I come from a family who really disliked me cosplaying for a long time, saying it is “unproductive”.
My success in national competitions and event invites had started to change their minds.
But what ultimately convinced them was… me helping fix shit around the house.
Today my dad’s shoe went all weird and crumbly. He was going to have to buy new shoes or new sole pads… But then I went and traced some foam, layered it and padded his shoe back up, for free.
My mum has weak finger joints. The doctors were going to charge her $200 to make her a brace. But I saw what the brace was like, and casted her one with Plasti-make, again for free. She had never struggled with her joint again.
I’d like to spread the message to parents out there:
Cosplay is not unproductive.
It is a form of creative problem solving. (How do make something work?)
Please encourage your kids to do something creative. If it’s making outfits from fictional characters… Then please let them.
Watch them become jacks of all trades and develop their hands on and DIY skills.
Cosplaying with your parents around - starting the hobby
Cosplay is a wonderful expression of creativity, but if you’re a minor still living at home, having a parent around can a tad trying.
For some, getting their parents on board can be difficult. You may feel like your parents are giving you the “weird eye” and being generally unsupportive. If that’s the case, you might want to have a talk with them:
Let them know what this is
Parents (or friends) may see cosplay as a childish activity that involves making Halloween a year-round event. You can help make them understand cosplay is more than that. Cosplay can be casual, it can be competitive, it can be fun, but it can also be serious. Regardless, cosplayers are passionate doing what they do and helping your parents see your passion will go a long way.
You may also want to introduce them to the fandom that you’re cosplaying from. I know that my sister and I spent a while explaining the oddities of anime when we were starting on our first cosplays (e.g. yes, I know he’s got bright blonde hair and wears a neon-orange jumpsuit, but I swear he’s a ninja….)
Explain the benefits of cosplay
Whether you are buying or making your cosplay, it forces you to use skills that will be useful in real life: working a budget, time management, negotiating/bargaining (if doing commissions), setting goals, and delivering results by a certain deadline.
Think of all the useless things you could be doing with your time rather than cosplaying: texting/tweeting, mindlessly surfing the Internet, lazing around the house etc.
Cosplay has a thriving community with many friendly people - there are thousands of chances to meet new people, both online and in real life. Emphasize the networking possibilities.
Make it clear that you have your priorities straight
Parents may be worried that you’ll go for cosplay over studying, chores, work etc. This cannot be the case - real world responsibilities come first. Let you parents know this and then follow through! I cannot stress enough that you need to prioritize smartly.
Get them involved
You might be surprised at how interested they get - also, you never know what tricks they have up their sleeves. For example, my dad loves taking photos, so now I go to him whenever I want some high-quality basic shots of my costumes.
My white daughter loves and wants to cosplay as Maui for Halloween. What do?
My 4yo daughter absolutely loves Moana. She watches it nearly everyday, twice if she can manage it, and Maui is her favorite character.
She told me today that she wants to be Maui for Halloween and I wasn’t sure what to say. On one hand, I think it’s awesome that she is unafraid to dress up as a male character. On the other, we’re white as wonderbread and I don’t want to encourage my daughter to do something inadvertently racist.
I heard about the Maui skin shirt costume debacle and that’s definitely not the way I would approach it. I know brownface and blsckface are not okay. But is drawing the tattoos on her culturally appropriative and disrespectful of something deeply personal to Polynesian cultures?
Is there a way to have my daughter cosplay as Maui without being racist or insensitive? How? And if there isn’t, how do I explain to my 4yo daughter in a way she can understand without oversimplifying a complex and important issue?
From your local cosplayer/con photographer; TELL PARENTS THERE WITH THEIR KIDS AT CON/FRIEND’S KIDS/ETC. THAT IT IS SO WONDERFUL TO SEE COSPLAY SUPPORTIVE PARENTS AND ASK FOR THEIR PERMISSION WHEN TAKING PHOTOS OF THEIR CHILDREN SINCE THEY ARE MINORS.
That shit goes a DAMN long way for the cosplaying children because the parents/guardians now get an indication that this is a safe and welcoming environment for their children to be in and that there are nice people at these cons that want to make sure both they and their children are happy and comfortable.
TRUST ME. Vocalize it. You may sound like a broken record, the kid might be all “ughhh” in the moment because they might not know what it means, but TELL THE PARENTS. It impacts so so so much.
Okay, but on a more serious note, SacAnime really needs to do something about the heat. (and I don’t mean “change the weather” though that would be ideal if they somehow could! )
They should issue official heat advisories on the website and on their social media, along with tips on how to stay safe in the heat.
They should distribute flyers in the con goodie bags with said tips about how to stay cool.
They should have official cooling stations around the con, with places to sit, fans around, easy access to water, and hopefully staff who are able to if not directly help then at least call in an on-duty EMT in case things get out of hand.
Yes, Sacramento can get hot, but this is an anime convention where people may not make the best decisions about taking care of themselves anyway, and once cosplay and 110° heat are involved, it can become disastrous. This con caters to families and teenagers, meaning that children (more susceptible to heat) may be in attendance, and teenagers may not be as responsible or able to take care of themselves in the way that adults with more life and con experience can.
It’s been a long time (possibly this is the first time) since we’ve had an entire SacAnime forecasted to be over 100°, and being out and active in that kind of heat for three full days can really take a toll.
Take care of yourselves out there. I doubt there’s going to be any special considerations put into place at the con itself this close to the show date, but please please please stay hydrated and well fed, let your sweat evaporate, use extra water to cool yourself down if possible, and stay in air conditioned areas as much as possible.
So I know I said I was going to cosplay “Mom” but then my lovely fiancee @paradigmshift2 wanted to do Gordon von Strangle and I offered to be his darling wife! I was very nervous about wearing this cosplay because of… well… tummy issues. I do like the way she turned out though! Not to mention it was really fun.