Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cosplay Appreciation

Neither Race, Creed, Gender...

...Orientation, Health nor Species even... should be ridiculed for cosplaying. Anyone can cosplay and I think everyone should at least once in their lives. In a way we already did. We might have done so when we were younger. How many of us had put on a cape and flew? What about Halloween or themed parties? We'd donned a costume once. Was it fun? Hmm... I guess that depends on personal experience. For me, I had a blast! That is why the cosplays are my favorite part at all the conventions (cons) I'd attended. No matter how detailed or low budget the costumes are, they are all fantastic and it does take at least a bit of courage to wear a red bodysuit as Deadpool, it takes endurance to carry more than 100lbs of armor as Zora Link, it takes working out like there's no tomorrow as Clubber Lang... how many of us can execute that much commitment and with such enthusiasm for that matter?

Even being an observer, it's a great feeling to see little kids being ecstatic when they get to meet Finn, Powergirl and Batgirl. Now, don't judge the kids for not knowing better, somewhere after graduating high school and needing to make "grown up" life choices we forget just how smart we were as kids and trust me, the kids today are as smart (if not smarter). They know the cosplayers are not the real superheroes but, it's just amazing to see a live version of their (our) heroes walking around. Why do you think most of us tend to prefer live action comic book movies over animation. Even if a movie has a bit of CGi we'd complain. I guess I share that same joy with the kids. The cosplays adds a whole other dimension to the cons. Even if the costume is made out of cardboard, put together by duct tape and painted with a marker... it's still creative and no matter how it came out aesthetically, it still took work and creativity. The only ones I don't like are the "too cool for school" ironic "cosplays." To me those come off as apathetic and in a way it seems to be mocking all the cosplayers whom are genuinely conveying their elation.

Don't make them pity you!
If the purpose of going to a con is to make fun of people in costumes then you're just wasting your time and energy. If you don't share my appreciation with cosplays, that's ok. Everyone's got a "thing." There's a ton of other things to see and do at the cons. If your interest is finding deals at the vendors, that alone can take up more than a day. There are also all the different panels to attend. Trust me even waiting in line, at one spot for the more popular panels takes energy. Just remember to stay respectful of others. Leave the bullying back at high school. I remember in high school how I was stereotyped. I found comfort in a group of friends during lunch who did not care how I looked, which classes I was in or, what my hobbies were. Well, for the most part we liked geeky stuff and it didn't matter which specific "stuff" I liked. Somehow we were able to find common ground. Because of this, naively I believed the troubles of the world can be worked out only if we can relate to one another. Even to this day, I hold onto that belief and for the most part this can be found at the cons. The cosplayers are the ones who are leading us in this multicultural (multispecies sometimes) rally. This sounds heavy and, in a way, it is a complicated balance of tolerance that will work only if we let go of social intolerance. It is important to do so or, we'll miss out on the one thing that matters most at the cons, to have Fun! I would like to take this opportunity to show my appreciation to all the cosplayers I'd came across. Thank you for embodying the joy and enthusiasm at the cons and thank you for not getting annoyed at me when I ask to take pictures. You are more than just people in costumes, you are the spirit of the conventions. Stay shiny!

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