There have always been people in the cosplay community who have caused drama. It’s honestly a lot better now than it was in the early-mid 2000’s because back then if someone was a crazy asshole there was no real way to know about it besides word of mouth. Today we have screencaps so if someone is being total scum for a prolonged period of time there’s usually proof of it. People will be careful or keep their distance, and eventually the person will either change their behavior, or it will continue and people will know to avoid them. Previously in the cosplay community people could be awful and do really crazy things and get away with it for YEARS before getting properly called out.
That guy is an anomaly - I don’t think he understands anything about cosplay, or the community. The cosplay community is there to support each other. To share our knowledge, and our progress and the things we’re proud of, and the things that upset us. I don’t think the majority of cosplayers feel the way he does. It would just be unfair and stupid to take away the accomplishments of so many people just because they’re not PERFECT (which is subjective anyway).
The video was honestly more worrisome for me. For the first time feminism is entering into the cosplay community and some people really just do not know how to handle it. It’s honestly mind boggling to me how upset people get at the cosplay =/= consent thing. Like, wow, what a novel idea to not touch or harass someone just because they’re dressed in a certain way? But people really get their panties in a knot over it and it’s….really sad to see. I don’t think that speaks poorly about the cosplay community in particular, but about American society as a whole, which encompasses our cosplay community here.
Cosplay is becoming a bigger hobby, it IS becoming more main stream. There are going to be reality TV shows about it soon, there have been cosplayers filming for over a year to make that happen. It’s scary because cosplay is such a niche hobby that is so hard to understand unless you’re in the thick of it - even people who go to conventions and see it all around them don’t fully understand. It’s not always for attention, but it can be, it’s not always because you love the character, but it can be, it’s not always because you love the design, but it can be, cosplay happens for any number of reasons that you only begin to understand once you’re doing it yourself. I’m genuinely very worried about how cosplay is going to be portrayed to the rest of America once it does start becoming more mainstream - we are not just ‘nerds in costume to get attention’, we are an extremely diverse group of people who have extremely diverse reasons for doing what we do.
I was actually really bummed out about all the horrible responses I’ve been seeing to the cosplay=/=consent thing myself the other day. I know it seems like there’s been a lot of negativity floating around in the cosplay scene recently, and there have been a lot more issues being dealt with that went without discussion for a long time, and despite how stressful it’s been, that’s a good thing. There is never going to be change without a dialogue, even if it’s frustrating to have it. The ability to change a community this small really does rest upon the individual. Bigger name cosplayers I think often feel like they can’t speak out about problems like this because they feel they need to keep an air of professionalism, and if their financial well being in anyway depends on their cosplaying/online persona who can blame them for not wanting to speak out about misogyny in the community when they’re probably dependent upon those types of people to a degree? Which sucks, yeah, but people need to make a living, and not everyone has the personality type to deal with how much heat and debate speaking out can cause - regardless of if they’re ‘big name’ or not. Just keep your head up, good thing are going to happen to our community as long as good people speak up, and don’t stay quiet when they see something wrong.