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Aug 11, 2012

Cosplay = P0rn? (NOT!)

Those of you who followed TCC on FB would have seen this link update

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Obviously I'm not the one who posted my Shana cosplay photo on that site. My photo, along with many other cosplayer's photos, were used without permission. I'm not exactly sure what is the motive of the perpetrator but I'm sure none of us want our photos there.

I have already emailed the site and reported abuse of the photo along with the request for them to suspend the uploader's account. I have yet to receive any reply from the site, which is not surprising , seeing how the entire site is full of ripped off photographs and is of indecent nature.

A fellow cosplayer (who was also a victim ) managed to track down the identity of the uploader and was suggesting I expose him on my blog to warn others. Obviously that is something I didn't choose to do because honestly, I couldn't care less who he/she is. Such incidents happen way too much and too easily. You can sqash one pervert but you can't stop all of them, there's no end to this.

And some of you might have seen this photo of a Showgirl cosplaying as Athena during the coveted Games and electronic convention ; ChinaJoy. This photo along with news of how the model was banned from the event went viral a few weeks ago

Photo from: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=464980926859138&set=a.399509110072987.97784.396206157069949&type=1&ref=nf

This is old pie but I'm sure you catch the drift of this blog entry. Objectification of female cosplayers.

Of course the objectification of the female body is not unique to the hobby but lets face it. How many of your non-Animanga friends / colleagues/ family members raised their eyebrows and thought you were doing porn when they found out you Cosplay? The fact is, Cosplay is very much associated with a list of hanky panky behaviours even though that is not the truth in real life.

Cosplayer Sunny Lin graces February Edition of FHM

I have nothing against them but, the recent emergence of high profile sexy Cosplayer-turned-models doesn’t quite help the situation either.

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And I can still remember the uproar in the local community when a judge of a high profile Cosplay Competition openly commented something along the lines of "Cosplay is all about being sexy" . Brings home the message how deep that presumption is rooted in the minds of the public (the judge was the event sponsor representative ) huh?.

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After Zephyus and I came in third for AFA's regional Cosplay Competition in 2010. We accepted a telephone interview with a local paper. And one of the first question the reporter asked was " So why did you choose to cosplay a Nun? Usually when girls cosplay they would choose bikinis or skimpy costumes. They would choose something that reveals a lot of skin. Why didn't you? ".

I was speechless and could barely make a come back reply. While I have always knew this was how the world works , it was still very hard to digest when confronted to.

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I try very hard to avoid telling people how to live their life. But today, I would like to take this opportunity to bring awareness to this issue and remind everyone in the community to always be mindful of the way you present yourselves either in photos online or at events.

Yes, it takes two hands to clap and while I agree the perception of others outside the hobby needs correcting. There is a limit to how much we can blame other people.

Of course the above statement is not referring to the sggirls.com incident whereby perfectly decent photos of the victims, including myself, were stolen and used without permission.

I'm talking about unnecessarily explicit cosplay photos and costumes in public events and on public SNS accounts. While i understand the urge to be as close to the fictional character as possible, we must also remember we live in a world with moral and consequences. Your decisions might just help sink the reputation of our hobby even further. Remember, there is a thin line between tasteful and pornographic.

The famous Cosplayer molestation case that was on the front page of our local evening papers (2009).

To the many non Animanga and Games people out there. Cosplayers cosplays because we like it. Because it is an outlet for our artistic inspirations to flow. A chance for us to express our fandom in a new level, a chance for us to do something extraordinary  and a chance to create something beautiful with our God given talents.

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Yes, I believe it takes a certain amount of talent to do a good cosplay. It may sound cheesy and ego inflating but that is my belief. The society deem the executing of many other activities such as drawing, designing, singing and acting a talent so why shouldn't Cosplaying be too? Do you know how much observations skills, crafting skills, dressmaking skills, make up skills, photography skills, photo editing skills and effort it takes to present a good Cosplay photo?

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While there is probably a million reasons why a cosplayers does what he/she does. I choose to believe that majority of us in the community do it out of our love for Anime, Manga and Games. And our burning desire to create a piece of Art that will reflect our existence, passion and youth.  Fame and money comes into the picture occasionally but they are just perks, not objective!

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And get it, at least 60% of the Cosplay population don’t cosplay in revealing costumes!

Objectification of the female body and assuming Cosplay is all about sex is nothing new. While there are many bigger humanitarian, political and financial issues to pay attention to, this is one issue close to my heart. If you think this blog entry can help clear up some misunderstanding about Cosplay; please share this entry.

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14 comments:

Momo~ said...

Let's face it. We live in a society where people see sex behind every square inch of skin shown. Which is ridiculous.
I'm sure some people show off much skin because they want this kind of attention, but the big majority of the cosplayers don't do that! I don't do it either. It's really crappy.

Thanks for sharing your opinion. I totaly agree.

Anonymous said...

It's a really unfortunate situation.

Saying that cosplayers who choose to wear skimpier outfits invite trouble only victim-blames and further spreads the idea of rape culture in the cosplay community.

And even then, it's no use to treat this as a one-off or isolated way of thinking in today's society because of its very conservative views, despite what most people say.

I'm rambling now, but I also agree with your views!

THE DINoSAUR kid harun said...

well said....XD

Sese said...

MY FEELS ON THIS. Sexy cosplays are running rampant in our cosplay community in the Philippines because they think that sexy cosplays brings more attention....

