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Posts Tagged ‘Conventions’

Cosplay.  A fun pastime in the anime, furry, sci-fi, and other fandoms where fans of series will dawn the costumes of some of their favorite characters for a weekend.  Whether it’s to show off something that they’ve made or something that they’ve bought, all cosplayers cosplay for the same reason: It’s fun.  You know it.  You know that when you see that one really good cosplay of your favorite character, it puts a huge smile on your face.  You’ll walk over, ask for pictures, or even ask for tips for the next time you want to make a costume yourself.  But there are people who bring costuming out of the realm of “fun” and into the realm of “serious business”.  And I’m not speaking of those who actually make costumes for a living.  No.  I’m speaking of people who’ll go out of their way to ruin the fun of others because they don’t look like the character they’re cosplaying as.  Specifically those who put down overweight cosplayers and non-white, non-Asian cosplayers.

 

These people are ones who completely take the fun out of cosplay and bring it into a realm of discrimination (albeit on a rather silly level).  Black person wants to dress up as Sora from Kingdom Hearts?  Nope.  Can’t have that.  Sora’s not black!  Or an overweight (even if it’s just slightly) girl wants to be Sailor Moon?  Nope.  Can’t have that either.  Sailor Moon isn’t fat!  And god forbid you have an overweight non-white, non-Asian person dress up as a character.  That’s a disaster waiting to happen for these people!

 

So let’s say you’re a white person and you see a black guy cosplay your favorite character.  You get all in a tizzy because you will have none of this black Ichigo nonsense.  Only character black people should dress up as from Bleach is Tousen ’cause you know…he’s black.   So in an outrage you decide to tell him that he looks horrible as Ichigo (but conveniently leave out the why because you don’t want to come across as racist or anything…no need for you to break out the whole “my best friend is black!” line that all people who use racist language use) even though the actual costume is spot on.  Meanwhile you see a white Ichigo cosplayer.  His costume isn’t terrible but clearly isn’t up to par with the black Ichigo cosplayer’s costume, but you tell him he looks amazing otherwise.  Well hold on now…why did the white one look amazing?  Ichigo is clearly not black but he’s clearly not white either.  His name is ICHIGO KUROSAKI!  Since when was that a European name to you?  And he lives in Japan!  Just because he has orange/red hair isn’t an indication that he isn’t Japanese.  So if you’re going to get angry at one race of people because they’re not the right race to be portraying a character, you’d better be getting angry when another race of people (even if it’s the same race as you) wrongly portrays the race of a particular character.  If you’re going to display racism for such a petty thing, it’d better be equal opportunity racism.

 

As for weight bias, it’s to be expected.  A little more so than race bias.  Weight is always on the forefront of American society in one way or another.  Celebrities are always put down in tabloids for being too heavy or overly skinny (though more for being heavy).  Models (unless they’re the elusive plus sized model) are always tall and thin…always a size zero.  Kids and adults are bullied every day for weight related issues and it’s definitely harder to be bigger than it is to be thinner.  But just remember this one tiny lesson…YOUR FAVORITE ANIME CHARACTER ISN’T REAL!

 

That’s right.  None of these characters we love are real.  They’re all figment’s of their creator’s imaginations and putty in the hands of said creator.  Even the characters that are based off of historical figures are still fake.  Le Chevalier d’Eon?  While a very real historical figure, the anime’s recollection of his life is only .5% true (and I’m being rather generous with that).  He was a man.  He dressed up as a woman.  Those two things are true.  He did not have a sister that he masqueraded around as during battle.  Nor did a spirit of his sister or any other woman possess him.  Nor was he actually a woman (though he claimed to be).  These characters that we see are ones by the creators to help tell a story.  So it’s only natural that we’d end up either loving or hating them.  So when a person decides to dress up as the ones we like either because we like their outfits of because we like them as a character.  Why should an overweight person be left out of the fun?

 

“But Sombra!  We have every right to make fun of people!  It’s fun for us!”  I’m sure that’s what some people would say.  Well sure you absolutely have the right to be a cold heartless jerk but is that really the way you want to portray yourself to the world?  “But Sombra!  We’re only telling the truth!  These people need to hear it so they can change their lives and get healthy!”  That’s just what you’d want me to believe.  Because the truth is that you’re just cold and heartless.  You feel every need to rain on someone else’s parade because it makes you feel better.  There’s a comfortable overweight person over there having fun…you can’t have any of that because you’re unhappy with yourself  Or maybe you just don’t like seeing people who you feel shouldn’t be happy actually be happy.  You need to bring them down to your level so that you can be brought up and somehow feel superior over them.  Your version of the “truth” is often a very distorted one.  One where you have to tell people that they’re ugly, need to stop eating, or in some cases (depending on how really cold and black your heart is) that they need to die.  But there’s a few facts that you need to be schooled on:

 

1) Beauty is always going to be in the eye of the beholder.  What you find absolutely repulsive, someone else might find beautiful.  Or even if their physical appearance isn’t the greatest someone will always give this person the time of day and find that there’s a beautiful person underneath who was just waiting to get out the entire time.

 

2) Eating is a rather natural function.  While it would be a normal assessment to say “eat less” or “cut back on these sorts of foods” to expect someone to stop eating altogether is an unrealistic idea.  The body needs food to function and to make your metabolism work faster.  So while it might be “obvious” to you to tell the overweight person to stop eating, just realize that actually a death wish upon them…which brings me to the last point…

 

3) Really?  You’d go tell a person to die because of their weight?!  Because they dressed up as your favorite character, “messed it up”, and somehow that’s a qualification for them to commit suicide?!  How much more of a dick do you have to be?!  I don’t have to elaborate more.  Actions like this just speak for themselves.

 

All in all, this form of bias is amazingly ridiculous and baseless.  Why it exists is beyond me.  We’re all member of the same fandom and we all understand what it feels like to cosplay.  It’s fun.  You know it and I know it.  Even those who have never cosplayed know it (which is why they want to cosplay).  But it’s people with the attitudes that I mentioned above that really take the fun out of the experience and turn it into something that people could potentially hate or fear instead of enjoy as they should.  And a small message for the cosplayers, you know what you like.  You know what you can pull off.  Don’t let a few haters ruin the experience for you.  Because for as many people that are there that might hate you for it, there are plenty that will either love you or be indifferent.  Other congoers are there for fun to.  Just remember that.  Do what you love.  That’s all that matters.

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