I recently read an article here, written by Abby Dark-Star, that I saved and decided to respond to.
The article discusses, obviously, the judgements that fall upon us in the cosplay commmunity, not only from outside resources, but inside ones as well. Abby discusses how there are no standards of geekiness (which I completely agree with), so everyone needs to stop waving their “geekdom” around.
She then covers what people can costume as, and basically states it’s whatever you feel comfortable wearing. I agree to a point on this. If you’re attending a family-friendly convention, skimpy costumes are usually not allowed. Remember the rules of the convention itself as well. Also, if the character itself wouldn’t wear whatever you’re claiming they would, then you may wanna keep that mind. Stormtroopers in lingerie? No. That’s just an excuse to wear a helmet and underwear as far as I’m concerned.
Finally, there’s the mockery of the cosplay scene on its own, from in and out of the community. She says what I would perfectly, so here’s the quote itself for you all to read:
“Finally, I have to address the mockery of the cosplay scene, both by those in and out of the costuming hobby. The truth is, people are going to judge. The costuming hobby can get called tons of names on a blog by a person who makes fun of us for dressing up, but then goes to scream at a bunch of men in tight pants throwing a ball around. (See what I did there?) The point is, everything we do, in this hobby or not, might be judged.
So each cosplayer has to remember their goals. Why are they in this hobby? Why do they do it? Is that dedication and passion enough to encourage them when people are being hateful? Cruel remarks may hide behind free speech or “this is my opinion,” but let’s call it like what it is: meanness. Meanness can be hurtful and shouldn’t be expected, but it can be handled with reasoning and discussion.
We are not all going to get along all the time. Instead of tearing a person down, why not try the old adage, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Sure we all compare, and we all to some degree judge. But there’s no good reason to be mean to another human being?
Those of us who are passionate about the community, who enjoy it, should work to make it a positive place to be the geeks that we are. We’re all here to enjoy the hobby and what we love in it, all for different reasons. Let’s celebrate the awesome costume that someone wears, and if we’re jealous about something ask ourselves why and fix it. If someone is acting snooty, maybe they are just having a bad day. Once a cosplayer I knew was short with me at a con, then a week later sent me a message and apologized; her grandmother had been diagnosed with cancer, and she was having a hard time keeping it together. Let’s be nice, polite, and kind to one another. Talk to one another, not about. Remember that no one is perfect. Sometimes we use bad judgment and make mistakes. Apologies can go a long way in helping to have a positive community environment, and so does forgiveness. Now let’s join hands and sing kumbayah – I mean, have a drink at Dragon*Con.”