Journal Entry: Thu Apr 3, 2014, 9:07 AM
A bit of a rant, but it seems like something that needs attention, especially as cosplay conventions are starting up, and more people are becoming active in this wonderful hobby.
Something that pissed me off from the beginning of starting this hobby, was the mentality that only certain people with ideal body types and high level of quality in workmanship deserves appraisal for their efforts. This has effectively intimidated most beginners, and hurtful comments have scarred even potentially talented artist to retire. Most of these comments are from people who haven't even attempted to stitch a straight line, and all the hard work (yes WORK), stress and time involved into making even the simplest of designs can feel like a pretty big achievement, even if the end result is less than perfect. Have we forgotten that we were all beginners at one point? The amount of different skills needed for this hobby is incredible, every costume, every prop, you have to think of mechanics, movement issues, material selection, ratios and techniques, it's basically unlimited in your choices, just like art should be.
So why is everyone so critical for something meant to be inspiring and a fun pastime? I've always supported the fact of helping beginners, and those with no skill, no money, and trying something new. I had to learn from trial and error on every single cosplay I've ever done, and yes even my newest ones like Hero's Shade or Valefor. I wanted to prove that even poor people, who can't afford expensive materials, and have access to numerous tools and supplies, can make something of quality that can impress. It takes time, a LOT of time, and dedication, patience, and a innocent thought of how cool it would be to try to make this, and even just for a day, be a character we really love.
There are several levels in competition (masquerades), that help beginners move up ranks to where they finally feel comfortable with whatever techniques they've gained proficiency in. Most people don't even compete! This also does not mean a Master level costumer is a master at everything, I still can't sew straight to save my life. So, if a Master has problems with some basic techniques, how do you think beginners, or even intermediate cosplayers feel when they get rude comments? How the hell does that support or help anyone improve if we just ground them to the dirt, and stunt their potential to get better? I've also seen heavier set women/men make excellent cosplays, I've seen amazing crossplay too, that fit them better than most skimpy girls wearing nothing but tattered bikinis. My respect goes to skill, not body types. Last I remember this was a --costume-- hobby, am I mistaken? You want a slutty nurse? Wait until Halloween.
Constructive criticism is one thing, but be mindful of who you are bashing, because unless you've put in those grueling sleepless hours, and understand first hand what goes into the smallest detail, there should be no reason why these issues should ever exist. You want to see better cosplays? Cheer them on, let them get better, and maybe one day, they'll even impress you.