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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

I Wish I Had Not Opened That Can of Worms

Now comic cons have had far less to do with comics over the last 20 years -cosplayers and the latest kids toy collectibles taking over.  It can be annoying if you turn up to a con and find you cannot get past the endless crowds of Harley Quinns or Deadpools -someone reported 60 Deadpools at one recent US con.  Get original.

Anyway, I have written about how creative these cosplayers are and some of them put the work of movie studio costume departments to shame.  They have all got different reasons for cosplaying but 99% of them do it for the sheer fun and show.

There were one or two reports of female cosplayers having their breasts and bums tweaked by men at US conventions and that is a criminal offence (in the UK at least).  Everyone condemned it and things went quiet -even though one offender was beaten up by female cosplayers.

But I noticed more and more in event videos that there were cordoned off "Private Photo areas" with convention staff standing guard.  A couple of You Tube videos popped up about a year ago -both since removed because of You Tube guidelines. Let me make it clear that I am not going to mention names because there are trolls of all types out there and I do not want any female cosplayer targeted. In the background of one of the deleted You Tube videos you could clearly see a mother pull her youngster back from the cordon as the photo shoot was going on.

I had always assumed that the private photo shoots were extra money for cosplayers to do harmless "cheesecake" poses.  I am not going to argue about cheesecake photos so do not bother. About a month ago I asked a female cosplayer who is a Face Book friend about these photo shoots and got the reaction "I would NEVER do those!" We talked a little more about this and I was told "I would sooner seriously like die before doing anything like that!"  Then I had it explained to me.

Now, at my age I am not surprised or shocked by much but I found what I was being told very hard to believe.  We were talking about cosplayers at comic cons.  I was told to ask another friend who is a cosplayer about what went on. She named some very well known cosplayers.  A couple I was not too surprised by because they tend to flash a little more boobage than others on their You Tube channels and enjoy the rewards of more patreon funding and lots of gifts. I was told that, in costume, the cosplayers exposed almost -some every- part of their anatomy and had no problem with adopting submissive poses of every type.

I was told to check out Patreon to see which cosplayers offered the "naughty stuff".  I didn't and left it at that.  Apparently male cosplayers "don't earn that way" and also that the staff used by conventions could get "very physical" with any convention goers trying to see what was going on.

A couple of days ago my friend gets in touch and wrote: "I didn't know ------ and ------ were on your friends list?" I was told both do quite explicit photo shoots and as I knew the two women involved had spoken out against "seedy cosplayers" I responded that I couldn't believe that. I was unsure whether this was just some "bitching rivalry".  Later in the day I was sent two links and a message: "Check this out!" I trust the sender so clicked on the link to find it was a big porn site and the first image was of the cosplayer I knew in very explicit photos taken at a comic con -there were even the men who paid for the private photo shoot with their name tags on and seriously trying to shoot from every possible angle. I assume one of these had posted their photos.

I left the page quickly.

Then I did some online searching and found there were articles on "introducing soft core" or simply "porn" to cosplay and comics "by the back door" and much more.

Now I have no problem with nudity or women wanting to pose in any shape or form for money.  Ffs I'm 60 and I've known strippers, exotic dancers and others. That is up to them and it is their body after all.  But I suddenly understood why some young male con goers might think "it's okay" (which it very definitely is not!!) to grab butt or breast. Face it, most of them haven't seen a real naked woman before anyway so they have no idea of how to be appropriate (I am talking a small per centage here).

Cosplay is supposed to be about fun and when you see a costume that has taken 9 months of designing and creating/building and the fact that the cosplayer is really proud of what they have done that's great.
There are some cosplay outfits I've looked at over and over again because some young man or woman has produced something that, I repeat, puts some movie costumes to shame.  They base a costume on a comic character, it might be revealing but that is beside the point -it is based on a comic, TV, movie or Anime/Manga character and spot on accurate.  People enjoy seeing the outfits and if there are family groups cosplayers always tend to be happy to pose for photos with kids, mum and dad.

Conventions have become more about money -and sleazy percentages taken from things like these photo shoots. It should take you about 5 minutes to find what I did in the form of articles and even photos online.  This is why fans need to take these events back by running their own.

The two "holier than thou" cosplayers I have unfriended.  Being hypocritical is not something I admire very much and, yes, I did explain to them why I unfriended them. I don't think they were that concerned with the unfriending.  As far as I know this seems to be an American thing and I hope it doesn't spread to the dwindling number of UK conventions left.

I actually wish I had not opened this can of worms but if you are a man or women who doesn't mind this type of thing -don't pay the cosplayer because you can get the same thing for free online.

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