And because there are too many sexy cosplays, mainstream will think that because you cosplay it can be equalize to PORN...

/sigh /shakes head /facepalm

Anonymous said...

As a cosplayer, I don't like it either, but I try to remember that everyone has the right to do what they want (since it doesn't hurt anybody else) and that includes sexy cosplay. Some people like it, so why not cosplay a sexy character just because is sexy? Is the person's right. She is doing it.

The society needs to know some limits: about accepting other's likes and about don't inputing those tastes on anybody. That includes the person who asked you why not a sexy cosplay: he was a jerk. Just that. Who knows cosplay knows about the sexy ones and, at least the cosplayers I know, tolerate that.

About your photo, you asked for permition to use? I never saw something like that at least on your Deviantart. You posted on internet and don't asked for permition, that's not only sggirls' fault. I am not saying that I support sggirls', I am just giving the rights. You should write some warnings on your photos. If you asked on your posts, just discard this paragraph.

And let's face it: there's people who do porn cosplay and there's people who likes that. You can find a bunch of porn movies with cosplayers. Is their right to do, their right to watch. Just let them be. I am saying that because I heard so many offensive things about people who do/watch those things that makes me sick. I don't like, but I can't control people's life.

They're not hurting anybody. There's people who do sexy cosplay and people who are jerks. That's all. The guy who asked you that is a jerk and the people who do sexy cosplay aren't guilty.

Now I think I should show my personal taste: I don't feel confortable doing sexy cosplay. I always search for more dressed ones. There's a bunch of cosplays I wanna do but I don't because of that. I don't like sexy versions of "normal" characters either. What I mean, is: that's not about personal taste, that's about tolerance and freedom. I truly think I can't control other's life because of my tastes since they're not hurting me or anybody else.

Said that, I truly wish you luck trying to contact the site. I think I know how you are feeling now.

Sorry for the big post. I just felt like sharing my opinion too.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

"...you asked for PERMISSION to use? ... least on your Deviantart. You posted on internet and don't asked for PERMISSION"

Sorry, just correcting myself. Not my first language. >_>

katz, kathy said...

my brother once concluded that most Animes were made into the PG level to satisfy pervs.. hence the sexy characters, take note "characters" not cosplays.

the mistake of some is choosing these characters so that they could grab said fame & attention. which totally defeats the purpose of why we really cosplay in the first place. that's why i wrote about it: http://www.kosupurekei.com/2012/07/cosplay-its-not-how-its-why/

as per sexy cosplays, there is also the case of no-skin-exposure and yet these characters are considered as Sex-symbols. take Samus of METROID, i was continuously warned by my guy friends that if I cosplayed her, i would be horded by game-nerds & pervs alike. But i still went on because for my desire of the character & I wanted to prove this wrong. *points at the 2nd disturbing photo* this is exactly what my guy friends warned me about, so they did everything in their power to protect me from teh crowd..

plus, i also learned to be wary of pervs & their cams, so if they aim at my chest or butt, it's an instant finger or a slap at them if they dare. we, esp girls, should learn to be tough in cases like this & don't be afraid to do so.

Anonymous said...

People have the right to dress as they please. If they choose a character that wears revealing clothing that is a choice. Don't blame the cosplayer! Blame society! People should not be treated worse because of what they wear! Just because a women or man wears a revealing outfit that doesn't justify objectifying them or treating them poorly. Don't EVER blame the victim. Blame our culture, blame our society... But NEVER blame those hurt.

Anonymous said...

you have pressed upon a very great issue that runs in the cosplayer society. I have posted cosplays of myself, but I always put down a watermark, or a signature and the website I posted the picture on (deviantart for instance)Don't get me wrong, I'm just saying this because it does help. But I've noticed that the population don't WANT to cosplay exposing cosplays because of perverts...I for one, do cosplay revealing outfits, but only because I like the character, and I've had issues where I've been groped, hugged inappropiately and even kissed forcefully...I think this mostly relates to sexism...I wish cosplay was an innocent looking thing, but perverts have twisted it :(

Kaika ( aka Elpheal) said...

Thanks for the comments guys! I'm both glad and sad that so many people agreed with me on this situation.

I wish I could reply your comments individually but the comment format in Blogger is a bit unfriendly.

Just to disclaim, I do NOT despise sexy cosplayers. Nor do I think they are wrong. To me, it's all about the mindset one has when they cosplay revealing characters.

I was referring to deliberate and unnecessarily sexy pose and pictures that some cosplayers post.

I feel upset to know that cosplayers have been groped by strangers >.< Please stand up for yourself girl!!

To answer one of the Anonymous commenter, most of the photos here belong to me or my friend. Except for the magazine cover, newspaper article and the stage award photo by TUEAC (which I have left the watermark there).

OMEGA said...

Hey, people I need very quickly an answer. In my blog i put cosplay photos of various cosplayers and i don't know if i doi right, i wanted to make a special appart to the profiles and webs of the cosplayers for promove them 8my english is so bad, if you don't undestand what i say plese tell it to me) . Please, go to my blog and answer me if i need to delete all the photos or say it to the cosplayer. I'm so sorry.

765 Guardian said...

We got a lot of cleaning up to do.

Abiti Da Sposa Economici said...

cosplayer society.very nice.

Jones said...

Big thumb up for autor! Easy to read anything is written. Good job!

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