Dear New York Post, You’ve Got Cosplay All Wrong

Samm August 6, 2013 1 Comment »
Dear New York Post, You’ve Got Cosplay All Wrong

When you think about the New York Post, you pretty much assume you’re dealing with a well rounded and somewhat respected source for news, reviews, and the like. So it’s surprising that the New York Post would publish an article that’s not only ignorant in its commentary, but disrespectful to a large group of people.

I give you, Linda Stasi’s review of SyFy’s new show, Heroes of Cosplay: “SyFy Looks at Work of Make-Believe Reality in ‘Heroes of Cosplay.'”

The legendary Yaya Han

It starts with the opening line, “I’m so confused–or maybe they are” and goes downhill from there. Ms. Stasi continues on to refer to Civil War reenactments as “nutty,” then spends a lot of time pondering where competitive cosplayers get the money to spend on their elaborate costumes. She actually spends more time pontificating the time and monetary cost of Cosplay than she does the actual artistry of the craft. Actually, she doesn’t mention anything about the artistry of the craft or the incredible skill of competitive cosplayers. Though she does recognize the amazing Yaya Han as one of Cosplay’s leading figures. So there is that. Right?

It’s clear that Cosplay is not only something Ms. Stasi has never heard of, it’s something she doesn’t understand. Given the mocking tone that flows through the majority of the article, it appears as though it’s something she doesn’t want to understand.

Bottom line…Ms. Stasi completely misses the point about Cosplay and SyFy’s new show.

Cosplay isn’t about “really want[ing] to be the fictional characters they portray.” Cosplay is about art. It’s about creativity. It’s about showing appreciation for something you love whether that’s a TV show, movie, anime, comic, game, etc. It’s about looking at a character and saying, “Can I make that?” Then stretching and honing your abilities until you’re able to say, “Yes I can!” Cosplay is a love. It’s a passion. Cosplay is about community. It’s about sharing techniques, skills, and advice with your fellow cosplayers. It’s about sharing a passion. It’s about seeing people’s faces light up when they see your costume. It’s even about little kids seeing their favorite characters come to life…characters they would never get to meet outside of a convention. Cosplay is about sharing your passion.

The Snowths with Muppeteer Peter Linz

Ms. Stasi, as a semi-cosplayer myself, I was offended by the tone of your review. Like most cosplayers, I don’t create costumes or cosplay because I want to pretend to be a character or because I have some delusional warped relationship with reality. I do it because I love to challenge myself creatively. I do it because I love hearing people shout “Mahna Mahna” with sheer glee when they see our Snowth costumes. I do it because I love having little kids tug on my fuzzy skirt and ask for a picture. I do it because Muppeteer Peter Linz spent fifteen minutes posing for pictures and admiring our costumes…an ACTUAL MUPPETEER said our Snowth costumes were “phenomenal.” I do it because of the JOY those costumes bring to people.

SyFy’s new show, Heroes of Cosplay takes a look into the often misunderstood world of Cosplay by following competitive cosplayers through the creative process. Yes, countless hours (and oftentimes a lot of money) are spent creating these costumes. But the end product is truly remarkable. In the end, Cosplay is ART.

How would you describe Cosplay and why you do it to Ms. Stasi?

 

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One Comment

  1. CasualCostumerNo Gravatar September 3, 2013 at 10:21 am - Reply

    I want to virtually slap this woman. That article was the most condescending, pointless piece of crap I’ve read in a long time. Why do I cosplay? Well, BEING the character IS fun – I do try to stay in character while I’m in costume. But I don’t want to BE the character! I cosplay a variety of costumes from a Clockwork Droid from Doctor Who to Eowyn from Lord of the Rings, and even a Fruity Oaty Bar Girl from Serenity. Do I want to BE a Clockwork? No! But the costume is amazing, and figuring out how to make that was a lot of fun! Being recognized across conventions (“hey, weren’t you the Clockwork from Dragon Con?”) is fun! Meeting other people who share your passion is fun! I absolutely agree with you, GreenEggsNSamm – cosplay is absolutely an art form. You’re not only creating the costume, you’re also acting out the part.

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