak to you, you’re the entitled brat. Sorry not sorry. Pretend not to be an asshole for 5 seconds. Or cosplay a different character.

/end rant

stop going up to people you don’t know at cons and hugging and choking and scaring them past their visible comfort. you shouldnt touch people at all without their consent to begin with and one lil spook in character might be fine once but stalking and harassing someone in cosplay just because you’re cosplaying someone who does that is bad and you need to control yourself. cosplay is not consent and cosplay does not automatically mean role-playing.

OMGCon 2017! Who's going?

OMGCon in owensboro is only days away (June 9-11). Who all is going?

I’ll be there!
Friday, June 9: genocide Frisk
Saturday, June 10: Undyne
Sunday, June 11: Frisk

Look for me at OMGCon, and please feel free to interact. I’m trying to come out of my shell and make new friends!