In my last post, I asked you guys if you knew why, or thought you knew why, the convention dates on cosplay.com are listed by date and location two months from now. Have you been able to come up with an idea why?
The reason has several aspects. Being able to know two months in advance gives cosplayers a chance to plan finances to pay for both the con and the materials for their cosplay, as well as needed transportation there, where you will stay, and how you will eat. But in the minds of cosplayers, these dates are posted primarily so that we can plan our cosplay and the construction of our cosplay in a good amount of time. 🙂
This week, I want to look into the issue of different body shapes in cosplay.
This week, after a killer 10 hour essay, I decided to watch trashy reality tv, but it had to be something I was interested in. So, I turned to none other than HEROES OF COSPLAY.
Ok, the first thing wrong with “Heroes of Cosplay” is the drama. Ok, even in competitive groups, unless there is a petty indifference between people before the character comes on, there is typically not “reality tv” drama, like so in the show. Secondly, a typical cosplayer does NOT leave their cosplay to be constructed in ONE week. Typical cosplayers have other things to do, i.e. go to work, school, have families or other priorities. So, no. You can’t typically construct a complete and worthy cosplay in a week as they do in the show. Professionals, like Yaya Han, are invited to different conventions every week to two weeks, so that is their construction time frame and that is their living. Because they are professional, they can handle the time restrictions and the conventions. They also get paid for these appearances, so that is how they make their living. This does not mean you can make a cosplay in a week. Trust me, with a normal life and normal things that need to be done, I’ve tried and failed. Thirdly, concerning “Heroes of Cosplay,” cosplay is not always this competition. People cosplay to have fun. Attending conventions, if you are in cosplay, you immediately fit in. Even if you aren’t in costume, you are welcomed into the fold (cosplaying and being in character is just more fun 😉 ).
Ok, so back to what I was mentioning before. In only the second episode of “Heroes of Cosplay,” we are introduced to Chloe Dykstra, who is the hostess of her own cosplay web show. To gain some “street cred,” as she states in the show during a dinner with fello co-stars and players Yaya Han, Riki LeCotey, Monika Lee, and Victoria Schmidt. However, when the issue came up of body sizes, I never realized how torn I am between enjoying cosplay and actually looking good while cosplaying. Yaya Han states in this episode during the dinner that if you are a larger guy who has more muscle, you should go be a larger character, like superman. She also states that as a cosplayer, it is your responsibility to know your boy and to dress accordingly and that if you dress in something that does not look good on you because of your body shape, and the image gets out on the web, there isnt any shield to protect you from harsh criticism about it. Chloe argues this point because she always found cosplay to be fun and should be enjoyed by everyone.
Thinking about this, I am half and half. I agree with Chloe where cosplay should be fun, carefree, and enjoyed by everyone. I’ve always enjoyed it and have many friends who enjoy it as well. But I also know that there are people out there who are harsh critics and often dont sugar coat their opinions, and their posts can hurt other cosplayers (I got plenty of this when I was at a con said to my face as Jessica Rabbit because my boobs werent big enough).
So knowing this, I looked on my site, cosplay.com, and looked at the forums in search of something along the lines of shapely cosplayers, fitness, or suggestions. On the very first page, the third forum down (right under introductions), was the forum for “Fitness.” I clicked on it, and it is a bunch of fitness and workout help options to fit in, work for, and to look your best in your cosplays. There are 12 pages of these separate forums under this topic, and several pages of each of these forums.
It isnt unknown for superheroes to be slim or muscular, but as much as I agree with Yaya Han, that you should wear what looks great, I also think the beauty in cosplay is in having fun despite if you may not be the exact size of your character.
Now I ask for your opinion. Do you guys think anyone should be able to be anything, or do you think there should be a limit due to having an accurate cosplay?